Friday, October 30, 2009

Family Fun Night

About three years ago Kevin and I decided that we wanted less of Halloween for our family, so, even though we never 'celebrated' it, as in draping faux-spider-webs across our front door, we thought we'd replace the whole scary scenario with something else. We didn't want our kids to feel like they were missing out on candy and fun, though, so we determined to make the 31st of October a day that they would look forward to and have fond memories of. (Last year, actually, we went to a Reformation Day party that was a blast, but this year we're going back to our family night at home.)

Keely and I are going to make lots of party/snack foods that the kids requested. We'll have a scavenger hunt with candy at the end, and Kevin will read a little to the kids about Martin Luther.
We don't often buy new DVDs, but we make this night an occasion when we do. (With all the costume money we're saving, this is still a bargain!) Tomorrow night we'll be enjoying this one.

What about your family? Do you celebrate Halloween or Reformation Day or neither?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Looking for a New Read-Aloud?

The kids and I are enjoying a sweet book together: The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew, by Margaret Sidney. We're only about half way through the book, and I have not read it before, so we are all enjoying the unfolding story together.

The book is about widowed Mrs. Pepper and her five young children. They are very poor and the mother as well as the older children must work hard to simply keep food on the table. The book was written in the late 1800's, and the writing is old-fashioned and charming. My very favorite aspect of the book, however, is the sweet and sacrificial relationship between the siblings. Even though this *isn't* always a reality here at our house--and maybe
because it isn't--I love that my kids are enjoying the sweetness that's exampled in the fictional Pepper home.

Are you enjoying any good books with your children?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

P*rn Problem?

I don't know how many of you check out Tim Challies' blog, but I really appreciate many of his posts and find them encouraging. He began a series on pornography, specifically for men, this week, and I think it's right on. Ladies, if you don't think that this is a struggle or temptation for your man, I have to say that you are naive. Maybe 1% of men don't struggle with lust, but according to my husband, that number is probably too high. I am so thankful for a godly husband who loves me enough to be honest with me about his struggles, instead of trying to 'sweep them under the rug' so as to continue to hide sin.

Tim is going much farther than 'you need to quit looking at porn' in this series. He is focusing on the soul-corroding effects of a man who feeds on these images and how wives, families, perceptions about women, and society as a whole are affected.

Please take the time to read and follow the rest of this series. Talk about it with your husband. Forward the link to others. Satan has a choke-hold around so many and Christians need to reclaim sexual purity and victory in this realm.
Part I Part II

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

She Only Reads the Good Stuff

Do We Realize How Blessed We Are?

After learning that Lily's friend from church was diagnosed with H1N1 yesterday, I was fearful that Lily's cough and fever this morning were indicators that she had contracted it, too. Thank goodness that we have access to wonderful medical care and modern means of diagnosis! After a somewhat traumatic nose and throat swab, we learned that she does not have that virus, but some other that isn't quite as scary.

With all the crazy healthcare talks and bellyaching about how 'broken' our system is, running across this blog post brought me to tears and reminded me of how blessed we are in this country. We get so focused on the imperfections of our system (which will always be imperfect as long as sinful humans are running and participating) that we become oblivious to the needs and desperate lack of care available to so many in this world.

And, will you please pray for our friends who are dealing with this sickness in their home? The Watson family has six children, one of whom is a newborn.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Hot Mish-Mash on a Cold Day

Beautiful birthday flowers from my Aunt Bren and Uncle Gary

Well, anyway it's cold here. I think 48 degrees is cold for Kansas in October. But I *love* it! Dreary days seem to make home even cheerier, don't you think? And hot mish-mash? Mmmm. Enjoy.

Here's an interesting take on recent children's picture books from Al Mohler. I've made the mistake of not flipping through the little ones' choices at the library and have sometimes been surprised at what I found inside when we got home.

I really, really wish I liked to sew, especially when I see adorable projects like this. Isn't that too creative and cute?

To throw in a little somethin' for you homeschoolers of elementary aged children: I have been so pleased with Rod and Staff's grammar textbooks. It is grammar, so nothing is going to make kids love it, but I love that as sentence structure, adverbs, poetry, and the rest are explained, students are working with Bible verses and stories, as well as other wholesome and uplifting themes. I also appreciate the broad scope covered in these books: everything from telephone manners, to creative writing, to outlining. Each grade set includes a teacher's manual, textbook, supplemental worksheets, and tests, for around $50. Of course, the consumable stuff is much less, so the cost for my younger kids will be less per year as I'll already have the textbook and teacher's book. According to my Mom-in-law, this publisher was one of the first available to homeschoolers in the '80's.

Lastly, I am so glad that a few brave souls held garage sales today. I picked up these two Southern Living Christmas idea/cookbooks for $2 each. After perusing them, I'm feeling inspired to do better with Christmas baking for gifts this year.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Birthday Stuff

This past weekend Lily and I celebrated our birthdays: she turned 7, and, well...I had a birthday. My dear Mom-in-Law came and it was great to have her here. I'm very blessed to have a mother-in-law who is a wonderful friend. Martha watched the kids while Kevin and I went out Friday night to the Kansas City Symphony. We've never been before and it was really fun to do something different and to enjoy the amazing music.

Several years ago we got the idea from another large family to take each of the kids out, alone, for a 'birthday breakfast'. Eating out is a big deal around here anyway, and it's really special for the kids to have either Kevin or me 'one-on-one'. I think they look forward to this all year. Lily picked IHOP for our time Saturday morning.

Here she is mixing various pancake syrups to attain the maximum sugar-high.

The anticipation is the best part...

...Except when you're about to get your ears pierced. For some random reason, seven is the age when we've told our girls that they may have their ears pierced. So, all the girls except the baby took a trip to the mall together to witness the exciting event.

I love this picture: nervous, scared, but trying to keep smiling anyway. She held it together like a champ.

Celebratory hot chocolate afterward!

It was a great weekend! What a blessed woman am I.

Thursday, October 08, 2009


I just accidentally deleted my whole 'Friends' bloglist! If your link is missing, please leave me a comment with your blog address, and I'll put you back.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Weekend Pictures

We were in Indianapolis this weekend for our friends Nathan and Valerie's wedding. Joseph was the ring bearer, and did a great job, to my great relief. :)

Here's Joseph with his friend Olivia, one of his very favorite people.

Boy was I glad that his boutonniere made it through the ceremony and pictures.

Afterward, as a bribe reward for doing his 'job' well, we found a Wal-Mart and Joe picked out a big noisy gun. You earned it, buddy!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

It's All Worth It

Yesterday I took a 'Mental Health Day', as I like to call them, and we didn't crack a textbook. We had a long wait at the doctor's office, then I attempted to haul all the kids with me to Costco. Not sure if that was brave or just stupid. :) Actually, they did remarkably well; aided, I'm sure, by the abundance of free food samples. As we were checking out, I was corralling a crying baby, hyper toddler, two arguing little girls, and keeping an eye on the older two. The elderly lady behind me put her soft, wrinkled hand on my arm and smiled at me. "It's all worth it," she said. "Every minute of it. I have six grown children and they are just wonderful. It's all worth it," she repeated.

I smiled back and thanked her for her kind encouragement. And for just a moment, I thought of myself in her shoes: Looking back on most of my years, instead of anticipating them. House quiet and still. Childbearing and nursing days long gone.

It really
is all worth it. All of the exhaustion, frustration, and sacrifice is worth the joy and privilege of loving and knowing these little ones. Someday, when I'm gray, I'm going to pass that wisdom on to a young mother of many.