Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

WIP Wednesday

After boasting last week about how much I've been able to accomplish on my stars, I have not been able to get much done lately. Things just keep coming up which derail my best efforts. Oh, well. I'm still on track to get this project done by Christmas which is what really counts, isn't it? I do need to get it done early enough to crochet Sarah Beth some socks as a gift, too.

To see more works in progress, or to add your own, head over to the Place of H.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Plans

What are you doing for Thanksgiving this year? When my mother and I talked at the beginning of the month, we decided that we would have Thanksgiving at my house instead of hers. You see, when we celebrate at her house, she does too much and runs around like crazy taking care of everything. At my house, she can relax. Of course, it puts a lot of work on me, but that's okay. It's just family, right?

Well, I heard wrong. When we talked again last week, we decided that we need to have Thanksgiving at her house. That decision lifted a load off my back, and I just hope my mom doesn't try to do too much.

While I thought we were hosting Thanksgiving dinner, John offered to fry the turkey. He has wanted to fry a turkey for a few years now and just hasn't had the chance. He was also being very sweet and considerate since frying the turkey frees up the oven for all of the other cooking. Since he had already bought the stuff to fry the turkey, that part of the plan won't change. What I'm preparing doesn't change, either. In case you're interested, I plan to prepare a sweet potato casserole, a cornbread pudding, a key lime pie, and a chocolate pecan pie. I made a couple of those recipes last year, but the other two are new, so we will see how they turn out.

What are you doing for Thanksgiving dinner? Are you hosting, or are you visiting? If you are hosting, are you only having family over, or have you invited friends, too?

What a fun time of year this is!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Is Your Husband Happy with his Wife?

Yesterday morning, we sang the hymn "Blest the Man That Fears Jehovah," and the second verse spoke to me. Here it is:
In thy wife thou shalt have gladness,
She shall fill thy home with good,
Happy in her loving service
And the joys of motherhood.
It reminds me of Proverbs 18:22, "He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord." I started wondering how I am doing: do I fill John's house with good? Do I make him happy? Am I happy with my daily chores? Do I find motherhood joyful? I will have to ask him.

Anyway, I just wanted to share this with you. You can read the rest of words to the hymn here.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Love and My Children

Sarah Beth and I had this conversation yesterday, and it's pretty typical.

SB: I love animal crackers.
Me: Do you love Daniel?
SB: Yes.
Me: Do you love Daddy?
SB: Yes.
Me: Do you love pink?
SB: Yes.
Me: Do you love Grammy?
SB: Yes.
Me: Do you love Mommy?
SB: No.

Sarah Beth always says, "No," when she is asked if she loves me. I know that she does love me, so it doesn't hurt my feelings. I do think it's funny, although I don't let her see that. It bothers John, though, so he is working with her.

Last night, I decided to give Daniel the same "test." He doesn't say "yes" or "no" in response to questions; he nods or shakes his head and says "uh huh" (yes) or "uh uh" (no). We don't think he really understands yet, but he answers appropriately most of the time. Anyway, here is the conversation.

Me: Do you love Mommy?
D: uh huh
Me: Do you love Daddy?
D: loooooong pause
Me: Do you love Daddy?
D: uh huh (very quietly, almost like he didn't want to admit it)

Have you had a similar "problem" with any of your children? Sarah Beth obviously favors her Daddy, and Daniel obviously favors his Mommy. We have decided that, as soon as Baby Sister is born, we are going to family counseling to try to correct her "problem" before it starts.

I'm just kidding. I think it's fairly common for there to be a special bond between a daddy and his daughter and between a mommy and her son. That's why the two phrases "daddy's girl" and "momma's boy" exist.

Do any of your children prefer you or your spouse? What do you do about it? Or did it just go away by itself? I figure that one day Sarah Beth will discover that she does in fact love me, and one day (in the distant future) she will even come to appreciate me.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Motivation of Discipline

I've been thinking about discipline lately, the discipline of getting things done in a timely manner, not the discipline of my children. Mrs. Darling had a good post last week about it at the same time I was thinking of writing one. However, I have just now gotten around to the actual writing of the post. I guess that's a lack of discipline, or maybe I can blame it on the fact that I'm too disciplined in getting other things done. I think I'll let you choose.

When I've read books about becoming more organized, the authors always point out that you have to have a reason behind getting organized. You don't want to get more organized just to be more organized; you will probably fail because your motivation is not good enough to encourage you. Anyway, I've realized that discipline is similar: there needs to be a good, underlying reason behind increasing discipline. Do you want to arrive places five minutes before the activities start instead of being late? Do you want to have your husband's work clothes clean for him before he needs them? Do you want to make only one trip to the grocery store a week, saving time and money? These are just a few of my motivators. But I've come up with a new one lately: my Christmas stars.

The pattern for my Christmas stars is fairly simple, but it is complicated enough that I cannot work on it when my children are around. It takes about ten minutes to make each motif, and the red one I'm working on now has 151 motifs plus a border, so you can see there is a lot of work involved. And I have a deadline; it's no good getting these things done on December 26.

About a month ago, I started making some changes to free up more time for me to crochet. I started setting my alarm clock a little earlier, so I can get my shower and have my quiet time before the children get up instead of during nap time. I was unable to do this earlier, I confess, because I felt so poorly during my first trimester that I just couldn't get out of bed without the extra motivation of a child awake. I used to wait to fold clothes during nap time, but now I try to get them done when my children are otherwise occupied, or as soon as they come out of the dryer. I also limit my time on the computer. I was doing this already when my children were around, but now I keep an eye on the time during nap time, too, so I don't "waste" too much time surfing. Little changes like these give me so much more time in the afternoon and at night after Daniel and Sarah Beth are in bed that I am able to get a lot of crocheting done.

Because it is taking so long to get these stars done, I think I will have formed a couple of new, good habits. (Don't they say it takes 30 days or six weeks to form a new habit?) I'm excited about this because I am not nearly as disciplined (or organized) as I would like to be. I've decided, though, that it is a work in progress; it is not something to be accomplished all at once.

I'm curious: what motivates you to increase your level of organization and/or discipline?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

WIP Wednesday

I finally finished the white star last week. I'm sorry I don't have a picture, but you'll have to wait until the whole project is finished. Here is what I have accomplished so far on the red star. When it is finished, it will have 151 motifs; right now, it has 51, so I'm about a third of the way done. Of course, when I do complete it, I still have the green star that needs to be done. It's a good thing that I enjoy working on this project, isn't it?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Book Review: Family Driven Faith

Did you know that 70 - 88% of Christian teenagers leave the church by their second year in college? Does that number astound you like it does me? If you are concerned with this statistic, I recommend that you read Family Drive Faith - Doing What it Takes to Raise Sons and Daughters who Walk with God by Voddie Baucham.

When John and I heard Voddie Baucham talk at the conference we went to this summer, we were impressed and immediately bought one of his books. Finally, I have gotten around to reading it; there are so many good books that I want to read. (You should see the stacks of books I have that are waiting to be read.)

Since an alarming amount of our young people are leaving the church, Baucham addresses this issue with ways that we as parents can help keep our children in the church. He says that a multi-generational approach is needed. Instead of tasking the church with teaching our children about religious matters, we need to do it ourselves. It is our responsibility to teach our children while the church plays a supporting role. Many people and many churches have these roles reversed.

I really enjoyed this book, and I was convicted at several points by it. Thankfully, our children are still young, so we have time to implement some things. If you have children, I recommend that you read this book.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

WIP Wednesday

As you can see, I have been working very hard to get this Christmas star completed. As soon as I do, I have two more stars (thankfully, smaller ones) to finish this project. Will I get it done before Christmas? I think so. Will I get it done by the end of this month? I doubt it. In case you are wondering, this star has 217 individual motifs, or, at least, it will when I finish it. I usually get about seven or eight done a day, so you can see how slow a process it is. However, when I finally do finish it, it will be a lovely centerpiece for my dining room table for years and years and years and years.... I have to admit that I am pretty proud of how this thing is turning out.

To see more works in progress, or to add your own, head over to the Place of H.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Kitchen Tip Tuesdays: Chicken and Casseroles

I tried something new last week, and I thought I would share it with you because you might find it helpful, too. I love chicken casseroles, but I hate dealing with a raw, whole chicken. I complain about it every time, and John always asks me why I do it. Why do I do it? I put up with the mess and disgusting-ness of a raw, whole chicken because it is the most economical way to buy chicken. I thought my only other option was boneless, skinless chicken breasts which are not such a good investment for a casserole.

Then I read something (I forgot where) about using split chicken breasts. What a great idea! And I tried it out last week. They typically go on sale here for $0.99 per pounds as compared with $0.79 per pound for a whole chicken. For twenty extra cents per pound, I feel like I get more meat. I know I get more time because it takes less time to cook and to debone the chicken. And those of you who have deboned a chicken know how much easier it is to get the breast meat off the bone than all of the other meat. For me, it's worth a little extra money for all of these advantages.

I hate to admit it, but we don't have casseroles very often because I'm too lazy to deal with a whole chicken. I think that will change now. I have been stocking up on split chicken breasts lately because I plan to stock my freezer with lots of casseroles before this baby is born. With three little ones on my hands, I think I will be very happy I did that.

By the way, I don't have any pictures because you know what raw chicken looks like. You also know what cooked chicken looks like.

For more kitchen tips, head over to Tammy's Recipes.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Aliens Among Us?

I have kind of a weird topic for my post today, but since it is my blog, I get to do with it whatever I want. Right?

On the radio this morning, I heard them talking about aliens and the likelihood that there are some living among us already. Yes, I am talking about outer-space-type aliens. As you may or may not know, I like the science fiction kind of thing. And I'm curious: what do you think? Do you think there is life on other planets? Do you think they have discovered us? Do you think they have actually come to live among us? Do you think the discovery of aliens would affect your religious beliefs at all?

Do you want my thoughts? I don't know. I don't know if there is life on other planets, but I think it would be neat if there were. However, since I believe that God created everything at once (in six days, of course), I think these aliens would be at a similar technological stage as we are, meaning that they wouldn't be able to come find us. If they are somehow more advanced and have found us, I still don't know. Is the scenario like the one out of C.S. Lewis' Space Trilogy series where only Earth fell and the other planets still live in "Eden?" Or is it more like a book my dad received to edit when I was in high school (and I don't know if it was ever published) and let me read which had the premise that all peoples fell throughout the universe and that God sent Jesus to all the planets at the same time. (He is God, so it is possible.) Either way, I don't see any problems between my Bible and the existence of aliens.

However, I have to admit that if an alien just showed up one day, claiming to want to help us, I would be skeptical. I've seen too many movies and read too many books about these type of aliens who end up serving their own purposes not ours. But of course, that was all fiction, wasn't it?

What about you? I really am curious as to what you think. Am I alone in my conclusions?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

WIP Wednesday

I have been working very hard on my Christmas stars, and this is what I have accomplished so far. I have the main body of the white star done, along with one complete point of the star and most of the second point. I have been crocheting almost exclusively on this project because I hope to get it done by the end of the month for decorating purposes. In case you have forgotten, there are two more, smaller stars part of this project, too: a red one and a green one. The diameter of the center circle is about 15 inches.

I have not crocheted a single stitch on my pink, basket weave blanket, but I have plenty of time to finish it before Baby Sister comes.

For more works in progress, or to add your own, head over to the Place of H.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween Pictures

I know that some of my readers don't "do" Halloween, and at the risk of offending you, I thought I would show you some pictures of our first Halloween. Yes, this is the first Halloween that we dressed up the children and took them trick or treating. John decided Friday night that we should do this, so we went shopping early Saturday morning for costumes. The selection wasn't very good, as you might imagine, but at least the costumes were on sale.

Poor Daniel got to be a piece of candy corn. We hope this doesn't scar him for life.

Sarah Beth loved this dress. She is not exactly sure what a princess is, but it was enough that the dress was pink and came with a headband.

John didn't keep them out long, but they sure did enjoy the couple of pieces of candy we let them have when they got home. Our poor children don't get candy very often.

How was your Halloween?