Monday, January 31, 2011
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
I love this sign I saw hanging in an auto repair shop. It said, "If you're smoking in here, you better be on fire!" That sign is typical of the current emphasis in America on helping people to stop smoking. But shouldn 't we be just as careful about our health in other areas as well?
Just as our cars were made to run on clean fuel, so were our bodies. they need pure food, clean air, good water, lots of exercise, and peaceful hearts. Our health is a gift from God that we ought to take seriously. It's part of being a good steward of God's grace.
God has given each of us only one body. We need to treat these gifts of God with respect and appreciation.
I came across this devotion this week DR's book, One Minute a Day. I exercise a lot and I try to eat lots of vegetables and sometimes I catch a lot of flack from people for my lifestyle. I hear, "Why run? That's why we have cars!" or people think my kids are weird when they say their favorite foods are apples.
I wasn't always into healthy living. There was a time I smoked and ate all kinds of terrible things and watched too much tv but all that changed when I had kids. Suddenly it became very clear that I was in charge of someone else's health, someone who couldn't choose what kind of lifestyle to lead. Because I wanted my children to be healthy my lifestyle habits changed as I made good choices for them.
And you know what? I might be a "health nut" but I have more energy now than I did ten years ago. This body is not mine I am told in Corinthians. It is a gift and with any gift I receive, I'm trying to take care of and protect it.
Dear God, Thank You for my health! Thank You for the ability to make healthy lifestyle choice for myself so that I may honor the gift of this body You blessed me with. Amen.
Saturday, January 29, 2011
When they get here we're all going to drive to Taos, New Mexico about 6 hours away for a long weekend. We aren't much for skiing although there are tons of ski resorts in the Taos area. My sister and I have been cruising the Internet planning other spots to hit while we are there. These are a few of the places we are planning on visiting.
Friday, January 28, 2011
I love this soup; it's like a bowl full of creamy mashed potatoes. Plus you can sneak in some vegetables to your kids with this soup without them being any the wiser.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
I came across an excerpt from the soon released book, Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture.The author, Peggy Orenstein, discusses how she vowed not gender roles on her young toddler daughter, Daisy. Daisy played with trains in preschool but then as she got older and more socialized with other children princess and pink abounded. Below are some paragraphs I found rather interesting .
But honestly: since when did every little girl become a princess? It wasn’t like this when I was a kid, and I was born back when feminism was still a mere twinkle in our mothers’ eyes. We did not dress head to toe in pink. We did not have our own miniature high heels. What’s more, I live in Berkeley, California: if princesses had infiltrated our little retro-hippie hamlet, imagine what was going on in places where women actually shaved their legs? As my little girl made her daily beeline for the dress-up corner of her preschool classroom, I fretted over what playing Little Mermaid, a character who actually gives up her voice to get a man, was teaching her.
On the other hand, I thought, maybe I should see princess mania as a sign of progress, an indication that girls could celebrate their predilection for pink without compromising strength or ambition; that at long last they could “have it all”: be feminist and feminine, pretty and powerful; earn independence and male approval. Then again, maybe I should just lighten up and not read so much into it — to mangle Freud, maybe sometimes a princess is just a princess.
It was confusing: images of girls’ successes abounded — they were flooding the playing field, excelling in school, outnumbering boys in college. At the same time, the push to make their appearance the epicenter of their identities did not seem to have abated one whit. If anything, it had intensified, extending younger (and, as the unnaturally smooth brows of midlife women attest, stretching far later). I had read stacks of books devoted to girls’ adolescence, but where was I to turn to understand the new culture of little girls, from toddler to “tween,” to help decipher the potential impact — if any — of the images and ideas they were absorbing about who they should be, what they should buy, what made them girls? Did playing Cinderella shield them from early sexualization or prime them for it? Was walking around town dressed as Jasmine harmless fun, or did it instill an unhealthy fixation on appearance? Was there a direct line from Prince Charming to “Twilight” ’s Edward Cullen to distorted expectations of intimate relationships?
It is tempting, as a parent, to give the new pink-and-pretty a pass. There is already so much to be vigilant about, and the limits of our tolerance, along with our energy, slip a little with each child we have. So if a spa birthday party would make your six-year-old happy (and get her to leave you alone), really, what is the big deal? After all, girls will be girls, right? I agree, they will — and that is exactly why we need to pay more, rather than less, attention to what is happening in their world.
I found this excerpt rather fascinating for many reasons.
First of all I was a tomboy growing up, still am. I played sports and baled hay with the guys when I was a teenager but I wore makeup and did my hair. I never have liked the color pink and don't remember ever playing princesses but now I do like to wear dresses when the wind isn't blowing! I had a Barbie doll growing up but was jealous of my sister's Barbie because her doll took rides in the back of her toy semi. As for my appearance, I sometimes go out in public without makeup but I make sure I've changed out of my pajamas and look presentable. Even though I don't consider myself a 'girlie girl', not really in the 'feminist' movement, but I do think of myself as fairly feminine .
Before reading this excerpt I never realized there was any sort "princess culture" out there. I live in a small town remember? We don't get out much.
The way Orenstein presents it, feminism brought about a choice for girls. They could be tomboys or beauty queens, stay at home or working mommies, or not mommies at all. But the 'girls will be girls' philosophy has pushed the idea that every girl has to be a princess into all realms of a young girl's life and they are growing up losing a choice the feminist movement provided.
Tell me parents. Is there a princess culture aimed at young girls? Those of you with daughters, do you see it as detrimental or a harmless phase they go through? Do you feel your daughters are bombarded with pink and left without a choice whether they should embody that role of princess? I have a almost 2 year old...what do I need to know?
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Monday, January 24, 2011
So last week our lesson was on using scrap fabric and turning it into something new rather than tossing it into the landfill. I sew but I don't quilt so my scraps usually get tossed. The lesson leader had tons of ideas but I'll just share two of my versions with her today.
Our lesson leader also shared a website with us, Little Dresses for Africa, where you'll find a free pattern download to make some very simple sundresses; sizes 3-12. This is a non-profit group that provides dresses for girls in Africa. Dresses can be made quickly with very little fabric.
I downloaded the pattern and had two dresses (5/8 yd. each for size 3) whipped out in an hour, with Yahoo's help. Bias tape is used at the armholes (hard to see in the pics) and as a drawstring at the top which ties at the shoulders.
This one was actually made from a pillowcase (instructions for this on Little Dresses website also). Please don't pay any attention to those letters at the bottom. My iron on transfers and I had quite the go around for 20 minutes or so....the iron on transfers won. Good thing they were given to me; I'm not out any money!
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Every night at bedtime the boys and I read the Bible. We were on the story of the great prophet Elijah and talking about God spoke to Elijah and gave him messages to pass on to the people. (Elijah's one of my favorite Bible characters; full of fire he is!) The idea of a God talking to a prophet prompted a lot of questions from Yip and Yap.
How did God talk to the prophets? Was it a normal person's voice, like you talking to me? Or did it come from the sky?
Why doesn't God talk to anyone now and send messages?
Why doesn't God talk to us? Will he if we ask him to?
Wow guys, lots of heavy stuff for Mom at bedtime. But I tackled these questions as best as I could. As we talked I was reminded of Samuel. Samuel and Eli lived and worked in the temple, in a holy place. If anyone would have recognized the voice of God talking to them they would have, right? But no, it took God calling three times before old Eli realized who was calling the boy Samuel.
Maybe God still is talking to us but we don't recognize his voice. Maybe we are too distracted by our daily lives, tasks and technology and God's voice is drowned out by our 'priorities'. Or maybe what we need to hear God is a guide or mentor, like Eli was to Samuel. Sometimes I think God is talking to me.
As the boys and I talked I sure didn't feel like I had the best answers for them. But my advice for them was; if they wanted to hear God speak then they should lay quietly and listen. And don't expect to have to listen with their ears but perhaps they need to listen with their hearts. I think I need to take my own advice to heart.
Dear God, Thank You for Your prophets and they messages they had for Your people. Their messages still ring true for us today. Help me be silen today God so I can hear You speak the message You have for me. Amen.
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Friday, January 21, 2011
I've modified this recipe from Pioneer Woman's Drip Beef Recipe and seriously I always eat way too much of it. It's just that good.
Prairie Mother's Drip Beef
1 roast (any will work)
salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme
1 onion, diced
mushrooms, sliced and/or diced
Trim the fat off the roast. Sprinkle salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme over the surface of the meat and rub in well. Set aside.
Melt a couple tablespoons of butter in a skillet on high heat. Add the mushrooms. The mushrooms will absorb the butter fairly quickly so stir constantly for a couple minutes until beginning to brown. Remove from skillet and place in crockpot. Melt more butter and add onions, cook until translucent. Remove onions from skillet and add the the crockpot. Add more butter (or olive oil if you feel the need to be healthy) to melt in the skillet on high heat. Sear the outside of the roast on both sides until golden brown. Place roast on top of vegetables in the crockpot. Now, everything that's left in your skillet pour onto the roast. Yummy! Pour soy sauce into crockpot until it's about halfway up the roast. Don't cover with soy sauce! I usually only use about 5 oz. (1/2 bottle). Cook on high setting for 4 hours or low for 6-8 hours. With two forks shred meat and then stir up to combine the onions and mushrooms. Serve over bread, as a sandwich, on mashed potatoes or eat it with your fingers out of the crockpot. Not that I would ever eat it that way!
Thursday, January 20, 2011
If you are a mom, you have probably seen yourself disappear out of photos only to be substituted by your kids. I was flipping through photo albums recently only to find very few shots of me. Not that I'm vain or anything but I kind of want my grandkids and great-grandkids to know what I looked like before they were born. Therefore my resolution of 365 self portraits. I even joined a group on Flickr, 365 Days. Hopefully being part of a group will keep me at it.
Taking pictures of only myself can get really old so sometimes Yahoo jumps in with me. I've also learned when taking pictures of myself it can be difficult to control the camera when I'm not looking through the lens. This one was edited a lot to fix things but it turned out well.
But it's getting easier. And finally it's getting more fun! Hopefully I'll get better at it too.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Record keeping, accounts, files, paperwork....this is what DR does everyday at work. And he's good at it. He got the taxes practically done in 2 days.....it would have taken me 2 weeks....if I was lucky.
But I was supportive!! I brought him a beer and sat and drew a picture of him working on taxes.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Everyone in my house (me, DR, all three of our kids) we all wake up at 6 am every morning. Okay, sometimes it's 6:15 but most mornings by 6:30 everyone is in the kitchen eating breakfast.
Why don't I let it be known to the entire world (until today that is) what our household schedule is? Well...when I do, people are shocked. They can't believe that everyone gets up so early! They can't believe I make my kids get up so early! What a cruel mother I must be!
Now for the second part of my secret....my kids' bedtimes.
Yip and Yap (they are 6 years old) go to bed at 7:30 and Yahoo (almost 2) is tucked in by 6:30 - 6:45 at the latest. She also takes a 2 hour nap during the day. It's not like I put my kids to bed and they're awake playing for an hour. After they are in bed they fall asleep pretty quickly. Phew! I feel better! Up until the boys started school, and I started talking to other moms, I didn't even think this was an odd schedule.
In my defense my kids have always been early risers. Their bodies' schedules just worked out that way. But I do have a reason for encouraging the "early to bed, early to rise" attitude in our house. See, DR's job is agriculturally related; he manages a grain elevator and helps to oversee 4 others. Therefore, as with any ag job, work hours can flucuate wildly. Most days DR works an 11 hr. day. He leaves at 6:45 and gets home around 6:30...on a good day. Other days he doesn't get home until 7:30 or 8. Then there has been the occasional trip out of town; he'll be gone for a couple days at the end of this month. But then there is always harvest. When farmers are in the fields and bringing grain to the elevator, it isn't uncommon for DR to leave at 6 am and get home at 9 or 10 at night.
I remember when I was in elementary school my dad worked as an ag mechanic and a part time farmer. I remember weeks at a time where I barely saw him. When I was a kid, I hardly ever saw him in the mornings. Dad left for work before I woke up. And there were times he came home from work and went straight into the field and worked until after I was in bed. I remember times when I didn't see my dad until the weekends. (Dad, I'm not putting you on a guilt trip here, my childhood was awesome. I love you bunches!) But Dad always told me not to marry anyone in the ag industry. I was never very good at listening to him!
Because this is the way I grew up with my wonderful dad, I try to make sure that my kids see DR at least a few minutes every day. That's why everyone in my house gets up at the same time.....6 am. It doesn't always work out, and there are some days when the kids don't see their dad at all. But most mornings DR kisses everyone before heading out the door.
Now tell me, is this crazy? Why is everyone so shocked when I tell them our sleep schedule? Why does everyone thinks this is so odd? Am I the "weird mom"? (Well, yeah I probably am a weird mom but for a lot of other reasons besides this one!) Not that I'm going to change my kids' sleep schedules but I'd like to hear other mom's opinions on this.
Monday, January 17, 2011
First, shape pipe cleaners into any old shape and tie them to a pencil. Mix a ratio of 1 cup of boiling water : 3 T of Borax and pour them into canning jars and suspend the pipe cleaners in the Borax/water mix overnight.
Why does this work? Because hot water molecules move farther apart from one another than cold ones. When the water is hot, the dissolved Borax has places to go between the water molecules. But as the water molecules cool down and move closer together the Borax gets pushed out of the way.
Sunday, January 16, 2011
I sometimes wonder, if I were forced from my home in a moments notice, be it a natural or manmade threat which drives me, which of my possessions would I grab before fleeing? In those few moments after seeing to the safety of my family I think my Bible and photo albums would be the first things I would grab. My Bible is full of notes and highlights that have become part of my daily Bible study. And of course, my photo albums are full of memories that I cherish.
If I had more time to grab stuff I'd probably grab some of my artwork, my camera, the kids favorite toys, family heirlooms. The more I think about it, the more things I would think of to grab if I had to flee my home....if I had just a few more minutes.
How have I become so attached to material possessions? They have no merit with God do they? Of course not. As the old saying goes, "you can't take it with you." Our faith and soul are the only things God is concerned about. But what are we most concerned with?
Someday Jesus will come again to take us home. Are we ready? Are we ready to go with him at a second's notice? Are we ready to turn away from everything and everyone we hold dear on Earth to go home to what is most dear in Heaven?
Dear God, Thank You for Your love. Thank You for our blessings on Earth. Thank You for reminding us however that material possessions are worth nothing compared to what awaits us with You in Heaven. Help us prepare to leave at a second's notice. Amen.
Saturday, January 15, 2011
I used colored pencils to draw these abstract yucca plant landscapes. These were so much fun. They were small so I could finish them fairly quickly and colored pencil is much cleaner to work in than pastel.
This one is my favorite because of the brighter colors and sense of depth my second doesn't have.
This tall skinny one was fun too but I wish I'd done something different with the background. I do like the moon though.
I have a few more pieces of this black and I think I'll be drawing on these for a while.
So, what do you think?
Friday, January 14, 2011
I just cut the pie crust into large circles using a large plastic cup and tucked them in and added the filling. I did bake them about 15 minutes less for than what the recipe called for if I had been making a full size pie.
Here's the recipe I used;
Pumpkin Pie Filling
1 c sugar
1 c brown sugar
3 T flour
2 t. cinnamon
1 t. cloves
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/2 t. allspice
1/2 t. salt
2-15 oz. canned pumpkin
1 c milk
Beat eggs, sugars, flour spices and salt. Add pumpkin and milk. Pour into 2 pie shells and bake at 350 for about an hour until pie puffs up in center. For mini pies in muffin tins bake for 45 minutes.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
I'm pretty sure all these toys were my BIL's when he was a kid. Wow, pretty cool he's sharing his old toys with my kids isn't it? I bet his report card read "plays well with others" when he was younger.
Yip and Yap love these toys, so do I. The only problem is we don't know who they all are. Who are the good guys? Who are the bad guys? I didn't grow up watching or reading Marvel comics and since my boys don't watch tv (gasp!) we are a bit befuddled over some of the alliances of our Marvel pile.
And thanks to Yip's obsession with this one (and one hunkie Mr. Hugh Jackman) I know Wolverine too.