Kids Craft Weekly

I have been receiving an e-newsletter called Kids Craft Weekly for some time now. It is full of cute ideas for crafts surrounding a weekly theme. Some weeks I don’t get to any of the crafts at all, but this week, I hope to do all of them, since they look fun and things should be slowing down around here (VBS, birthday party, etc. over for now). Take a look at the newsletter here.
Photo: You, too, can have your very own robot, courtesy of KCW!

Weekend Thoughts

“There are always plenty of good reasons to be afraid–unless you know that things are under control. A Christian has this “inside information.” Things are, in fact, under control. God is our Refuge, our Strength, our Mighty Fortress. Nothing will get by the moat of his protection without his permission. To be afraid of what happens today or what may happen tomorrow is not only an awful waste of energy, it is not only useless, it is disobedient. We are forbidden to fear anything but the Lord Himself.
When Christians in China were being hounded to death in the 1930s, one of them (I am told) wrote this simple song, which has helped me in countless times of fear ever since I learned it as a high school girl:
I will not be afraid. I will not be afraid. I will look upward, and travel onward, And not be afraid.
Will power, of course, will not always overcome human emotions. But willed obedience to the One who is in charge, coupled with prayer for his help in vanquishing our natural fears, is something else.”
~Elisabeth Elliot

Lessons From A Blue Ball

Last week I was in Aldi with the three oldest children. (This post will not be about the few-bricks-short woman shopping there, who decided to tell me what she thought of me having, what she saw as, three kids and one on the way. People think they are so original with their comments.) The kids love to go in with me, because down the middle aisle there is usually an assortment of toys and games. They will find something they want, and I will say, “I’ll think about that, and ask Daddy. We don’t have the money for it this time, but maybe next time.” Or something to that effect. Sometimes it backfires; A-Major once asked Grandma for something as we were approaching Big-S’s birthday, saying, “We don’t have any money, so can you get it for us?” She’s a peach.
Usually, though, I think they get the right message. So, while we were in the store that day, Little-S found a ball, and wanted to get it. I said the customary phrases, and he was okay with that. Even sweet about putting it back.
BTW, I am thinking up a children’s book surrounding the adventures of this little blue ball in Aldi- kinda like The Red Balloon, only not as boring.
Last night, Luke and I were at Aldi (we’re pretty much always at Aldi, in case you haven’t figured that out), and I saw the ball sitting in the clearance bin. I thought back to how good Little-S was about not getting it when he asked, and I just had the overwhelming desire to get it for him now. A bonus- it wasn’t ringing up anything, so the cashier only charged us fifty cents. Heh. He was so happy to receive this small gift, and I was so happy to have a chance to bless him when he least expected it.
I think that this is the way God deals with us, as His children, at times when we are asking in prayer for something we want. It may be a good thing we desire, but God knows the timing is wrong, or has some other reason that He just can’t say yes right away. When I ask for something, I need to then be ready and accepting if He would say, “I’ll think about it. Not now. Maybe later.”
So many things seem like they are taking forever to develop these days, but it all is a matter of perspective. Looking back, after I am moved on to the next big thing, time will appear to have flown by in this, as it has all along.

A Worthy Cause

Most of you have heard me talk about Kim (Large Family Logistics), who recently gave birth to a baby at 27 weeks gestation. I haven’t been posting many updates, but Matthew Isaac is doing really well, considering his age and condition. In the latest post on her blog, Kim mentioned meeting a teenage girl who makes blankets for an organization called Project Linus. These blankets are given to children age 0-18 who are in need of some comfort, be they going through a traumatic situation, or, what Kim has witnessed, preemies that need something to block out stimulation to their isolette.
The lady who collects blankets for our area said that they are given to “Marion General Hospital’s emergency department, to Turning Point (our shelter for abused women and their children) and I also give them to deputy sheriffs to use when they help children…”
I think this is so neat! My only thought now is, do I knit, crochet, or quilt a blanket first?
Check out the website for Project Linus here.

Fixing Mr. Fix-It

More praise for my hard-working, handyman husband- he fixed our leaky sink! The above photo is what it looked like in the kitchen last week, while we were trying to get the sink dried out enough for him to apply the silicone to the drain. A-Major typed and printed the signs up all by herself! A budding techie, for sure.
Every Mr. Fix-It deserves a sweet treat, so when Luke asked for something homemade and chocolatey last night, I said I didn’t feel like it I rushed to deliver. I decided to pull out my permanently-borrowed-from-Mom Betty Crocker’s Cookbook (can you guess which section has the tab torn off from repeated use?), and see if there was a brownie recipe. Sure enough, there was one. And only one- I appreciate that they keep things simple in this cookbook and don’t leave the cook with too many choices. The brownies turned out really good- a nice way to end a busy day cleaning and showing the house.

Where Two Or More Are Gathered…

Call me paranoid, but now that I have found two daddy long-leg spiders in the house, I totally expect to uncover this as I am cleaning today. Or, I bet they know we have a house showing tonight, and will time their appearance appropriately. Sigh.

Of Fevers, Church, And A Really Great Cobbler

We’ve got a bit of summer sickness going round at our house. Usually the baby catches things first, and it is hard to tell exactly what is wrong, until an older child or adult gets the same thing. Judging from my symptoms (thanks, Ab), she is suffering from a fever and a sore throat. She’s been a real trooper about it, still sleeping through the night, and not too terribly cranky. But I knew Saturday night that we wouldn’t make it to church the next morning. Can I admit to you that I was kinda relieved not to have to go? Partly due to the fact that I am too big for any of my britches, partly because I don’t feel good, but mostly because I have appreciated taking a Sunday off here and there, during this period of waiting for God’s choice for us in a church home. Visiting churches is tough. [WARNING: whining ahead. Feel free to skip to the sweet treats, two posts down] It is like an extended stay in someone else’s home, when I don’t have a home. Everybody is really nice, and I have a good time, but it isn’t my home. So, I have to say that a Sunday away, every once in a while, from the Great Church Search, is good for my soul.
On a happier note, this past week, Meredith posted a tutorial on how to make what looks like the easiest cobbler ever. I was intrigued. Knowing that my husband doesn’t like fruit desserts (and my kids normally eat all around the berries in their muffins) didn’t do a thing to deter me from trying to make it. And, as providence would have it, Luke said “It’s good” (high praise!), and most of the kids ate every bite. This might have been due to the ice cream on top. That cold, creamy goodness can usually pull any cobbler up from its humble plate and make it shine. Luke went to town that morning, but I didn’t think to have him pick up some vanilla ice cream. So, before dinner, I walked up to the BP station to see if they had any. They didn’t, so I was forced to pay- are you sitting down?- $4.70 for a quart of ice cream at our local dairy bar. Any math whizzes out there want to figure how much that is for a half gallon? I know, I know. Pregnancy, heat, and fresh blueberry cobbler are driving all sanity away these days.
Starve a cold, feed a fever cobbler and overpriced ice cream? Isn’t that how the old adage goes?

Happy Bloggiversary To Me!

Okay. I tried to figure out how to get confetti to spit out of your monitor speakers as you happened upon this post, but I don’t think it can be done.
One year ago today, I started this blog. It was destined for greatness from the beginning- the initial entry had reality in a firm grasp: “This is the first post to this blog.” Gratefully, things got more interesting after that, as I began to tackle the topics that matter most: good TV (LOST), good food (granola, monkey brains), and good life (family, homeschooling, what God is teaching me). It has been fun sharing what I think with the virtual world, but the real reason I write here is so I have some main events preserved for myself and my kids, to look back upon later. Now that I have accumulated a year’s worth of posts, I want to go back and look them over again. I might post some of my favorites in the coming days.
“Get to the good stuff, already!” you say. “I’m not here to reminisce with you, I want to know what’ll happen when I leave a comment!”
What is a party without sweet treats? Conjure an image of a favorite candy in your mind right now. Nothing fancy, please- it would need to be found in a Wal-Mart checkout lane. Tell me what your favorite sweet is by leaving a comment on this post, and you will receive a sweet treat. Yes, you read me correctly. I am all about letting my readers celebrate with me on this special day! For under a buck each. Call it the gift (leaving a comment) that keeps on giving (you got a little nougat on your chin, there). I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

Happy Fourth Of July!

I realized that we haven’t yet taught our kids the Pledge of Allegiance, when we were asked to say it in church this week. I want to get right on that- it is a good reminder of how good we have it.

The Pledge of Allegiance “Meaning”
— As told by Red Skelton

Mr. Laswell, Red Skelton’s teacher, felt that his students had come to think of the Pledge of Allegiance as merely something to recite in class each day. Here is the text of that story.

“I’ve been listening to you boys and girls recite the Pledge of Allegiance all semester and it seems as though it is becoming monotonous to you. If I may, may I recite it and try to explain to you the meaning of each word?”

I — me, an individual, a committee of one.

Pledge — dedicate all of my worldly goods to give without self pity.

Allegiance — my love and my devotion.

To the Flag — our standard, Old Glory, a symbol of freedom. Wherever she waves, there’s respect because your loyalty has given her a dignity that shouts freedom is everybody’s job!

United — that means that we have all come together.

States — individual communities that have united into 48 great states. Forty-eight individual communities with pride and dignity and purpose; all divided with imaginary boundaries, yet united to a common purpose, and that’s love for country.

And to the republic — republic… a state in which sovereign power is invested in representatives chosen by the people to govern. And government is the people and it’s from the people to the leaders, not from the leaders to the people.

For which it stands, one nation — one nation… meaning “so blessed by God”

Indivisible — incapable of being divided.

With liberty — which is freedom… the right of power to live one’s own life without threats, fear or some sort of retaliation.

And Justice — the principle or qualities of dealing fairly with others.

For all — for all… which means, boys and girls, it’s as much your country as it is mine.

I found the above on a blog called Freedom Isn’t Free- how true is that!

Yippee!

I found something else to spend my birthday money on- Aldi had Cheaper By The Dozen at the checkout for seven bucks! That movie, and its sequel, are two of my favorite movies. My neighbor commented once that she didn’t want to see the remake, because it looked like the kids were wild and crazy and swinging from the chandelier. But that was just how the previews made it look. There is some chandelier-swinging, but it isn’t all that bad. I have a job for anyone going to Aldi this week- look for Cheaper By The Dozen 2 for me, and let me know if you have found it. My Aldi only had the first, but they had both Princess Diaries, so I am betting the sequel to this is lurking about in a store somewhere, too.