Thursday, April 29, 2010

Spring Cleaning Fever

Wow! I've had a major case of spring cleaning fever this week! And that's a good thing. It all started last Saturday when the weather was forecast to be pretty yucky ~ thankfully it didn't get too bad. We chose to stay home and not venture out into the possible storms. It felt like a holiday to not have to be anywhere that day. I loved it!

So early Saturday morning I headed up to the attic - well actually I started on the stairs and worked my way up - and the cleaning out and re-organizing began - by the evening time I had an organized attic space. But the cleaning out and re-organizing hasn't stopped yet. I've been doing a little here and there on the main floor of the house for the past few weeks, but I got serious this week. Brad worked on the unfinished side of the basement over the weekend, and I have worked on the finished side for most of the week. That chore is almost complete. I even had the opportunity to go through all of our old storage boxes, and I was amazed at some of the stuff we've chosen to keep over the years! And I found some interesting things to, along with things that we'll probably need sooner or later, and now I know where they are!

We're planning to have a yard sale this Saturday, so my dining room is full of junk. Whatever doesn't sell will be headed to the dumpster or Goodwill.

I've already taken several bags of clothes and toys to a local donation box, took a huge garbage bag of clothes to the consignment shop, and I unloaded a truck full of stuff at the county dump yesterday. I've also put a lot of used home school books that I've come across this week on EBay, and almost everything has bids right now! We're going on vacation soon, so it will be nice to have some extra spending money.

Sometimes I feel like I am always cleaning out, so I tried to do an extra good job this time - you know, the kind of job where people who live in the house actually notice! :>) It's been a lot of work - and I better get busy as I still have a lot to do today, but it's worth it to make my life easier on a daily basis. Less stuff = less stress!

I had prayed to God several days ago to give me some motivation to tackle this chore, and He completely provided. Not only did He give me motivation, but He gave me the strength and health to be able to do it. I am very thankful!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Wise Words for Young Girls

The godly young men I've spoken with believe that if young women started keeping their standards high rather than settling for mediocre men, guys would be forced to make serious changes to their masculinity. And even if you are mocked, ridiculed, or ignored because of your stand, you can be sure that God will honor your decision. He paid for the treasure of your heart with His own blood. You disregard His amazing sacrifice for you when you allow your femininity to be trampled in the mud. You are a daughter of the King, so hold out for a man who has royal blood coursing through his veins. (Leslie Ludy)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Boys and Their Toys

Yesterday, I loaded up the kids and headed to the local library for story time. We were running late, and we hurriedly walked - can't run in the library :>) - to the back of the library where story time takes place. I found a seat in the middle of a bunch of people, and Matthew was sitting in my lap. I noticed a couple of ladies staring at Matthew, and when I looked over they were smiling sweetly at him. A few minutes later, I noticed someone else was doing so. I know he's cute and all, but I wasn't sure what was going on. I assumed he must be making cute faces at them or something. Then I looked down. I had forgotten that Amelia had thrown her baby doll at me while we were entering the library. Matthew had found it and was hugging it tightly. Oh, so that's what they were smiling about..... I tried to slowly release it from his grip and place it in the floor, but he wouldn't have it. He immediately started fussing, so I gave the doll back - you shouldn't fuss in the library - and of course this drew even more attention to the fact that my son was hugging a doll. So now these people think that I let my son play with dolls. Oh well, there are definitely worse things!

By the way, I am trying to build up his monster truck collection, which he loves to play with, but with three sisters, it's going to be hard to keep him away from the barbies and babies!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Happy Birthday to Cari!

We celebrated Cari's 11th birthday this Saturday with an early lunch at my mom and dad's followed by an afternoon to late evening birthday party with her friends. She says she had a great day, and I certainly enjoyed the fellowship of family and friends on that day as well! Here's a few pics from the day...


She wanted a cake like Bentley's, so I did my best to copy it. With a few helpful hints and tips from my friend, Kim, I think it turned out pretty cute! At least it looks better than my German chocolate cake!! :>)



At Nana and Grandadday's --




And then back home --


Water balloon toss --



Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Hand-Me-Downs and other things

Not only did Brad and Cari bring home the Expedition last weekend, they brought back a trunk full of dishes. My in-laws recently purchased new pots and pans and dishes for their kitchen and asked if we wanted any of their old ones. I didn't want the pots and pans, but I was happy to take the dishes. I've always liked the design and size of their old dishes, and every once in a while, believe it or not, a plate, glass, etc. gets broken around here, so any extras are always welcome.

My father-in-law also asked if I would like to have their china that his aunt gave them when they were married almost 41 years ago. I said, "Certainly!" A few years ago, my answer would have been, "no thanks." But things change. I used to only have an eye for new things - just keep the old stuff in the antique stores and far away from me. But now I've acquired a fondness for old things - especially items that are connected with family.

I had no idea what the dishes looked like and didn't even ask - I knew I'd find a place for them somewhere. They are made by Royal China, Inc, and are called "Dogwood." I like them, and I think they look nice in my breakfast room curio cabinet.


The plant on top looks like it's blowing away, but it's just reaching for the sun that shines through the nearby window.

Getting the new dishes forced me to do some cleaning out in the kitchen this week. Not bad timing after all since it is spring and time for some spring cleaning and preparing for a spring yard sale. I went through all my cabinets and anything I haven't used in the past year went into the yard sale box. I need to do this in every room, so that's what I'll be doing throughout the next few weeks as time allows. My home is so much easier to keep clean when I clear the clutter! And I've been thinking, if I can live without most of this stuff during a week-long vacation in a hotel room, why do I think I need all this stuff around me all the time? Helping my parents move last week gave me a new perspective on what I need to keep and what I don't. If it's in God's plans for us, we would still like to sell our home and move to our own little homestead someday, and if that day of moving should ever arrive, I would like to make it as easy as possible. Not that moving is ever easy, but the less stuff and clutter the better. If that day doesn't come, then I think we're still better off without the stress of too much stuff.

I'm going to change the subject now and tell you how much I love music. If I had to choose between a TV or a radio, I'd definitely choose the radio. On the way home from church last night, the song "More Like Falling in Love" by Jason Gray came on the radio. It has a happy beat to it, which I think made Cari say that it is her new favorite song. I told her that it is a good song and that it has a lot of truth in it, too.

More Like Falling in Love
Give me rules
I will break them
Give me lines
I will cross them
I need more than a truth to believe
I need a truth that lives, moves, and breathes
To sweep me off my feet
It ought to be

More like falling in love
Than something to believe in
More like losing my heart
Than giving my allegiance
Caught up, called out
Come take a look at me now
It's like I'm falling, oh
It's like I'm falling in love

Give me words
I'll misuse them
Obligations
I'll misplace them
'Cause all religion ever made of me
Was just a sinner with a stone tied to my feet
It never set me free
It's gotta be

CHORUS

...It's like I'm falling in love, love, love
Deeper and deeper
It was love that made
Me a believer
In more than a name, a faith, a creed
Falling in love with Jesus brought the change in me

So what is my overall take on this song? Legalism and just "following the rules" of Christianity gets you nowhere. Where's the joy and peace in that?? Falling in love with Jesus brings about a desire to follow His rules and to live life as His Word says I should live it, to serve Him and please Him as best as I can. "'Cause all religion ever made of me Was just a sinner with a stone tied to my feet" Isn't that the truth? These things are hard to accomplish in the name of religion. But when you have a real relationship with Jesus, the things that religion tries but fails to accomplish just come about naturally. People that are not Christians should know there is something different about all of us who claim to be Christians. We should live in such a way that they want to ask what that difference is. The only way to truly display that difference is falling in love with Jesus. To go even further, how do you fall in love with Jesus? A great place to start would be by reading His Word - that's the best way to get to know Him! - Because how can you love Someone that you don't know?....

If you haven't heard this song, I'm sure a quick Internet search will lead you to it. If you need something to get you moving today, now might be a good time to go listen to it! Or I can just go ahead and lead you to it: CLICK HERE I just watched and listened and found it impossible to sit still. I have a feeling this is going to be our "get the house clean" song this morning ~ :>)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Thankfulness

I heard a story not long ago about a man who was always thankful and didn't complain. I don't remember the whole story, but one day the weather was awful and there were a series of other unfortunate events for this man. His friends thought surely he would complain, and when they went to him they said, "you can't possibly find anything to be thankful for today." He said, "Oh, yes. I am thankful that every day is not like today."

So, that being said, I'm not going to complain about yesterday. I'm just going to say, "Lord, thank you that every day is not like yesterday, and please give me wisdom and strength for today. AMEN"

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Weekend

Cari and Brad had a great time on their father-daughter trip!
Cari on the airplane
At Joe T. Garcia's



A stop in Mississippi on the way home.

And the Mystics played awesome this Saturday. I think they ended up playing eight games that day, and out of 12 teams, here's the results ~

2nd Place!

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Challenge

Well, I did okay with the challenge, but I never did take any pictures. The only day I didn't do well was on Tuesday. We had Madison's basketball banquet to go to that evening, and since I didn't have anywhere else to go that day, I wanted to wait until later in the afternoon to do the whole hair and makeup thing.

I feel my biggest accomplishment was on Monday when I didn't have to go anywhere but got dressed anyway. I didn't feel like I needed to hide from my neighbors when the kids and I took a walk around the neighborhood that day, so that was a plus! The only problem was the children asked a few times about where we were going - they just couldn't understand why I had gotten dressed to stay home. Sad, huh?

My only problem is the fact that I feel like I can clean and do chores so much better when I'm wearing my pj's. I guess the best route for me is to get all my chores done and then not be so lazy about getting dressed after that.

That was fun, though. I love a good challenge. Now I should really be doing the "Clear Out the Clutter" challenge over at Money Saving Mom, but I think I'll save that one for next week, or the next.......

Brad and Cari are going on an expedition....

To pick up an Expedition!

I've been up since around 4:00 a.m. I would go take a nap while the others are still sleeping, but I'm sure that as soon as I drifted off to sleep Matthew would wake up, so I think I'll just wait and nap when he does this afternoon.

Why up so early? I had to take Brad and Cari to the Atlanta airport for a 7:30 flight to Ft. Worth.

Here's the story -

We've been looking into, for well over a year, getting a bigger vehicle. We have a Volvo XC90 that seats seven, which I love, but as the children get bigger, the car is getting smaller. We've been looking and pricing for months now trying to decide what we wanted. We had a set budget in mind for what we wanted to spend, and we've just been waiting for that vehicle in that price range to come along. This is so out of character for us. The first few years we were married, Brad jokes that we would go out to eat and end up coming home with a new vehicle. That's really not too far off. I'm embarrassed to tell how much money we've wasted on vehicles over the years. Special thanks to Dave Ramsey for helping us out and showing us how ridiculous that was!

Anyway, we narrowed our vehicles down to: Chevy Suburban or Tahoe, Ford Expedition, Honda Odyssey, or a Toyota Sienna. After checking out all of these, we decided we would be happy with whichever one came along first in our price range. We've mainly been searching on Auto Trader and EBay. A couple of weeks ago, we found an Expedition on EBay that met our needs and was an outstanding deal. But it was in Ft. Worth, TX. That's not too much of a problem as Brad's parents live there, and they were able to go check it out for us, which they thoroughly did. They thought it was well worth the asking price, so we took the plunge. (We actually had an Expedition before we bought the Volvo six years ago, so we kind of know what we're getting.) We did all the paperwork over the Internet, Brad sent the check to his dad via UPS, and he went and picked it up for us. And now Brad and Cari are flying to Texas so they can drive it home.

Cari was so excited to be going alone - just her and Brad. She is going to be getting a lot of attention this weekend, and I think that's great - but I'm already ready for them to get back home! I'm sure they'll have a lot of fun on their "expedition" in the Expedition. The rest of us are a little jealous - I love a good road trip - but softball beckons the rest of us to Duluth this weekend. Go Mystics!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Congratulations Are in Order


~ To Madison ~

.....for winning the MVP Award at her basketball banquet this week!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

On Being Encouraging

His mother was not home, but the young boy wanted to draw, so he got out the bottles of ink himself. His sister agreed to pose for him. In his eagerness and excitement, the young artist made an inky mess of his hands, clothes, table, and floor. Just as he was finishing his work, his mother returned, and for a moment, stood in the door and silently took the scene in. Then, instead of scolding him, she picked up the portrait and declared, "What a beautiful picture of your sister!" and kissed him. Later in life, the great artist Benjamin West recounted, "With that kiss I became a painter."

(Excerpt from HOME EDUCATING FAMILY magazine, 2009, Issue 4)


Now I'm not advocating allowing my children to make every mess their individual heart desires, but I also believe, speaking for myself, that there is ALWAYS room for more encouragement - every hour of every day.

Encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. I Thessalonians 5:11

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up, according to their needs, so that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Amelia-isms



Yesterday, I was pushing Amelia in the swing, and this is what she said. "I love it when you push me high. It makes my breath have fun."

Over the weekend, while at my mom and dad's, she was holding the door for everyone to walk in. When everyone was inside, she shut the door and was standing on the front porch. I asked her, "What are you doing?" She opened the door and giggled and said, "I almost left myself outside!"

Monday, April 5, 2010

The "Get Dressed" Challenge

I'm a little nervous about this, but I think I'm going to participate. This is definitely going to be a challenge.

Easter Weekend

Once again, the weather has continued to be beautiful - perfect Easter weather.

My parents sold their home last week and already had another home picked out that they closed on last week, too. So, we spent the weekend helping them move some things. Brad and I also fit in some yard work around here on Saturday afternoon, and then we enjoyed a Saturday evening at home. I spent most of it cooking for Sunday lunch. I know how crazy things can get around here on Sunday mornings so I knew better than to try to do any cooking on Sunday. I fixed "not your typical" chicken cordon bleu, sweet potato casserole, broccoli casserole, green beans, potato salad, and a fresh loaf of wheat bread. Mr. "Edwards" took care of dessert with his Turtle Pie. Yum!!

I wish I could cook like that every Sunday, but it's rare we're home on Saturday evenings, and I don't think I can get up early enough on Sunday mornings. I told Madison when they're all married, I'll cook Sunday lunch, and they can all come eat after church. That is, if they live nearby. She said she has plans to (live nearby), and I hope she's right. But, if God has other plans for her or any of the others, I would miss them TERRIBLY, but I always want them to know that they have our support to go where God leads. "My" perfect plan would be to have about 100 acres, give each child 20 acres, and let them and their family build on that. We could have our own little compound. I know that is so not reality, but a person can dream can't they? :>) And I do realize of course that no plan is perfect unless God is the architect of those plans.

Oh well, back to the present - maybe I can find time to do that every now and then (in the here and now) and not just on Easter.

Here's our Easter Sunday photo shoot --



Saturday, April 3, 2010

Time for a Lighter Subject

So what else has been going on around here besides reading about Bible versions? Well, mostly we've been enjoying this wonderful spring weather! It has been absolutely gorgeous this week! I'm even excited about seeing some pollen - that is definitely a first.

After hibernating for the past few months with all the rain and cold and snow, I can't get enough of the warm air and sunshine. The girls have had fun playing with the neighbors this week as the local schools are having spring break. We've been able to get some yard work done, and I've also learned that Matthew now loves to swing. He had an indoor baby swing that I put away some time ago because he never liked to swing and would be very unhappy if I tried to put him in it. But now, on the outdoor swing, I can hardly get him out once I put him in!



One time, when I finally got him out, we were walking around the yard, and he fell in a pile of leaves and a stick got him right under the eye. I've said quite a few prayers of thankfulness since then that the stick didn't get him a little higher or it could have really hurt his eye. (Again, thank you, Lord.)

Here's a picture of his "boo-boo" taken at an Easter egg hunt this week. Amelia and her friend, Bentley, are pictured, too. (Bentley no longer minds having her picture taken.)



We met with a local home school group this week for the egg hunt. There were a ton of kids there! We had never met any of them before and only knew the family from our own group, so it was a new experience. Amelia was asking where we were going. I told her I didn't know (we had the address and were depending on the GPS to get us there). She asked whose house it was. I told her I didn't know. Madison asked if it was okay for us to be there. I told her it was fine. And it was.

It worked out well as it was close to the mall, and we headed there afterwards for lunch and to get some new spring dress shoes. I got some good deals at Payless and a coupon I received in the mail made the good deals even better. Lunch was free as I went by the consignment store where I take our clothes, and I had some pretty good sales last month! I love those unexpected blessings!!! It was a lovely day all the way around.

Here's some more pictures from the egg hunt ~





Did you know that Jewish families typically cleaned before Passover? Speaking of which, I should probably get started on that as my family and I anticipate our celebration of our Savior's death, burial, and resurrection! I hope you and your family have a wonderful Easter weekend!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Controversy Settled - Summary

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

I know the title "Controversy Settled" solely refers to me. This is not over for many and will always be a subject of debate. But for me, it is settled.

If anyone reading this has never been in a "KJV Only" discussion, you may be surprised that it is even an issue. You're probably thinking, "aren't there more important issues to discuss?" And I would have to agree with you. I should be more worried about sharing the love of Christ rather than being the "version police."

So, in reference to my first post in this series, do I still think churches that are missing the mark are doing so because of the Bible version they are using? No. I no longer think that. I think whenever any of us fall off course, it is because we're not studying God's Word as we should, whichever version of choice we are using, and being obedient to His word as we should.

2 Timothy - 4:3-4
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

"Professing Christians, nominal believers in the church follow their own desires and flock to preachers who offer them God's blessings apart from His forgiveness, and His salvation apart from their repentance. They have an itch to be entertained by teachings that will produce pleasant sensations and leave them with good feelings about themselves. Their goal is that men preach "according to their own desires." Under those conditions, people will dictate what men preach, rather than God dictating it by His Word." (Note from MacArthur Study Bible)


There's much more to say on this subject, and if you're interested or searching for some guidance in this area or would just like to be able to make an informed decision before "choosing sides" (for lack of better words), I would highly recommend reading the book I've been quoting over the past few posts, "The King James Only Controversy" by James R. White. The first couple of chapters were a little hard to get through, and I was afraid I would never understand what he was trying to say, but the more I read, the more it all came together in the end. I finished reading it this week, and I have to say that it was well worth the time and effort involved.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Controversy Settled - Part 4

If you need to catch up, here's PART 1, PART 2, and PART 3.

"Most people who are not committed to the KJV Only position will admit that the AV (authorized version) needs some level of revision. No matter how strongly AV Only believers assert the alleged simplicity and clarity of the KJV, the fact remains that there are many passages that are anything but clear and understandable in this venerable old translation. And, at times, those ambiguities get in the way, and even give ammunition to those who would attack the Bible." (JRW)

There are many examples given of this in Chapter 9 of The King James Only Controversy.

And finally, this is one of the arguments I used to use: People are not understanding the KJV because they are not studying it properly. Here's a great response to that -

"Some defenders of the AV insist that all one has to do is have a good dictionary at hand and all will be well when encountering such terms. But we must ask, why should we always have to have a dictionary at hand when reading the Bible? Why make reading the Scriptures a laborious task when simply translating them into our modern tongue would do just as well? Again, we are not condoning the "dumbing down" of the Bible that can be seen in efforts to turn the Scriptures into a first-grade level piece of literature. But we are saying that there is no need to add unnecessary ambiguity to the scriptural text. Utilizing terms that are no longer a part of our language has no place in making the Scriptures available to all people." (JRW)

I'll wrap this up tomorrow.

Summary