Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas To All

I finished the last of my sewing for Christmas last night (finally). I've already wrapped it all and I'll post photos once Christmas is through.

Our church participated in a Christmas parade last Saturday. Here are a few pictures from the event. We all had so much fun! I counted 37 people from the church that were either on the float, driving it, or walking beside it. The teenagers and some of the adults walked beside the float and handed out gospel tracts. Pastor estimates that we gave out 1000 tracts! What a privilege to share the gospel with so many people. Another highlight was that our float won first prize! Not too bad since it was our first time doing a parade. The theme for the parade was "Christmas through the years." Our float said on the side, "Through the years, the true story remains the same." It started with the nativity scene, had the children in the middle throwing candy and in the back had a family by the fireside reading the Bible...sharing the same story through the years. Here are a few pictures.


Putting on the finishing touches...


Two of our teens playing Mary and Joseph (well, "Mary" will be a youth in April)


A few of the teenagers getting their tracts ready.


I love this...Bro. Ricky looking so contemplative. Is he up to something?


Almost time to go!


John getting ready for the parade to start...with candy in hand.


Ethan tossing candy with Mrs. Judy.


Lydia standing on the roadside with her Nana and Aunt. I'm sure she thought it was really weird seeing all those people on that float that she knew.

Christmas in Song and Photo - Tuesday

The last Christmas hymn I want to share is We Three Kings. I love the gifts of the wise men. What wisdom they had indeed in the selection of their gifts! Even as a toddler-boy, the magi acknowledge the Christ child as King, Priest and that Offering for Sin as Isaiah describes. I can't fully imagine the scene there. Surely Joseph, being a simple carpenter, would have had a very humble home. The entourage that came with men must have been a sight. I can see the beautiful clothes the Magi must have worn. For them to come and first bow before this little boy, living in all simplicity, must have been truly a sight. Then to present such lavish gifts, the sum of which could have been worth more than Joesph would have earned in his entire life.

We Three Kings

We three kings of Orient are;
Bearing gifts we traverse afar,
Field and fountain, moor and mountain,
Following yonder star.

Refrain O star of wonder, star of light, Star with royal beauty bright, Westward leading, still proceeding, Guide us to thy perfect light.

Born a King on Bethlehem’s plain
Gold I bring to crown Him again,
King forever, ceasing never,
Over us all to reign.

Refrain

Frankincense to offer have I;
Incense owns a Deity nigh;
Prayer and praising, voices raising,
Worshiping God on high.

Refrain

Myrrh is mine, its bitter perfume
Breathes a life of gathering gloom;
Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying,
Sealed in the stone cold tomb.

Refrain

Glorious now behold Him arise;
King and God and sacrifice;
Alleluia, Alleluia,
Sounds through the earth and skies.

Refrain



My little precious ones, taken just this morning.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas in Song and Photo - Monday

A very very old hymn, some verses were possibly written as early as the 12th century. It's certainly one of my big favorites! Notice how many names of Christ are given throughout the song.

"O Come, O Come Emmanuel"

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.

Refrain
Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Wisdom from on high,
Who orderest all things mightily;
To us the path of knowledge show,
And teach us in her ways to go.

Refrain

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny;
From depths of hell Thy people save,
And give them victory over the grave.

Refrain

O come, Thou Day-spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.

Refrain

O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.

Refrain

O come, O come, great Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes on Sinai’s height
In ancient times once gave the law
In cloud and majesty and awe.

Refrain

O come, Thou Root of Jesse’s tree,
An ensign of Thy people be;
Before Thee rulers silent fall;
All peoples on Thy mercy call.

Refrain

O come, Desire of nations, bind
In one the hearts of all mankind;
Bid Thou our sad divisions cease,
And be Thyself our King of Peace.

Refrain


A picture of my little John in 2005 (I think). This was the first play where he had some sort of lines. He was playing the part of Joesph.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas in Song and Photo - Sunday

Not exactly a joyous Christmas song, but Christ didn't mean for Himself to be lauded and exalted at His birth. Later is when every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess.

"No Room in the Inn"

No beautiful chamber, no soft cradle bed,
No place but a manger, nowhere for His head;
No praises of gladness, no thought of their sin,
No glory but sadness, no room in the inn.

Refrain
No room, no room, for Jesus, O give Him welcome free, Lest you should hear at Heaven’s gate, “There is no room for thee.”

No sweet consecration, no seeking His part,
No humiliation, no place in the heart;
No thought of the Savior, no sorrow for sin,
No prayer for His favor, no room in the inn.

Refrain

No one to receive Him, no welcome while here,
No balm to relieve Him, no staff but a spear;
No seeking His treasure, no weeping for sin,
No doing His pleasure, no room in the inn.

Refrain


Lydia's first Christmas. The first Christmas with our children always comes with many, many Christmas tree training sessions. She's plucked a star off our tree in this picture. I snapped the shot before we started "training."

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas in Song and Photo - Saturday

One simple thing that gives a great deal of clarity to this hymn is the comma. The song does not refer to "merry gentlemen." Instead, the term "rest ye merry" in this day was used the same way we use "rest assured." You could say the the first line more colloquially this way: "With certainty, men, do not dismay, remember Christ our Savior..."

"God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen"

God rest ye merry, gentlemen, let nothing you dismay,
Remember Christ our Savior was born on Christmas Day;
To save us all from Satan’s power when we were gone astray.

Refrain
O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy;
O tidings of comfort and joy.

In Bethlehem, in Israel, this blessèd Babe was born,
And laid within a manger upon this blessèd morn;
The which His mother Mary did nothing take in scorn.

Refrain

From God our heavenly Father a blessèd angel came;
And unto certain shepherds brought tidings of the same;
How that in Bethlehem was born the Son of God by name.

Refrain

“Fear not, then,” said the angel, “Let nothing you afright
This day is born a Savior of a pure virgin bright,
To free all those who trust in Him from Satan’s power and might.”

Refrain

The shepherds at those tidings rejoiced much in mind,
And left their flocks a-feeding in tempest, storm and wind,
And went to Bethl’em straightaway this blessèd Babe to find.

Refrain

But when to Bethlehem they came where our dear Savior lay,
They found Him in a manger where oxen feed on hay;
His mother Mary kneeling unto the Lord did pray.

Refrain

Now to the Lord sing praises all you within this place,
And with true love and brotherhood each other now embrace;
This holy tide of Christmas all others doth deface.

Refrain

God bless the ruler of this house, and send him long to reign,
And many a merry Christmas may live to see again;
Among your friends and kindred that live both far and near—

That God send you a happy new year, happy new year,
And God send you a happy new year.



This photo is from 2006. This was the last year that the man on the right is our former pastor, Bro. Gene Stokes. He founded our church in 1976 (I think, haha). Due to health reasons, Bro. Gene retired from the pastorate shortly after this Christmas. He is pastor emeritus of our church and now lives in Georgia. He loved Christmas and started a tradition at our church of everyone getting an apple and orange at Christmastime. Christmas always makes me think of Bro. Gene. Here he is pictured handing out the fruit with our current pastor (who then was serving as assistant pastor), Bro. Robert Barrow.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas in Song and Photo - Friday

Today's song is not really a Christmas song with a Christ-centered message, but grace can be seen if you apply a bit of typology.

"Good King Wenceslas"

Good King Wenceslas looked out on the Feast of Stephen,
When the snow lay round about, deep and crisp and even.
Brightly shone the moon that night, though the frost was cruel,
When a poor man came in sight, gathering winter fuel.

“Hither, page, and stand by me, if you know it, telling,
Yonder peasant, who is he? Where and what his dwelling?”
“Sire, he lives a good league hence, underneath the mountain,
Right against the forest fence, by Saint Agnes’ fountain.”

“Bring me food and bring me wine, bring me pine logs hither,
You and I will see him dine, when we bear them thither.”
Page and monarch, forth they went, forth they went together,
Through the rude wind’s wild lament and the bitter weather.

“Sire, the night is darker now, and the wind blows stronger,
Fails my heart, I know not how; I can go no longer.”
“Mark my footsteps, my good page, tread now in them boldly,
You shall find the winter’s rage freeze your blood less coldly.”

In his master’s steps he trod, where the snow lay dinted;
Heat was in the very sod which the saint had printed.
Therefore, Christian men, be sure, wealth or rank possessing,
You who now will bless the poor shall yourselves find blessing.


My third Christmas photo is of my boys at church. John is 2 months from his 3rd birthday and Ethan is a little over 1.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Ode to the Heat-Wave

I'm not a poet, though I would love to be.

'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house
Not a creature was shiv'ring, not even my spouse
The stockings we hung on the wall with much care
A fireplace burning? No one would dare.
The children were laying on top of their bed
Ne'er a blanket was needed, as cheeks were quite red.
And Dad in his shorts, and I in my summer gown
A cold glass of ice water would nicely go down.
When off in the distance there arose such a clatter,
I lifted an eyebrow to see what was the matter.
Amidst this heat wave the temperature had risen
To temps so high that turned on the air conditionin'
What else could there be to baffle my reason?
Sultry weather dampens the Christmas season!
When, what to my wondering eyes do I see.
Hark! 'Tis our family Christmas tree!
The fan and air had stirred up the tinsel
No longer was it hanging, straight as a pencil.
Hoping and praying for winter's cool chill
Florida's left out of the freezing feel!
But now I exclaim, without even a slight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a COLD night!"

Christmas in Song and Photo - Thursday

This classic is surely one that everyone knows. It's another one that sings of doctrine after doctrine after doctrine. So many times we sing and we don't think about what's being said. There is enough Bible in this song to be able to lead someone to salvation. My favorite verse, I think, is the fifth.

"Hark! The Herald Angels Sing"

Hark! The herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King;
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!”
Joyful, all ye nations rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;
With th’angelic host proclaim,
“Christ is born in Bethlehem!”

Refrain
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!”

Christ, by highest Heav’n adored;
Christ the everlasting Lord;
Late in time, behold Him come,
Offspring of a virgin’s womb.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
Hail th’incarnate Deity,
Pleased with us in flesh to dwell,
Jesus our Emmanuel.

Refrain

Hail the heav’nly Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings,
Ris’n with healing in His wings.
Mild He lays His glory by,
Born that man no more may die.
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.

Refrain

Come, Desire of nations, come,
Fix in us Thy humble home;
Rise, the woman’s conqu’ring Seed,
Bruise in us the serpent’s head.
Now display Thy saving power,
Ruined nature now restore;
Now in mystic union join
Thine to ours, and ours to Thine.

Refrain

Adam’s likeness, Lord, efface,
Stamp Thine image in its place:
Second Adam from above,
Reinstate us in Thy love.
Let us Thee, though lost, regain,
Thee, the Life, the inner man:
O, to all Thyself impart,
Formed in each believing heart.

Refrain

I had to search for this one. Today's picture comes from Christmas 2004. Here John is 22 months old and Ethan is about 7 weeks old.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas in Song and Photo - Wednesday

I thought it would be fun to spend a week sharing a favorite Christmas song of mine along with a favorite Christmas picture. If I do a week's worth, it will take us up to Christmas Eve!

The first Christmas hymn I wanted to share was the one that the youth group sang this year. You'll notice there are 21 verses and we did not sing all of them! But we did sing eight of them. I had not heard this song until I found it in a Christmas songbook in early December. I love songs that don't stop with the birth of Christ, but go on to tell why He was born. You can catch the tune at Cyberhymnal by clicking the title.

"A Child This Day Is Born"

A Child this day is born,
A Child of high renown.
Most worthy of a scepter,
A scepter and a crown.

Refrain

Noëls, noëls, noëls,
Noëls sing all we may,
Because the King of all kings
Was born this blessèd day.

The which the holy prophets
Spoke of long time before,
That from the fall of Adam
He should us all restore.

Refrain

This Child both God and Man
From Heaven down to us came,
He is the King of all Kings,
And Jesus is His Name.

Refrain

These tidings shepherds heard
In their field watching their fold,
Was by an angel unto them
That night revealed and told.

Refrain

Who standing near by them
To them shinèd so bright,
That they amazèd were
At that most glorious sight.

Refrain

To whom the angel spoke,
Saying, “Be not afraid;
Be glad, poor silly shepherds;
Why are you so dismayed?”

Refrain

“For lo, I bring you tidings
Of gladness and of mirth,
Which cometh to all people by
This holy Infant’s birth.”

Refrain

“Him hath God lifted up
As light and shepherd’s horn,
Which in the city of David
This present time was born.”

Refrain

“The only Son of God was He
The Lord and God most highest;
And He is the true Shepherd,
The young Child Jesus Christ.”

Refrain

Then there was with the angel
A host incontinent
Of heavenly bright soldiers,
Which from the Highest was sent.

Refrain

Lauding the Lord our God,
And His celestial King;
“All glory be in paradise,”
This heavenly host did sing.

Refrain

“Glory be unto our God,
That sitteth still on high,
With praises and with triumph great,
And joyful melody.”

Refrain

But when this holy army
Of heavenly soldiers bright
Was unto God returnèd
And vanished out of sight;

Refrain

The shepherds hearts joyful
At this great glorious news
That the King of all kings
Was risen amongst the Jews.

Refrain

Without the least of hindrance
Anon they went in then,
And found the young Child Jesus Christ
Thus born in Bethlehem.

Refrain

And as the angel told them,
So to them did appear;
They found the young Child Jesus Christ
With Mary his mother dear.

Refrain

Now such a place it was
Where this was come to pass
For want of room this Child was laid
Betwixt an ox and ass.

Refrain

Not sumptuously, but simply
Was this young King arrayed,
A manger was the cradle
Where this young Child was laid.

Refrain

No pride at all was found
In this most holy Child,
But He being void of all sin
The Lamb of God most mild.

Refrain

His body unto bitter pains
He gave to set us free:
He is our Savior Jesus Christ
And none but only He.

Refrain

To Father, Son and Holy Ghost
All glory be therefore,
To Whom be all dominion
Both now and evermore.

Refrain



For my photo, here is one of our family taken Sunday morning after church.


Lydia had just woken up from her typical nursery nap, which explains her frown.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Simple Woman's Daybook - December 14, 2008

For Today...

Outside my window...overcast skies and rather chilly and windy. It seems to me a dreary day.

I am thinking...about the children's Christmas play tonight. I'm nervous as can be and I don't think that the children are one bit!

From the learning rooms...we are working on memorizing John 3:16-21. Also, we are studying the birth of Christ. John is working on addition. Ethan is starting to read sentences.

I am thankful for...tonight. My mom, dad, and father-in-law are coming to church tonight. (I didn't list my mother-in-law because she always comes with us...not hard feelings!)

I am wearing...from the waist, down I'm wearing what I wore to church: a dressy cream skirt, and brown boots that go just above my ankles. Now I'm wearing a red, long-sleeved t-shirt.

From the kitchen...)today? Absolutely nothing. We had leftovers for lunch and we'll be eating at church tonight.

I am reading...)I'm still working on finished Unafraid, but not making much progress on it. Of course, I'm reading the Bible.

I am hoping...that the children's Christmas play goes well!

I am creating...a skirt for Lydia and "superhero" capes for the boys, all Christmas gifts. For today, I am adding songs to the youth group's song folders.

I am hearing...Lydia fuss. She just got up from a nap. John is talking to me. I am streaming FBN radio. I hear Jeremy snoring. Ethan is still napping.

Around the house...Thanks are sort of out of sorts from such a busy few weeks. There are signs that the teenagers have been here. Our Christmas party was last night.

One of my favorite things...I love the Christmas season and what its TRUE meaning is. Not just that Christ was born, but why He was born.

A few plans for the rest of the week...)Monday we have dentist appointments, Tuesday Ethan sees his allergy specialist. I hope to working on the church's float for the Christmas parade. I want to finish Christmas sewing. I disparately need to pick the garden.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

Sorry, no time for a picture today! :)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Taking a Deep Breath

What a busy week! It seems like the Christmas season is whirling right by us at record speed! Our "family revival" was a huge blessing. I thank the Lord for Bro. Ballew and for the insight the Lord gave him. One thing that the Lord pressed upon my heart was praying for my children, and for their protection from Satan and strength to control their flesh. Yes, these things are already a matter of prayer, but how much more in these latter days are our children attacked from every side?

I also wanted to share my feelings on the homeschool fellowship I attended last week. I know that I can't base a final opinion on a sole visit. From that single visit, I could not have been more pleased with it. I really enjoyed it. It was not a very big group, yet not a very small group. There were students from high school seniors all the way down to cradle babies. The mothers who were there were so friendly, as were the ladies who were working with the students. I am looking forward to our next fellowship.

Some fantastically cold weather has descended upon northwest Florida. Here are my little snow bunnies all bundled up...well, minus the snow.


Ethan with his extremely oversized gloves. Warm gloves isn't something we exactly keep around.


John, who lately, never thinks he's cold.


The only gloves I could find for Lydia were baby mittens that didn't even have thumbs in them. It was very difficult to get them on her, trust me.


This photo is from November. As we were decorating the tree, Lydia would just hold up a strand of beads or garland and seem to expect it to stick as if it were magnetic! haha!

Friday, December 5, 2008

From Friday to Friday

In case you are seeking something to cook for the holidays, maybe you could consider the following holidays occurring from this Friday to the next:

  • December 5 National Sacher Torte Day (doesn't this look wonderful?)
  • December 6 National Gazpacho Day (why they made Gazpacho day in winter is beyond me!)
  • December 7 National Cotton Candy Day (maybe you could rent a cotton candy machine for Christmas?)
  • December 8 National Brownie Day (I picked the chocolate mint brownie recipe because I looove mint! Oh, and I would certainly buy the alcohol-free creme de menthe.)
  • December 9 National Pastry Day (a recipe for baklava by my culinary favorite, featuring phyllo starring in the role of pastry)
  • December 11 National Noodle-Ring Day (I found this image after searching Google images for noodle ring. It looks like congealed noodles! Bla! The recipe doesn't call for gelatin. Guess it's stabilized by the fat in the butter, egg yolk and chicken stock. Think I'll pass on this one.)
  • December 12 National Ambrosia Day (I never touch the stuff)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Revival for the Home

This week (Wednesday through Saturday) we are having a special treat at church. Bro. Stinnett Ballew is preaching a series on the home. Last night's sermon was such a blessing. He preached "Ten Big Guns of the Devil." Bro. Ballew brought up 10 different vices used by Satan to attack the home. I personally was challenged and the Lord spoke to me about guarding against those "big guns." I may be quite out-of-pocket this week, as I am very busy with my home and children.

I was also invited by a lady who has recently joined our church, to attend with her a homeschool group. I'm very excited about going today. This is our second year in homeschooling and I have wanted to join a group since day one. I'll let y'all know how it goes, that is, once this week is finished.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Play Clothes


(You can click for larger)

Well, the pink is actually for church, not play. I still have lots to do, including some material that is intended for Christmas gifts. I think it will be done in plenty of time. The pink and camouflage are a cotton, more intended for summer wear. The blue jumper with the flower is, I'd guess you'd call it a low-pile corduroy. The blue skirt is a heavy denim and the brown is a medium weight double knit. There will be a denim jumper and a blue corduroy skirt that I've almost completed.

I'm not a fantastic seamstress yet, but practice makes perfect!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving (tomorrow)!

A little photo of our latest school project. After a few wounded and burnt fingers on my part, here's what we made. We've worked on a Mayflower lesson for about 2 weeks. Trust me, it's not been all about the turkey. The turkey was just easier for us to do together.


O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever. --Psalm 118:1

Home TLC

I wish I had taken a good "before," but I didn't. I'll remember that for future reference. You can get a vague idea what it was at this past post.


Here's my love. I had to ask extra nice to get a photo out of him.


And he had lots of "help."



The finished product.




Mom's desk


I don't think the sheers match particularly well anymore. I have some things in mind, but here near Christmastime, I'm waiting.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

What Have You Done?

Borrowed from Sharon and Michelle :)


Bold
the things you’ve done.

1. Started your own blog

2. Slept under the stars

3. Played in a band (in high school band)

4. Visited Hawaii

5. Watched a meteor shower

6. Given more than you can afford to charity

7. Been to Disneyland/world

8. Climbed a mountain

9. Held a praying mantis

10. Sang/played a solo (both)

11. Bungee jumped

12. Visited Paris

13. Watched a lightning storm at sea

14. Taught yourself an art from scratch

15. Adopted a child (I've been adopted, though!)

16. Had food poisoning

17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty

18. Grown your own vegetables

19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France

20. Slept on an overnight train

21. Had a pillow fight

22. Hitch hiked

23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill (I'm ashamed to admit it, but I did as a lost teenager)

24. Built a snow fort - snow?! Isn't that the white stuff you see in postcards?

25. Held a lamb (We did a live manger scene at church one year and I got to hold a lamb. It was the sweetest little thing!)

26. Gone skinny dipping

27. Run a Marathon

28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice

29. Seen a total eclipse

30. Watched a sunrise or sunset (both)

31. Hit a home run - I don't guess video games count, huh...

32. Been on a cruise

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person

34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors

35. Seen an Amish community

36. Taught yourself a new language - I hope to one day.

37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person

39. Gone rock climbing

40. Seen Michelangelo’s David in person

41. Sung karaoke

42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt

43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant - we've actually had a stranger buy our meal though.

44. Visited Africa

45. Walked on a beach by moonlight

46. Been transported in an ambulance

47. Had your portrait painted

48. Gone deep sea fishing

49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person

50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling (When I was very little, say 2 or 3, my dad used to go snorkeling in the Gulf. He would put me in an inflatable toy raft and take me out with him. Although I wasn't the one actually snorkeling, I still went, so that counts! It was pretty fun...until we got so far out that we couldn't see the shoreline, and the waves stopped and the Gulf was all smooth, then it was scary. Especially when Dad would stay underwater for several minutes!)

52. Kissed in the rain

53. Played in the mud

54. Gone to a drive-in theater

55. Been in a movie

56. Visited the Great Wall of China

57. Started a business (sort of, we took over an existing business, but it was just like starting a new one, with the business license and such. We already had clientèle)

58. Taken a martial arts class

59. Visited Russia

60. Served at a soup kitchen

61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies

62. Gone whale watching

63. Gotten flowers for no reason

64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma (just blood)

65. Gone sky diving

66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp

67. Bounced a check

68. Flown in a helicopter

69. Saved a favorite childhood toy - I am the exact opposite of a pack-rat, so...

70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial

71. Eaten Caviar

72. Pieced a quilt

73. Stood in Times Square

74. Toured the Everglades

75. Been fired from a job - sort of like a voluntary lay off, but not fired

76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London

77. Broken a bone (nothing major: a toe and a nose)

78. Been on a speeding motorcycle - not a motorcycle, but a very fast speeding four-wheeler right on the main highway! Don't ever let Jeremy drive!

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person

80. Published a book

81. Visited the Vatican - ya know, if you've seen the Sistine Chapel (#49), then you've been to the Vatican.

82. Bought a brand new car

83. Walked in Jerusalem

84. Had your picture in the newspaper

85. Read the entire Bible

86. Visited the White House

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating - I've watched Jeremy and my father-in-law do it every deer season. Watching is enough for me!

88. Had chickenpox

89. Saved someone’s life (I would say that keeping Ethan away from peanuts on a daily basis is saving his life)

90. Sat on a jury

91. Met someone famous

92. Joined a book club

93. Lost a loved one

94. Made a baby

95. Seen the Alamo in person

96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake

97. Been involved in a law suit

98. Owned a cell phone

99. Been stung by a bee

Friday, November 21, 2008

Sew, Sow and Home

I have been trying to make Lydia some clothes for play, and I have made some progress. My mom was sweet, in that she made Lydia a nice toasty warm nightgown. I wish I had one just like it for me!It is just a wee-touch long, but I haven't noticed her having trouble with it. After all, the longer it is, the more use she'll get out of it, right?



I would go and get out some of what I've already made for her, but I want her to have them on for the picture. She's still napping. It's just not the same affect if you lie them out flat, ya know?

Oh, and I added a Christmas layout! I guess it's more like a wintertime layout, but whatever. :)

On a more random note, Jeremy and I took a trip to Brewton last night. On the way there is a little fabric store that I've always wanted to go into, but it's only open during office hours. I don't usually go to Brewton without Jeremy, so I've never been able to go. Anyway, they were open late last night for some sort of Christmas retailer something-or-another. *gets to the point* Jeremy offered to take me to the fabric store when we noticed it was open (I would have never, ever asked him to!). Can you believe that I won a door prize?!

The gift was wrapped and entitled "Sow and Sew." You'll see why when you see what was inside:

  • first off, the pot is just adorable!
  • a 3-piece set of garden tools
  • 3 packs of seeds
  • a kneeling pad
  • a fan/mister
  • gardening gloves
  • Aveeno hand lotion
  • a generous yard of fabric
  • about 2/3 yard of matching lace
  • a yard ornament...a cherub?
  • Yankee Candle pumpkin and vanilla spice potpourri
  • if you click to enlarge, you'll see these brightly colored worm-things. Any ideas as to what purpose they may accomplish? Were they just for decoration or something?
  • a pen with some personality


You'll also notice the pretty shades of blue in the background. Hopefully tonight, they'll be separated by chair rail! It's so swell having a handy husband. Our home face lift continues!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Light of the World Is Still Jesus!



A very close friend of mine sent this link to a sermon not too long ago. The message was preached by Bro. David Grice, Pastor of Lighthouse Baptist Church in Grand Prairie, Texas. It's quite chilling.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Lydia Singing

I don't know how well this video is going to work, because I've never done this before, but here goes. You can turn off my background music at the bottom. Here's Lydia (21 months old) singing the latter part of Jesus Loves Me:


Mother's translation: Yes, Jesus loves me. The Bible tells me so.

Other exciting happenings from today:

  • As I was organizing the day's school lesson and preparing this chicken broth that's been simmering all day, John comes in with an arm full of mustard greens and says, "Mom can we have mustard greens for supper?" Well, I guess since you picked them...
  • Ethan has trouble saying his "R" sounds. They typically come out as "W's." Yesterday he said his R's correctly when he was sounding out his words. It's the first time that I've heard him ever, ever say the R sound. He made even more progress today!
  • We're working with the boys to learn their parts for the Christmas program. They are making excellent progress.
  • Lydia is having much trouble during school. She's just not happy to play quietly and alone. I can't play with her. I have 100% no regrets or complaints, but homeschooling with a baby is really challenging!
  • Just through hearing the boys' Bible lessons, Lydia is starting to remember Scripture! What a blessing! Huzzah for homeschool!
  • We're waiting for UPS to bring a big shipment of ammunition. Lots of people we know are stocking up before the President-elect becomes the President of the United States of America. He has endorsed raising taxes on guns and ammunition by a staggering 500 percent. We're getting it while we can...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Simple Woman's Daybook - November 15, 2008

For Today...

Outside my window...the wind is howling as a cold front comes through. It's very cold here...for Florida.

I am thinking...about what we shall do once Jeremy gets home from work.

From the learning rooms...delving into our usual study of phonics. Both boys have done so well with learning to read. I'm also contemplating if I will use the afternoon to try to organize this room, which is used for so many purposes. Clutter accumulates here very quickly.

I am thankful for...Lydia doing so extremely well with potty training. I'm also thankful for the evening we spent last night with our youth group and for the special little lady we met on visitation Thursday who joined us for our evening.

I am wearing... a long sleeved pink knit top and an old and worn denim skirt. As always, my old faithful tennis shoes. Hair is pony-tailed today.

From the kitchen...nothing terribly exciting yet, but the day is young. Maybe a loaf of bread. We'll be having sweet potatoes tonight. I also need to put up more greens.

I am reading...Unafraid: Mary, Lineage of Grace, vol 5 by Francine Rivers...still :)

I am hoping...that I accomplish all these little goals I have for today. I'm praying that the young lady who came over yesterday will join us for Sunday School tomorrow.

I am creating...simple jumpers for Lydia, who needs play clothes badly.

Around the house...the house needs sweeping up from our visitors last night, but other than that, is in good order. I'm still hoping that we're soon able to paint the house.

One of my favorite things...is the sound of my children getting along well, as they are doing now.

A few plans for the rest of the week...since the week is nearly finished, not much. Hopefully working on the youth Christmas play, having a great day at church tomorrow, and planning for Thanksgiving.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

Lydia is swinging on the boys' bunk bed, as we are tucking them in.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Quotes on Influence

Are you somebody's inspiration? You should be. There should be about your life those qualities which would inspire someone to nobler living.
- Dr. Lee Roberson, "Two Dogs and Peace of Mind," 1974

As I was thumbing through a book of quotes by Dr. Roberson, I came across this one. It caused me to think about the very special ladies in my life who encourage me to go on for Christ. What I find amazing, and almost ironic, is that those ladies who inspire me the most will at times come and share that I edify them also! When I count how much of a Godly example these ladies are to me, I am truly humbled to think that God could use "little ole me" to encourage others.

Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. --Proverbs 27:17

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Family Portraits

We try to get our family portraits annually near Christmastime. Here are the better ones from our shoot Monday. Don't worry, it's all legal. We typically buy the copyrights. :-)


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Just Sharing



Food for Thought

I stumbled upon this quote this week and I've been thinking it over at length:

However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.

GEORGE WASHINGTON, Farewell Address, Sep. 17, 1796

I write this in the wake of Tuesday's election results. Such truth in his words, isn't it? I haven't spent too much time on this blog in the field of politics. Not because I'm ill-informed or anything, but that's just not where God is leading.

When I turned 18, I asked God to show me how to vote. Here is where I had peace in deciding how to vote: maybe there will be a time when no one who is a born-again Christian is running. Just be sure that your man isn't crossing any of the boundaries I set up in the Bible and you'll be voting right.

This year was the first year that I didn't vote Republican. Under my husband's leadership, we voted third-party. Of course, mour guy didn't win. But in the end, I voted for a man who was right with God's Word. You wouldn't believe how great I felt! I didn't check an "R" because an "R" had to be better than the "D." (it's not always. Many "R's" are "D's" in denial. Forget what the news feeds us and read voting records. There's where the truth is). I didn't have to settle on "the lesser of two evils." (Which is still evil, I remind you). I held my candidate up to the Bible.

We voted for Chuck Baldwin or the Constitution Party. Yes, he's a pastor. Is he wrong for leaving his pastorate? Is he campaigning and then "falling back on" his church? I don't know. But I'm certain that even if he's dead-wrong for leaving his church, we'd still be better off with him than with McCain or Obama.

You don't have to agree with me. After I left my voting precinct Tuesday, I can attest that I had the peace of God...far more than I'd ever had voting before.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Blogiversary

Just by happenstance, I noted that I began this blog 1 year ago today. I've actually been blogging since about 2003, but I deleted my old blog. It had sort of taken on a personality that I didn't like. Anyway, I'm rambling again.

Happy blogiversary to "A Picture of Grace!" [insert noisemaker racket here]

Friday, October 31, 2008

A Late Happy Birthday Post


Ethan celebrated his fourth birthday Saturday. They spent the morning with Jeremy's parents on an outing at Turtle Point. When he came home he had a viral fever of 102! It reminded me of John's second Christmas when he spent the morning vomiting. Poor babies. Anyway, we already had several party guests, most of which already had their turns with the fever bug and weren't affected. We gave him a bit of Tylenol to break the fever and then he was right as rain.



John and Ethan showing off their Red Rider BB guns. Each boy received this on their fourth birthdays.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Soothing Sleep


My Lydia catching a nap at our Naval Air Museum field trip a while back.

This may not be a topic that's really blog-worthy, but sometimes the smallest things are really worth sharing, I think.

I am so very thankful that lately, say for about a week, the children have had long, restful sleep. Which means, of course, that mom and dad have had long, restful sleep. Jeremy and I typically don't go to bed until 11:00 every night. We would like to get to bed earlier usually, but I'm not usually able to do it while trying to wrap up a bit of housework, sewing, or preparation for school the next day. Plus, Jeremy and I try to make a point each night to spend quality time together after the kids have gone off to bed. We also set the alarm clock for 5:30 each morning except Sundays when we rise at 6:30. Needless to say that doesn't leave a whole lot of time for sleep.

It's even a bit worse when one of the children have a bed night. All of our children usually sleep well. Lydia has sort of been going through this bad dream phase. When she has a dream she wakes up with shrieks of terror. Ethan is still working on holding his bladder all night. He'll typically get up once to take care of things which will always wake me up. For about a week and a half all the kids have slept right through till dawn...or almost dawn. They're very early risers. Today, I'm very thankful of a week of good, restful sleep!

When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet. --Proverbs 3:24

My blog posts have become few and far between, I know. Some of it is because I have been trying to sew for Lydia. Jeremy and I actually tried to find store-bought clothes for her last week. HAHA! That was not funny. Instead we just settled on a trip to Joann's. I'm working on converting those purchases into warm winter clothes. (I'm using the word "warm" loosely. Warm for a Floridian, of course!) I promise pictures once I make a bit more headway.


This photo has nothing to do with sleep, but here's me and Jeremy at the Naval Air Museum.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Simple Woman's Daybook - Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Outside my Window...a bright beautiful Florida sun which is producing temps of 84 at the moment...rather on the warm-side for mid-October.


I am thinking...of all the the mental notes I have posted regarding my responsibilities prior to my departure to our church's ladies retreat tomorrow.


I am thankful for...God's peace in such a chaotic world.


From the kitchen...breakfast was cheese grits and scrambled eggs, lunch was homemade ham and cheese "Lunchables," for supper, grilled (or maybe fried) pork chops, broccoli and homemade cheese sauce, and yellow summer squash. I'm also working on making food while I'm gone on my trip: a loaf of bread, a lasagna, and a pot of vegetable beef soup.


I am wearing...denim skirt, not very long: say below mid-calf. A half-length sleeve red knit shirt, and my faithful tennis shoes...a must on a busy day.


I am reading...I'm trying to finally put the wraps on The Gospel According to Disney: Faith, Trust, and Pixie Dust by Mark I. Pinsky. It's a pretty good read, but not what I expected. You just have to remember that Mr. Pinsky's views aren't far right. But he is pretty objective. I thought, with such a strong title, that he would be blasting Disney for all of it's evil wickedness. I was wrong.

In my Bible study, I'm reading the book of Hosea. I love the way that God's word gives illustrations, such as Hosea's adulterous wife and his faithfulness to her, to demonstrate truths in our Christian walk.

I opened Sense and Sensibility this weekend, more on that below.


I am hoping...to have a good time while on our ladies retreat. I don't usually have a great time if separated from my family. I'm also hoping (and praying) that the children behave for Jeremy as he tackles teaching his first homeschool lesson.


I am creating...a loaf of whole wheat bread. Dinner for several days. When I get home, I plan to start Lydia a new dress. She desperately needs play clothes.


I am hearing...Lydia jabber as she's sitting in my lap and the boys sweetly playing together.


Around the house...typical of a home with very young kids. There is definitely plenty of children's clutter lying about, but it's not too messy.


One of my favorite things...I've thought several times this week about how wonderful it is to live in the country. Sunday afternoon I took Sense and Sensibility on the back porch swing. It was chilly...for Florida, say 76 degrees, so I took a blanket and a cup of tea with me. I could hear the wind in the trees. I could tell the difference between the wind when it was in nearby trees and distant trees. The air was sweet and it was very very quiet and peaceful outside


A few plans for the rest of the week...Spending time in Pigeon Forge, TN with the ladies of our church. Again, I'm praying that the Lord help me have a good time of fellowship, but I'm usually so unhappy when separated from my husband and/or children.


Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...Monday, a week ago, we took the children, along with my parents to the Naval Air Museum and Fort Barrancas at NAS Pensacola. We also stopped by the Pensacola Lighthouse, only to learn that it was only open on Saturdays. Here are a few of the children at Fort Barrancas. I plan to put more of the photos up from our adventure soon.

John, Lydia, and Ethan standing on the drawbridge of Fort Barrancas. This is the entrance is called the "sallyport." (click for larger)

John balances on an old cannon atop the fort on the parade ground.

Lydia poses for me up in a gun port.

Civil war era photos of action at Fort Barrancas.

Monday, October 13, 2008

School talk

In our social studies unit, we have been studying the concept of community. We reviewed different sorts of community helpers. Today we talked about Daddy working at our small engine shop and Mommy working in the home. The kids then drew pictures of Daddy and Mommy working. Then we talked about what the children were going to be when they grew up. We learned that to be happy we must pray and ask God to show us what He wants us to be. They turned their pages over and drew what they thought God wanted them to be when they grew up. Ethan was adamant that God wanted him to be a firefighter. The proclamation was made with as much excitement and animation as one could imagine. (This is the heart of the whole story) When I asked John what God's will was for him, he just looked up at me timidly and said, God hasn't told me yet. It just melted my heart. He looked so disappointed that he didn't know God's will for him...15 years from now! If only we grown-ups were so keen.

Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. --Matthew 18:4

One other thing worth mentioning is that my mom got the boys a Betta to serve as "classroom pet." They take turns feeding it. Anyway, I'm honestly not too much on fish. But this fish is so great! He has a ton of personality...for a fish, that is. What I love is that you can go up to his bowl and peer into it, he will get so aggressive! He'll go up right to your nose and flare his gills and fins. I always get the biggest laugh out of him.

a male crown-tail Betta, very similar to the one we have.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Breaking the Silence

not an intentional silence, mind you, but I lengthy one. I've been trying to get back into schooling and wearing all the hats that I wear. I'll catch up on what I've been up to.

We started school about 7 weeks ago. With the boys, school has been a breeze. They are eager and gobbling up their educations. On the other hand, Lydia has decided that it is much more fun to plunder through the house and get in all the home no-no's while mother is preoccupied. For example, today school had to be interrupted when I needed to call the pediatrician. Lydia had climbed up to the table and pulled out my gum. She ate all the gum I had in the package. I don't know how many it was, but I found 9 wrappers. The doctor said that she'd be just fine though. I don't much buy in to "old wives tales," but I wanted to be sure that her insides wouldn't gum up or that the gum would be in her intestines for 7 years. Yes, I know I am silly. I'm going to have to be more innovative in keeping her occupied so that I can teach in peace.

Our church held a missions conference, which was preached by Dr. Terry Ellis. It was fabulous! The Lord really really spoke to us about our faith promise missions, and giving in general. We were very much challenged. To kick off the conference we had an international supper. There were 4 tables. Each table showcased an ethnic meal from 1 of 4 nations, in which our church supports a mission work. There were meals from Mexico, Italy, Cuba and Japan. My close friend, Melissa, and I worked on the Cuba table. You'd think it would be easy, but nothing is ever, ever easy in this life, is it? It was really a lot of fun though and I look forward to another international supper.

Since my last post we also had to cancel a ladies retreat, courtesy of the 2008 hurricane season. Such a disappointment, but I hope to make up for it in October when the ladies of our church are going to Gatlinburg, TN to see the foliage. I've never been to the mountains in the fall, so I'm really looking forward to it. The leaves don't really change here. The few trees that lose their leaves...well, they just sort of go away quietly.

Although I haven't been blogging, I have been about with my camera. Living in the country, you get to experience so many things that the Bible talks about. I mean farming sorts of things. Many times I see a farmer planting, harvesting, whatever and the Lord calls to remembrance a Scripture. I'll have my little collection complete in the next few weeks.

Below are two worksheets from my little men. John has been making the transition to cursive writing very well. He doesn't seem to have forgotten anything at all since last year. Ethan is starting preschool a year early. He is 3 and is learning K4 work. I also decided to teach him John's k5 (kindergarten) numbers lessons. He's really doing far better than I even expected him to. We are going to take him to get his eyes checked however. He's been having trouble seeing the dry-erase board.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Where Were You Seven Years Ago?


I read a blog entry from the writer of northescambia.com today. It was entitled Where Were You That September Morning? It really got me to thinking back to that morning and I thought I'd share with everyone.

I was working, at the time, at Whitney bank when they had a branch open near my home. One of my co-workers had gone in ahead of me to turn off the alarm. When she came back out and gave the "all clear" to come in, she asked, "Did you hear about the World Trade Center. A plane crashed into it!" I remember asking in reply with a mildly sarcastic giggle, "What? Did he not see the giant building there? It's only the biggest building in the world." I remember thinking "What a dope! How do you hit something that size?" As the events unfolded, I was numb with astonishment. We were being attacked! That sort of stuff doesn't happen in the U.S. After the second tower was hit another co-worker went home to get a 13" TV for us to watch. She had just gotten it plugged in and the first tower fell.

It was a very somber day at work that day. Being a country bank, people usually would come in and sit and chat for a while. They'd drink coffee and talk about their families and such, and such conversations usually involved all the branch employees. That day wasn't so cheery. People came in quietly and left equally quietly. If they lingered, they watched the news report on TV in silence.

We as a nation, following that day, were so proud to stand together. Forever etched in my memory is the Congress singing together "God Bless America."

Never forget...

Saturday, September 6, 2008

more of life's little treasures

Dear husband, Jeremy, spotted this little gem between the Purple Martin houses as I was seeing him off to work.



It was an exceptionally dewy morning and the web looked just like a tiny string of pearls.



This is the same photo, but magnified a whole lot. Pardon the lack of clarity, but here you can see the little "strings of pearls."

I nearly called my boys outside to come and see, but my boys are so rough-and-tumble, I was sure the web would be gone in no more than 3 seconds.

There be four things which are little upon the earth, but they are exceeding wise: The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer; The conies are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks; The locusts have no king, yet go they forth all of them by bands; The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings’ palaces.
--Proverbs 30:24-28

Thursday, August 28, 2008

giveaway you won't want to miss

Christina at HsKubes' Haven at Home is having another of her marvelous giveaways. You won't want to miss out on this one! Check it out and join in the fun.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Surviving Fay

I haven't been spending too much time on the computer lately as we've been weathering out this storm. The wind has been rather inconsistent. I'd image that it's been steady at 15 mph with gusts around 30 or so. I had one gust hit me while I was out feeding the chickens and it knocked me back. That was sort of fun, but other than that, it has been more of a rain maker. I'm not talking about the 33 inches that some places had. It's been a steady moderate rain. I think that, thus far, our rain gauge has measured about 4 inches over 2 days. Most of my time has really been taken up in keeping the children occupied, since they can't go outside.

I was going to take my camcorder and video tape some of the wind, but then I didn't. So much for good ideas... haha

We're supposed to keep on with the steady rain until Wednesday. By then we'll all be ready to get outdoors!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

pinching pennies


I love foaming hand soap. I hate the price. One day I decided to try using regular liquid hand soap and watering it down, just to see if it will work. Well, it did. I came to find out that this isn't some amazing discovery on my part, but that many people do this already.

I bought the foaming pump. Once the soap was gone in it, I refill it with a solution diluted to 1 part liquid soap to 2 parts water. Sometimes I dilute it 1 part soap to 1.5 parts water. Different brands have different consistencies of soap. I stir it gently to dilute the soap. Not only do I get to have my wonderful foaming soap, I'm saving a whole lot of money.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

First day of school



The first worksheet for this school year. Lydia did okay. She didn't sit in the chair long...but I didn't expect her to. Ethan was a bit whiny when I gave an instruction he didn't like. John remembers A LOT from last year. I'm so glad...maybe all that teaching stuck with him? :P

Yes, the wall has still not been painted. :)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

flipping through images

Yesterday I was scouring the internet looking for cute images for my blog. There were scores of images that I found that had this same message, but this particular one keeps coming back to mind. I am not implying that it is cute.



It speaks enough for itself, really. If people want a dirty house, that is certainly their business. But my life is waste if I'm a good housekeeper?

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! --Isaiah 5:20

As for me and my house, today, we are cleaning blinds. We (me and the children) have thus far cleaned 3 sets of 70-inch blinds. Talk about heavy! I still have a few single window width blinds to go. Some of the blinds are in rooms where children are sleeping, so it will have to wait an hour or so.

Here's how it worked today: I pulled the pull cord to make the blinds easy to tote. Then I laid them over the clothesline. John sprayed them down with a mild cleaner in a spray bottle while Ethan hosed them off with the water hose. Lydia played in the puddles. After about half-an-hour had passed I went out to give the clothesline a good shake, to get off excess moisture. An hour later, I brought them back in and hung them up. Well, I hung up two of three. The blinds that go in our bedroom are far too heavy for me to lift and fit into the hanging clips. That will have to be a job for my muscular hubby!