Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sacrificial Mothering

When I am with a group of young mothers I often hear statements such as, “I don’t have time to do anything I enjoy,” “I never get to do anything for me since I’ve become a mom,” “I want to go out with my friends and just have the day off,” “I need more sleep”, “I need my husband to help me more with the kids” or “I just need some peace and quiet!”. Hey, I’ve said them, too! The Lord revealed to me that all of these statements have one thing in common, the word “I”! Guess what? It’s not all about us!

Not about me, you say? No, it’s not about you! Being a mother is a SACRIFICE! Pregnancy alone is a huge sacrifice! You are sacrificing your body (it will never be the same again), and your comfort for nine months! After the baby is born, you are sacrificing your sleep, and then as your baby grows you begin sacrificing your time and your energy in the way of teaching, training, and disciplining your child.

All of this takes an enormous amount of energy, self-discipline, and strength from God. But is it worth it? You bet it is! What does the Bible say about it? “Whoever loses their life with find it”. Being a servant isn’t always glorifying is it? You don’t get many kudos! Most husbands who come home from work aren’t going to notice that the laundry is done, the dishes are washed and put away, the kids are scrubbed clean and the floor doesn’t have cheerios spread all over it! They just want a nice hot meal, and soon! They aren’t going to be giving you praise for all of this. That’s why it’s so important to look to the Lord for His approval or we will be living in constant despair.

Your children are not going to be thanking you right now for your instruction and discipline. You may not see the fruit of this sacrifice until they are 20’s and are beginning their own families. Then, they might come to you, and thank you for the sacrifices made on their behalf. Being a mother means delayed gratification!

So I ask again, is it worth it? If Jesus sacrificed His body and soul for us, how else can we do less for our husband and children? When you are knee deep in laundry and your nerves are frayed from disciplining a child for the same offense for the 5th time that day, look up and remember that you are “doing this unto the Lord”. Say to Him, “This is my living sacrifice, Lord. I want to please you. Help me! Be my strength and my Rock! Help me to be the mother you want me to be. Let me see godly fruit in the lives of my children!” God will honor that prayer.

He loves you and sees everything from the dirty dishes, to the sticky floor, to the time spent reading a book to your toddler, to playing a little game of basketball with your older child, or just listening to your child telling you a story of how he caught a bee! Hang in there and remember that mothering is a good sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God!

From One Mom to Another,

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Consequence Chart Update

My sister, Jackie did a post on her blog about how the "Consequence Chart" is working for her. We have found it to be extremely helpful. I have more children, so mine looks different than hers, but the concept is the same. The last time we got together, we made these cute little acrylic name magnets for each of the kids (we included the little ones for when we discipline them in the future).

My children KNOW what to expect now. I am not wasting my valuable time and energy trying to think of how to let the punishment fit the crime. Trying to keep track of all my consequences was become quite the headache. It was making it almost impossible to be consistent. With this new system I am placing the burden of responsibility upon THEM. They are learning to keep track of this themselves (it's that easy!). For instance, Jessica does not get her chores done on time, she moves to Code Yellow. Then say, she hits her little brother, uh oh, Code Orange! This one really stinks when you are six years old and love to watch a movie or play a computer game.

None of them (unbelievably) have got to Code Red yet. They are turning their attitudes around before we get to that point. It is so exciting to see them taking responsibility for their behavior. It is completely reaching their hearts.

One of my sons got to a Code Green. He had completely lost control while he was doing his math. He made a very nasty scene. After he received his code and consequences, he was a different child in the evening. The next morning, he came up to me and said that he had prayed that God would help him be kinder and more respectful. Only God could do that! He didn't get one code the next day. It was amazing.

Each day is a new day, no mistakes have been made, therefore they are allowed to take their names off the chart every morning.

This has actually helped a lot in the "arguing" department. How can you argue when they know what the exact consequence is going to be? This has changed our homeschool in so many positive ways! Also, getting the kids to do their morning chores has become way less stressful. This is teaching them TIME MANAGEMENT! A real plus, when you homeschool.

In short, my husband and I are both loving this. It is helping us because everyone knows where the child "stands", even if a parent has been away for awhile. It keeps us on the same page. This has been especially important with my firefighter's crazy schedule. He is walking into a home where peace is finally reigning. I am not as stressed and the children are thriving under this new system.

Praise the Lord, for giving Jackie and I this idea. He always gives us what we need!
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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tea With Mom and Jessica's Love Language

Mom and Larry Pop came up this weekend and we had a lovely time. I asked if just us "girls" could go to the tea house for tea and scones. Jessica was very disappointed that we didn't get the "Wallagong" tea. It is just short of a high-tea. Her behavior was not the best, but we managed to have fun anyhow. Mom and her had a great time trying on the tea hats. I brought a little booster for Lily, which made it so much easier, now that she is grabbing everything!
I have discovered something new about Jessica. I think her "love language" is gift-giving. I have gone into my room twice now and found a wonderful surprise! She knows that I like water and Dad likes iced-tea. She gave us a glass of each and a little note that said she loved us. She also put a book on each side of the bed, because she knows we like to read. Isn't that sweet?

And Josh's new thing is to dress Snickers up in his clothes. It's pretty funny, but kind of annoying. He never wants to take them off of her now. She is quite the amazing dog! She puts up with a lot!

I had a wonderful time at Mom's Morning Out yesterday. I really got a chance to catch up with some of my dear "Mommy" friends.

Today, I have decided to take the week off from homeschooling. There are so many things that do not get done when you homeschool. I have several projects that I need to work on today. The biggest one is moving dressers around. The boys have decided to take over Jessica's old room (yes, it's pink). They love the bed in there and like sleeping together on the bottom bunk (it's a double). I need to get their dresser in that room and Jessica's into the little kid's room. I'm not thrilled at the prospect of finding who knows what under those dressers! At least I know that it will be vacuumed underneath.

I will be supervising Marcus as he makes 40 devilled eggs for Thanksgiving. I will also be making mashed potatoes for about 30 people. I've decided to make half regular and half gourmet taters. For my gourmet ones, I leave the peels on, add garlic, salt, pepper, and Parmesan, and butter. Sprinkle it with bread crumbs, and voila! If Jessica helps me I'm going to call them "Jessica's Mashed Potatoes". That will make her feel special!

Hey, Happy Thanksgiving everyone! It has been awesome sharing my life with you and yours with me! I am one blessed woman!
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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Choosing to Love Your Husband

"God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8

The Book "Love Dare" says this, "If your reasons for loving your spouse all have something to do with his or her qualities-and then those same qualities suddenly or gradually disappear-your basis for love is over...

The only way love can last a lifetime is if it's unconditional. The truth is this: love is not determined by the one being loved but rather by the one choosing to love...

Agape love is "in sickness and health" love, "for richer or poorer" love, "for better or worse" love. It is the only kind of love that is true love. That's because this is God's kind of love. He doesn't love us because we are lovable but because He is so loving!

If a man says to his wife, "I have fallen out of love with you," he is actually saying, "I never loved you unconditionally to begin with." His love was based on feelings or circumstances rather than commitment...

When your enjoyment of each other as best friends and lovers is based on unwavering commitment, you will experience an intimacy that cannot be achieved any other way...

You will no longer say, "I love you because..." You will now say, "I love you, PERIOD."

That is the kind of love that I want to have for my husband. This is not human love, but love that can only come from God!

I'm going to be extremely honest with you. Several years ago, there was a time when I found out that my husband didn't meet my needs. I seriously did not feel an ounce of love for him. It scared me so bad. I think we probably have all been there. Praise the Lord, I was committed or I would have surely given up. We had hit a wall, a total roadblock that we just couldn't seem to get over. Every time I would mention counseling, he refused to go. I was in so much pain that I finally decided that I would would go to counseling myself and asked the church to help me pay for part of the counseling so that I would know how to live in the mess that we had for a marriage. I had many people praying and God did a miracle. Steve not only came to counseling, he embraced it and we started a new chapter in our marriage. He now recommends counseling to any couple that he sees struggling.

Slowly, as God showed me His great love for me, he showed me how to love someone who is imperfect and sometimes unlovable. My new goal is to LOVE Steve, PERIOD, and to remember that he not just my husband, but my Brother in Christ and I should be treating him accordingly.

God help us all, as we continually strive to learn how to love our husbands better.

Monday, November 23, 2009

My Old Moccasins/Loving God!

Mom saved my moccasins from when I was a baby. Jessica begged me to put them on Lily. They are still really big on her. I have never put shoes on her, so she didn't quite know what to think.

She looked so pretty in this little skirt. I know the picture is blurry, but I just couldn't resist her little smile.
I love her little scrunched up face here! She just cracks us up when she snorts! She turned eight months yesterday and her first tooth FINALLY broke through!

I have been so encouraged by all of you ladies! Your honesty is humbling. I appreciate each and every one of you and I pray for you often.

Jesus said, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these."

If you can't love God with all your heart, you won't be a very good wife or parent. Our "neighbors" are anyone other than ourselves. Immerse yourself in God's Word today. Immerse yourself in thankful praise to a God who "gave you this day, so that you could rejoice in it!"

God loves you, and so do I! Bless you, Dear Ones!
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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Love Is Not Rude

The Lord has been challenging me as I am trying to complete "Love Dare". Here are a few things that really hit home this week.

"Rudeness is unnecessarily saying or doing things that are unpleasant for another person to be around. To be rude is to act unbecoming, embarrassing, or irritating. In marriage, this could be a foul mouth, poor table manners, or a habit of making sarcastic quips. However you look at it, no one enjoys being around a rude person. Rude behavior may seem insignificant to the person doing it, but it's unpleasant to those on the receiving end...

The bottom line is that genuine love mind its manners...

Embracing this one concept could add some fresh air to your marriage. Good manners express to your husband, "I value you enough to exercise some self-control around you. I want to be a person who is a pleasure to be with." When you allow love to change your behavior-even in the smallest of ways-you restore an atmosphere of honor to your relationship...

We are queens of double standards! We may be barking or pouting around the house, but if the front door chimes, we open it all smiling and kind. Yet if we dare to love, we'll also want to give our best to our own husbands and children. If we don't let love motivate us to make needed changes in our behavior,the quality of our marriage relationships will suffer for it...

There are two main reasons why people are rude: ignorance and selfishness...

Today will you be thoughtful and loving enough to discover and avoid the behavior that causes life to be unpleasant for your mate? Will you dare to be delightful?"

Here is a golden rule...

Be as considerate to your spouse as you are to strangers.

In my journal I wrote that I needed to make sure I am not rude by interrupting my husband. It doesn't matter if he interrupts me or not. I can only change my behavior. I am going to work on giving him the courtesy of listening to the entirety of what he has to say before I jump in with my two cents. I will love him by listening!

How about you? Can you honestly evaluate your behavior and see if there is any rudeness that needs to be rooted out? Would you be vulnerable enough to share it with us? I want to be a blog that encourages realness.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Lily at Seven Months

We are all captivated by Lily's toothless grin!
Here is a picture of Big Daddeo with most of his kids. Josh was riding horse with Papa Russ.
Jessica snuck Lily and the camera into the boy's room and tucked Lily into Jacob's toddler bed.
Lily still doesn't have any teeth so she is mostly nursed, but she likes to sit at the table with us and eat. She loves Cheerios and most breads. She has perfected the "pinch".

I have to confess, I actually like getting up at night with her. Time is slipping away from me. She is growing so fast and knowing that she is probably my last is just killing me. I am determined to enjoy every minute with her. At night, I just snuggle with her as she nurses and stroke her soft hair and play with her tiny feet. I am ashamed to admit that I don't even remember nursing my first four children. I didn't treasure that time like I should have. I can't change the past, but I can change the future.
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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

First Tae Kwon Do Belt Test

This last Sunday, was the first TKD belt test that my kids have ever had. They were testing for their orange belt. Here they are getting ready. Josh looks a little nervous!
Josh and another student, practice wrist escapes. Jessica is the youngest in the class. She did so good and she was just so stinkin' cute out there! The kids amazed me with their level of concentration. I don't think I've ever seen my children so quiet and disciplined for two and a half hours straight! Now I know it's possible. They all passed! I can't wait till they get presented with their yellow belts. They worked 10 months for it!
Both sets of my parents were able to be there. Dad and Diana were such great help with the little ones. Here Dad is holding Lily Pie. They were so kind to watch the little ones so that my mom and stepdad could be in the studio watching, and I could video their tests.
I found Jessica's old bonnet and not a day too soon. Lily has outgrown it. I put it in her baby box today. Sniff, sniff...Oh, she is just growing up so fast. She is still trying to get those bottom teeth in.

Homeschooled today, it went really fast! All three of the older ones were really focused. We had a lot of fun learning about animals and weather today. I had my Bible study and then took them to their Salvation Army youth activities. It was a good day. Lots accomplished. Now for a good night's sleep!
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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

30 Day Challenge Over! Give-Away Begins!

I just checked my calender and realized that yesterday was the last official day of the 30 Day Challenge. Oops! I have been praying for all of us and hoping that this has helped build good habits of speaking sweetly about our husbands to them and about them. Many of you have shared your failures and your victories and I know we have all been blessed knowing that we are not alone in our struggles. Marriage is hard; it is just plain work some days.

Now the fun part has come! This is my first give-away and I'm really excited! I found these two books online. I own them both, "Sacred Marriage" and "Devotions for a Sacred Marriage" both by Gary Thomas. Gary Thomas is my all time favorite author on the subject of marriage (and I have read a lot). I thought it would be perfect for our subject. Both winners will get one book.

And the WINNERS ARE....

Hip Chick


Mrs. Lukie (aren't you glad you delurked?)

Please email me at so I can get your mailing info. I will try to contact you on your blog as well.


Thanks everyone for doing this again. Now is the time to give me your thoughts on the Challenge. Tell me if and how it has affected your marriage and if you are glad that you did it. Love you all, Sisters! You are awesome!

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Too Small A Price

This is one of my all time favorite songs! I have seen Don Francisco in concert twice as a child and grew up listening to his tapes. I am introducing this song to my kids today and I just wanted to share this with you. The "thief on the cross" has always fascinated me and this song really shows God's grace and mercy to all of us...Enjoy!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

My Heart

"Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks."- Matthew 12:34

My heart has been nasty today. It has been irritable, which has resulted in a cranky attitude towards my children. My heart has been selfish today. My life was "squeezed" today. I was like a lemon and poured out a sour response. I want to be more like a peach, when the pressure is on, I will remain sweet.

When I am stressed and my energy is drained I don't do well. I'm on edge, and patience virtually doesn't exist.

Lord, help me with this! I want to be led by Your Spirit in everything, yet, "I do what I knwo I shouldn't do", just like Paul says.

I want love to enter my heart! Yes, that is it! I cry to God for LOOOOVE! I want to be able to love the way He loves me. I want to love those that hurt me, wrongfully use me, irritate me, perhaps even hate me. I want God's LOVE to pour out of me! Would there be room for selfishness then? Would I respond to my husband and children with patience and encouragement rather than anger and exasperation?

Oh, let it be, Dear Lord, let it be!

I will choose to serve God by loving those around me. Yes, it is a choice. But even when it's a choice, I can't do that on my own. I have to have God's Spirit leading me and guiding me, perhaps even providing comfort when I've been hurt and nothing in me wants to love, but instead to lash out.

Instead of meditating on the negative, I want to think about the positive. I want to think about all of the things that I appreciate about my family. I will become a more grateful person and perhaps a more loving person.

As the book "Love Dare" puts it, "You must develop the habit of reigning in your negative thoughts and focusing on the positive attributes of your mate. This is a crucial step as you learn to lead your heart to truly love your spouse. It is a decision that you make, whether they deserve it or not." Hmmm, read that line again, "Whether they deserve it or not." That tells me that it's for me, not them.

I'm the one who misses the blessing and the joy when it comes right down to it. I'm in control of my thoughts. I can assume things till the cows come home, but do I really know what people meant when they said, "such and such"?

I hope this post makes sense. God is working on me and I just felt like sharing a bit of that journey with you. Life can be confusing, but God gives me so much hope for the future. I am a work in progress and I thank God that He isn't done with me yet.

Hopefully, someone can relate...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Our Thankful Tree!

I got this idea from the blog View In The Hidden Valley. I just loved it! The kids and I hung pictures of who and what they were thankful for on the twigs of a tree from our yard.
I just thought it was the coolest!
We even added some leaves to it.
We took the kids to the Discovery Center again the other day. Steve went in with them and let me take a walk around the grounds. It felt so good to get out and pray, pray and pray. When I met up with them inside, they were enthralled with a Birds of Prey Presentation. Steve was just riveted! We learned all about falcons and owls. Some of the littler kids were getting restless, so I took them into the kid's zone and they played. We actually had time to do a craft (totally up Jessica's alley). She made two headbands and was very proud of the results.

Today has been so nice. I haven't had to go anywhere and the kids have been pretty good. Homeschooling went well and wasn't too stressful. Steve took all the kids out and about so that I could have some quiet time. I was able to finish my Bible study, write my monthly devotion and have some serious prayer time. It felt so great! I was convicted about some things in my life and have surrendered them to the Lord. It's always good to know you are in His Will.
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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Serious Case of Red "Bed Hair"

As you know, my sister came over this last weekend. My two year old niece came with her. Hailey has the prettiest red hair, but when she woke up in the morning I saw the most amazing case of "bed hair" ever! I just had to snap a picture of it!
Haily and Lily really took a shine to each other! Hailey is fascinated with babies. Lily kept grabbing Hailey's red hair.
I can't believe how much she looks like Josiah in this picture. Mom took Josh, Marcus, Jessica and Josiah for the weekend, so we just had the four little ones.

We got to really focus on Andrew a lot. He is such a character. He was watching his dad cook up some oysters and he kept calling them "moistures". He was also talking about Mt. St. Helens "interrupting". I just love it when they do that, don't you?
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Monday, November 9, 2009

Stacie's Maple-Glazed Pork Roast

My twin, Jackie came down for the weekend. We had an awesome time! She requested my Maple-Glazed Pork Roast. I hadn't made it in awhile, so I had kind of forgotten about it. Here is the recipe...

1 pork roast (any kind will do)
2 tsp of crushed garlic
salt and pepper

Place in crock pot. Cook on low for 6 hours (or until tender)

Take out of crock pot, place in a roasting pan or glass pan. Mix together:

1/4 maple syrup (the real stuff)
1/4 cup sucanat or brown sugar
1 TB of cornstarch or tapioca flour
2 TBS of honey mustard, or Dijon mustard

Pour over pork roast and bake for another 35 minutes or so until glaze is thick and bubbly. The fat on top will look a little crisp. It's the best pork roast ever! I think Jackie and I ate half of it that night! Yikes!!!
I served baby peas and herbed-roasted new potatoes. We used Coconut oil and it gave it an amazing flavor!
After dinner, my sister spoiled me and deep-cleaned my kitchen with the natural cleaner concentrate that she made me! She is always after me to be a healthier housekeeper. The recipe for the concentrate is most of a gallon of white distilled vinegar, 10 drops of tea tree oil and 10 drops of citrus oil. I was very skeptical as to how it would work. It was amazing! Isn't she the best? That's my sis! She also helped me make 2 gallons of raspberry jam (no-cook, raw). Talk about the healthiest jam in the world for your kids! The last thing she showed me was how to make maple syrup out of my sucanat. It tastes just like the the real thing. I think she might have the recipe on her blog
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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Love is Patient: When Loving Your Spouse Gets Tough

"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love." -Ephesians 4:2 NIV

I'm reading a really good book called, "The Love Dare". I thought it might go well with the 30 Day Challenge. God is really opening my eyes on what He wants love to look like in my marriage. Here is what "The Love Dare" says about it...

"Love is built on two pillars that best define what it is. Those pillars are patience and kindness. All other characteristics of love are extensions of these two attributes.

When you choose to be patient, you respond in a positive way to a negative situation. You are slow to anger. You choose to have a long fuse instead of a quick temper (Ouch!). Patience brings an internal calm during an external storm.

No one likes to be around an impatient person. It causes you to overreact in angry, foolish, and regrettable ways. The irony of anger towards a wrongful action is that it spawns new wrongs of its own. Anger almost never makes things better. In fact, it usually generates additional problems. But patience stops problems in their tracks. More than biting your lip, more than clapping a hand over your mouth, patience is a deep breath. It clears the air. It stops foolishness from whipping it's scorpion tail all over the room. It is a choice to control your emotions rather than allowing your emotions to control you, and shows discretion instead of returning evil for evil.

If your spouse offends you, do you quickly retaliate, or do you stay under control? Do you find that anger is your emotional default when treated unfairly? If so, you are spreading poison rather than medicine.

Anger is usually caused when the strong desire for something is mixed with disappointment or grief. You don't get what you want and you start heating up inside. It is often an emotional reaction that flows out of our own selfishness, foolishness, or evil motives.

Patience, however, makes us wise. It doesn't rush to judgement but listens to what the other person is saying. Patience stands in the doorway where anger is clawing to burst in , but waits to see the whole picture before passing judgement. The Bible says, "He who is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who is quick-tempered exalts folly" (Proverbs 14:29).

As sure as a lack of patience will turn your home into a war zone, the practice of patience will foster peace and quiet. (Who doesn't need that?)

Patience helps you give your spouse permission to be human. It understands that everyone fails. When a mistake is made, it chooses to give them more time than they deserve to correct it.

But can your spouse count on having a patience wife to deal with?

Few of us do patience very well, and none of us do it naturally. But wise women will pursue it as an essential ingredient to their marriage relationships!"

Can you imagine the kind of marriages we would have if we all practiced this a little more? Keep on going ladies, we are almost halfway there!

Do you have a testimony on practicing patience? Please share with us!

Remember, to keep praying for each other!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Dress Up Your Prince and Princess

The favorite booth at the Harvest Party was the "dress up your prince or princess". Andrew just loved this costume! The helmet probably weighed 20 lbs, though.
Jacob found the "armor of God" and loved it! I think this is what I'm going to give Jacob and Andrew for Christmas. We had them for the older boys, but they eventually broke. It was a great way to get them familiar with Scripture.
Andrew gave up on the heavy helmet, and opted for the "Helmet of Salvation". Yes, that is a real gladius!
Jessica got to pick out a pretty princess dress. What was funny, is that I recognized this dress pattern. My Aunt Lillian made my twin sis and I these dresses for our freshman Winter Dance in High School. Talk about a blast from the past! I thought this booth was very creative! My kids like any excuse to dress up!
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Friday, November 6, 2009

Donut Eating Contest!

This has got to be one of the hardest games ever invented! Try eating a donut on a string without hands. Actually, try telling that to a four-year old. Andrew just couldn't seem to help touching it! they were so cute. They had powdered sugar in their hair, ears, and nose!

And Andrew won! Because he used his hands, Jess was a good sport about it. At the end, Jacob ran over and picked up the fallen pieces of donut and ate them. Yuck!
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