Friday, December 23, 2005

Enjoying a daughter's talents...

for wrapping my Christmas presents!! WOO*HOO! My 13 y.o. hasn't yet realized the hassle of wrapping presents and finds it she is wrapping all the kids gifts other than the couple lil girls gifts I already wrapped this morning, and her own of course. What a relief let me tell ya! I fully recommend taking any help you can find, especially if you have a large family.

As for the other kids, they are quite rowdy today and driving me really nuts. My house is getting leveled, which is not ok with me, and getting into things, etc,... The baby is sleeping now, and lunch is cooking. Soon I will begin preparing the chocolate cream pie, and festive fudge we will be having for our family dinner on Sunday. I'll post the recipes below:

A chocolate cream pie with whipped topping.

3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
2 squares unsweetened baking chocolate, cut in small
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups milk
3 egg yolks, beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pastry shell, 9-inch, baked
Chocolate Cream Pie Whipped Topping
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In top of a double boiler, combine sugar, cornstarch,
chocolate, and salt. Stir in milk. Cook mixture over
boiling water, stirring constantly, for about 10
minutes, or until chocolate mixture has thickened.

Continue to cook for about 10 minutes longer, stirring
Gradually stir half of the hot chocolate mixture into
beaten egg yolks; return egg mixture to the double
boiler, stirring well. Cook over boiling water,
stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Remove from
heat; stir in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Pour
filling into a baked pie shell.

Chill chocolate cream pie thoroughly in refrigerator,
about 3 to 4 hours. In a mixing bowl, beat cream with
confectioners' sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
until stiff. Spread over chocolate cream pie and
return to refrigerator until serving time. Store
leftover chocolate cream pie in refrigerator
3 cups (18-ounce) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (14-ounce) can Sweetened Condensed Milk
(NOT evaporated milk)
Dash salt
1/2 to 1 cup chopped nuts, optional
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Line 8- or 9-inch square pan with foil. Butter foil;
set aside.

Line medium-sized heavy saucepan, over low heat, melt
chips with the sweetened condensed milk and salt. Remove from heat;
stir in nuts if desired and the vanilla. Spread evenly
into prepared pan.

Chill 2 hours or until firm. Turn fudge onto cutting
board; peel off foil and cut into squares. Store
covered in refrigerator.

Yield: about 2 pounds.

Enjoy the special weekend with your families.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Our Cookie Decorating Adventure

Our cookie decorating party had a major kink in it: Aiden had a fever, so our friends didn't come over afterall. What a bummer! We still made cookies amongst ourselves, though, and my dad happened to stop by. Here's one of elated Mikey, and I will put the rest in the yahoo album named Christmas.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Gingerbread Road

OK, maybe not Gingerbread ROAD, but definitely Gingerbread House! My dad brought me over a ready to decorate gingerbread house for my birthday which is tomorrow. He was afraid he wouldn't be able to come tomorrow as we are expecting some snow and freezing rain. Of course, I had to open it tonight...hehe...and of course I had to jump right in and decorate it. Wow, let me just say it was not as easy as I had thought! What a mess!!! I am so glad I waited until the boys were in bed, so it was just me and Felicia. I'll definitely stick to graham cracker houses with the rest of the kids. =D

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Not Again!

Believe it or not, there is yet another health crisis going on. Not a big deal, for that I am thankful, but it is enough to have kept me out of church yet another Sunday. I am getting pretty upset, and I miss being together at services with my family. :(

We missed about 4 weeks back when Aiden had the Mystery Rash which we couldn't be sure was contagious or not. Then we got to go back, and I have had bronchitis for a month, and a killer sinus infection. We've been going anyhow, but it had been getting harder and harder trying to keep from coughing and having to excuse myself. I hadn't been able to get to a doctor, since we had a lapse in our health insurance. I finally was able to go to the dr with having our insurance reinstated and start on meds last week. I can finally sleep at night. What a relief! I've still got a cough, but not like before. We missed a week or two here or there from me being just so exhausted and us being unable to get there in time. We go to the 8:30 am services since Mike has to work for noon on Sunday, so we cannot go to the 11am one.

Then, just as things were looking up, Danny developed pink eye and went to the Dr. on Thursday. He was starting to clear up and what happnes last night? Yeah, you guessed it...Little Aiden developed a really nasty case of pink eye, also in both eyes. So yet again we were unable to go to Church. Am I crazy to feel like we are being attacked here? I don't want to be one of those people who blame every little thing on the evil one, I am careful not to give him too much credit, I will not put my focus on him. It IS starting to feel that way though. Our church's Christmas play is tonight, and dh has to go since he volunteered to help in the nursery, however our own kids will be unable to attend and enjoy it now because I am unable to go. NICE! AARGH!

Please send up a prayer for us, friends, as you are able. Thanks, and I am enjoying reading your news as well.

Sunday, December 4, 2005

Snow Fun!

We went out sledding this afternoon. It was fun, but didn't last long, as lil people got wet and cold before too long. We went home and had some homemade peppermint hot chocolate, made with white chocolate.

Peppermint Hot Chocolate

If you haven't tried this, you're missing out! Since this is dh's only weekend off we are celebrating all weekend. This recipe came from a Big Y supermarket magazine they give out free. It didn't sound all that great, until we TRIED it. YUUUUMM! See the picture for the finished result.

2 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
8 oz. white chocolate morsels
1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
-red food coloring (optional)
-prepared whipped topping
4-6 peppermint sticks or candy canes

In a medium saucepan over med-low heat, heat milk and
cream to a simmer, stirring often. Mix in Chocolate.
Whisk until chocolate is melted and smooth. Add
peppermint extract and stir. Slowly add food
coloring, a couple of drops at a time, stirring
between additions until desired color is reached.

Pour into mugs and top with whipped topping; garnish
with whole peppermint stick or candy cane.
4-6 servings yielded

Saturday, December 3, 2005

Christmas Tree Hunting!

Well, we went to a nice Christmas Tree farm nestled in a nice Agawam neighborhood. Basically someone has a very HUGE back yard. We drove thru their driveway and down a lil dirt road and there it was. There were two tractors giving rides down to the trees. We got out, found our tree and watched Mike saw it down. I think it was extra special for the boys and Felicia to see their own dad cut down their tree, as I bragged to them how strong and smart their dad was. Then someone gave us a hand carrying it to the tractor. They netted it up for us and helped carry it to the car. The kids also enjoyed some free hot chocolate inside their tiny little gift shop. It was fun, but I was disappointed that I was unable to get a picture for our photo Christmas cards I need to send out. My batteries died!!! I could not find the charger.

We returned home and fought with the tree a good long time, since it was not cut perfectly even it was very difficult! Mike ended up having to go back out and buy some fancy shmancy tree stand that cost more than the tree did!! How awful is that~ Anyhow, the tree is up and that counts for a lot! I quickly strang up some lights and grabbed myself a couple pics of the children. They are not great, but neither is my patience. I just had to rush. I'm feeling that Christmas is creeping up on us, and I am really wanting to send our cards out!

Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Where has my joy gone? Lately I have been in a slump. The house is shabby, the children are whiny and push to the extreme, I am cranky and uninspired, our meals have come in prepackaged boxes. YUK, this is NOT the way our life should be. We need to get back to what is important, and it needs to start with me.

Things don't need to be perfect or even going great to experience Joy. Joy is not the same as happiness in the worldly sense, it isn't dependent on certain circumstances.
I choose Joy and it comes from my Father, my Savior, my Creator. What a miracle! Jesus has filled in the gap where I fall short. He came to MY rescue. I am a child of God, the Creator of everything, and he has a plan for me. I have every reason to rejoice! Things don't have to be running smoothly around here for me to rejoice, but maybe if I am obedient to God and rejoice in Him, rather than ourselves, things just might run smoother as a side effect.

OK, I am motivated! Thank You Lord! I am going to get off this computer and do all the things that need to get done so that we can have a timely dinner and get to AWANA tonight without being all harried in the process. Have a GREAT day!

Back to the mystery rash

Well, Aiden still has the hive-like bumps. The other dry skin type rash that started after the hive-type bumps has cleared up mostly using dove soap generic and cvs moisturizing cream (it's like a body butter with no scent or color).

We have also been trying Aiden on Lactaid for two weeks now, to see if that helps, to no avail. He is breaking out less frequently, but some decided to appear just this morning. How strange! I just can't figure it out.

Lady Jonine advised me that if he has a milk protein allergy the lactaid will not help as that has to do with milk sugar. I also stopped cooking with the whole wheat, however as I read more and more I am learning wheat is in most everything. I just get overwhelmed with the idea of bringing him to an allergist. He's such a tiny little guy. I'm not giving up and I am thankful this allergy, whatever it is, isn't a serious threat to his health. Like I told the doctor, I'm sure it can't be healthy, after all his body is having a reaction (The Dr.'s don't see it as a big problem); On the other hand, I'm glad it's not an emergency.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you all had a blessed Thanksgiving! We sure had a lot to be thankful for this year. No matter who you are you have at least one thing to be grateful for: Jesus Christ, who gave up his life willingly to pay the debt for our sins. We are free to accept this gift, and be reconciled to God. I am praising God for saving me, my husband, and 13 y.o. daughter this spring and summer. It was especially nice to have our health insurance problems cleared up and able to get Mikey's meds right in the nick of time before starting the holiday. My mom and dad joined us for dinner, and each brought a dish, so it ended up being the easiest Thanksgiving ever for me. It's especially rare to have my mom, so that was extra nice. We also woke up to loads of snow Thanksgiving morning, huge fluffy flakes blanketing the whole area, so beautiful!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

I'm Excited!!

I am excited. Autumn was going to a perfectly good middle school for 2 years, and began the third and last year there this year. She has been a solid honor student for the entire time she has been at Fairview. Suddenly they decide since she lives out of their district (across the street, right on the dividing line actually) that she would have to transfer to the other middle school. Well, we enrolled her and she has been miserable ever since. She cries to go to school, apparently she got thrown into a team (there are 3 teams in the 8th grade and then 5 homeroom teams within that. All the kids in each homeroom, have classes together all day long in each class) In other words, she got thrown into a homeroom with a bunch of rough clique girls. They just sneered and made her miserable, without doing anything that could actually be considered harassment. My daughter started crying to go to school. She has not done that since Kindergarten, and she is in 8th grade!

My husband and I decided to do what we could do, I wasn't willing to send my daughter somewhere she would cry over and be sick over every single day. I wasn't willing to take my daughter's hard work and honor status and throw it out the window. I wasn't willing to allow my daughter's spirit to be crushed. We decided we would homeschool her for the remainder of the year if an agreement could not be reached between the parties.

Mike first went to her "new" school and talked to her guidance counselor. He said he doesn't see why she couldn't have just stayed at the other school, seeing she hates it so much, and that they have made exceptions before, especially in the middle of a school year AND for an honor student. Then Mike went to the other school and talked with the only person available-the vice principal. Later, he called to follow-up with the principal, the person in charge of making the decision and was told she was at the "new" school speaking to them about Autumn. She finally called Mike and explained that the "new" school would be willing to work with Autumn and find a way to make it work. (we are still amazed that the school would go thru so much effort to evict so to speak such a good student) Mike explained to her that we would do whatever it took, and go as far as it would take to get her back to her "old" school. He had already called the superintendant and left a message with him. The superintendant cooincidentally happened to be Autumn's last principal at the "old" school and knew what a good kid she was. Finally a decision we fought for was made and Autumn is being allowed entrance back into the "old" school. She will be re-enrolled on Monday, she just won't be extended transportation, which is fine by me. Autumn is just thrilled and I am happy and proud of Mike as well. I only hope she will be placed back in her old classes so she won't have missed too much!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Our children in 2005

Wow, we haven't had a family or even semi-group picture taken since 1998! Mikey was only 5 months old in the first and last one, now he is 7 years and 5 months! It's such a lot of work trying to get 8 people looking decent and cooperating, but I'm glad we did it, even if it's not perfect and everyone isn't smiling. I don't know what we were thinking all of these years not trying.

Our first family portrait in 7 years!!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

The Dinner For Six Windup

Well, last night was the last of the three Dinner for Six fellowships. This one was held at our house, and we had a great time. For dinner we had my best scallop dish; a brocooli mushroom, shallot and roasted red pepper side dish, and some parmesan herbed sundried tomato quick bread I had made that morning. One couple brought a garden salad and one brough a chocolate cream pie for dessert. A little secret: I had also intended some herb roasted baby red potatoes, but when dinner was ready, they weren't. OOPS! I just turned off the oven and left em in there as if they didn't exist. I certainly wasn't about to serve them AFTER dinner...LOL!

The kids were very well behaved upstairs for about an hour and a half while we had dinner and conversed, then we allowed them to join us downstairs, quietly. We fed them earlier, before our dinner party. We also arranged for Autumn to keep them occupied upstairs. She is normally at her dad's on the weekend, but we paid her to come back home for the 4 hours. She's only 13, and already asking about getting a job. I am so against this. She needs to keep her mind on learning new things, and figuring herself out, and growing in the Lord. She doesn't need to take herself out from under our authority and under some guy who has no care for her ultimate good in a fast food joint, or what have you. She is still so impressionable. I figure between ourselves and her dad's friends, we can give her enough work. =)

Anyhow, back to the dinner: I'm so glad we signed up for this. I feel so warmed up to these other couples, and that is great. I think it's so important not to feel lost when joining a new church as we did this summer.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Poor Little Tyke!

Well, on Friday I took Aiden to the pediatrician's for his re-check on the rash. It still didn't look typical and hadn't spread much in the two days since we had last been there. The doctor ended up ordering a venous blood test to determine for sure what it was. Since he was due for a lead test, we were able to kill two birds with one stone, so that was a good thing! The doctor said that when a child comes down with Chicken Pox, they have to tell the Health Dept., and they contact the family to try and find out where it came from. Well, I hope they have fun trying because we really don't go anywhere! We haven't gone to anyone's house with him in over a month. The only place besides a grocery store I have taken him is the church nursery (no one there has it--and we're hoping no one got it from Aiden). There were a few kids here for his b-day party, but thankfully they were immunized. Other than that, I just have no clue. We often go for a ride in the van just to break up the day, but the only place we go in is to the grocery store.

Well, back to the blood test. I felt so bad! He hadn't a clue why these people were hurting him. He cried/whined all the way home, even with his binky. The good news is by now he has forgotten all about it and now we will know for sure. He's not having any complications but should a child in the nursery end up with it, we will know what it was, without question.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Could it be?

Chicken Pox?!!! It's been 10 years since I've laid eyes on Chicken Pox. It stormed our house in 1995 when it first infected Autumn's cousin, moved on to Autumn, and then waged war on 6 month old Felicia. The thought of a vaccination seemed so welcome.

We've since had 4 boys and not one of them has had to suffer with the itching & scarring so many of us remember not so fondly. Well, that's all changed. Last Sunday in church, when we were picking up the boys we were told Aiden had a rash. A pediatrician was called down to the nursery to check him out and she thought it was probablly chicken pox. I was mortified! I felt so bad. He did have a few bumps on his face, but I hadn't thought anything of it. For one thing, all of our boys have majorly sensitive skin, and Daniel gets bumps/rashes often. If he gets a common cold and has a fever, he will break out from it in blister type bumps. He never seems any worse for it, it just looks bad. I guess I had gotten so accustomed to that, that a few bumps on Aiden's face didn't impress me one way or the other.

We took Aiden to the pediatrician's yesterday and I showed the rash to the doctor. He didnt' seem to be worried about it until I kept pressing him. I really wanted to know if it was or wasn't chicken pox so I could let the church nursery know like they had asked me to do. Finally he studied them really seriously with his light and said that it COULD be chicken pox and asked me to bring him back on Friday to re-check him. It really is different from the Chicken Pox I remember, the one that took over our whole body and made us miserable. This kid seems perfectly healthy other than the runny nose we all are dealing with and the rash. The rash is pretty contained and only started spreading yesterday. I wonder why it is so slow moving!? Is it really Chicken Pox? Why wouldn't the doctor have known right away? hmmmmm...... For now, he is being quarrantined until the doctor is sure he isn't contagious.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

My New Toy!

Well, my kitchen Aid professional HD 5 qt. is on it's way from a seemingly distinguished Ebay seller! It's one of the few brand new factory sealed boxes that weren't just reconditioned. It should arrive by UPS on Friday, and I can't wait to get cookin! I saved about $75 from retail and that is including the shipping. Now, what to make first, bread to bake right away, or cookie dough to flash freeze and store for the approaching Holiday season. Have you all seen those frozen cookie balls in the grocery store called 600 pound gorillas or something like that? Same idea. I've done it before, and had great results. This time I can make more quantity.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Where is the foliage?

Ok, well, the foliage is there alright, but where are the brilliant colors?! We have just had sooo much rain and odd weather lately, 9 days straight, that I am afraid of what the turnout might be. I am hoping the leaves don't just all turn brown and fall off. What a disappointment that would be! I am seeing some yellow and brown. I'm soo longing to see the spectacular reds and vibrant orange and golds. How beautiful it normally is for a New England Autumn!!! Hello---I didn't name my eldest daughter that for nothing! LOL

My dad says in a couple of weeks we should see more color, but he too added the disclaimer, that is if they don't just turn brown and fall off because of the rain. What will be will be I suppose.

It is really windy too this week!! I just bought some hats and mittens for all the boys today. The girls can suffer a little longer. LOL, I know that sounds mean but they are older and capable of braving the fall weather a little more than the tiny tikes, and they're in no hurry to mess up their hair until it's really cold anyhow. I have a feeling that we will find all the winter stuff from last year this week and the girls will be all set then. They really don't wear their winter garb out, so unless they outgrew them we will be all set.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Dinner For Six, Second Dinner

Well, our second dinner for six was on Saturday night at Brad and MaryBeth's house. I haven't been out so much in a LONG LONG time. Their houe was very nice, and the meal was pork medallions in a pistachio sauce, garden romaine salad was the side we brought, and Boston Cream cake with coffee was for dessert.

I hope we all have a good time in our humble apartment next month! It's kind of intimidating after seeing their perfect homes. I know that is not the point, so I am not going to focus on that. As long as it's clean, which it will be, that is all that matters. I think I will be making my DH's favorite scallop meal. We only need to provide the main entree and a bread basket along with drinks. That should be pretty easy!

The point is I want my home filled with God's people; whether I live in a shack or a farmhouse, or yes even a townhouse complex. If I'm not a good steward with what we already have, why should God give us anything more? I want fellowship with like-minded people and that is what this is. Jesus will be my focus not the nicks in the woodwork, or the worn out tiled floor, or the occasional scuff mark on the paint.

Aiden's first birthday and homeschooling thoughts...

Well, my last baby just turned one on Saturday, October 8th! Lots of fun, but a little sad...

I have been thinking a lot about homeschooling lately. DH has casually mentioned it from time to time and I think it has managed to prick my heart. It is something I have always thought about but not had the resources to accomplish with my girls.

At this time in my life, and at my maturity level and goal focus in life I have confidence in my ability with my husband to educate our children for the Lord. Yes academics, but also in the way they should go! The variety of curricula is just overwhelming, however I have pinpointed the type of curriculum I would like to use: Unit Studies. The idea with Unit Studies is that there is a central theme that is carried over throughout all of the subjects. That sounds exciting to me! I have looked at Konos briefly, but I am leaning toward LifePac. There are no plans at this time, and I admit I am a little sad that I have missed the mark for my girls especially with the homeschooling, but I still have three boys that are not yet in the school system. There's no reason I can't begin with them. My fourth child, Ryan, will be due to begin Kindergarten in September of 2006. We will have to use this time wisely to pray and consider this opportunity for our family.

Monday, October 3, 2005

I never thought gold or diamonds were all that important in the grand scheme of things involving a marriage, but boy is it NICE to see the new fiery ring on my finger, 7 years after our wedding! And it's good to be identified as a married woman by people we encounter. People really DO notice those kind of things, not just as a material posession, but as an identification. And as for the man my husband is becoming, I am proud to be his wife. What an incredible anniversary.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

The First Dinner For Six

Last night was the first of the three Dinner for Six fellowship dates for our group of six. We were welcomed into Dan & Dianne's charming cozy home with some freshly brewed coffee decked in glass mugs etched with flowers. I really love glass coffee mugs because my grandmother had some and I always thought they were so neat, along with her wooden salad set consisting of serving bowl, individual bowls and serving bowl/spoon set. My grandmother also had blue and white print dishes which I would like to acquire for old times sake. Anyhow, Lasagna and bread was served. Mary Beth and her hubby brought the salad which had oranges, toasted almonds, real bacon shredded, drizzled with lemon poppy dressing. It was so tasty! A surprising burst of lovely flavor in each bite. I've never had any kind of salad like that before. Mike and I brought the strawberry rhubarb pie.

I have to say I have not laughed like that in a long time! It was a great group for me, reserved, shy Jenn to be in. They drew me out of my shell effortlessly. It was wonderful fellowship with like-minded people, exactly what we've been needing for so long!

I cannot wait for the next dinner which will be the second Saturday in October, the 8th. Now I need to get to testing some recipes, because we will be providing the side dish this time. YUM!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Finally bought the rings!

What a nice way to celebrate our "new" marriage to each other by exchanging new wedding rings! This past Saturday, we went to Hannoush Jewelers and picked out two beautiful rings in honor of our anniversary last month (Aug 29th). Mine is 14k yellow gold with 5 round diamonds sitting on top equaling a 1/2 carat. Mike's is two tone and has a striking kind of cut design to it which makes it really shiny and eye catching. At first I was a little anxious to spend that kind of money, but I have to admit I have really warmed up to the idea and absolutely cannot wait to get them in 3 weeks!!!

My prayer today is that God will protect those new Christians' Faith in His church and not allow them to be deceived or misled by worldy organizations/fraternal orders with subtle distorted teachings. I pray that they will see things clearly for what they are, and remember to ask for spiritual wisdom and discernment in the decisions they make.

Monday, September 5, 2005

Well, I guess I will get to put some hospitality to use. Mike and I signed up for a ministry at our church called : Dinner for 6. Three couples are teamed up. The first dinner on the first month (Sept.) will be at the first couple's home. The second couple bring the sides, and the third (us) bring the dessert.

The second dinner in the second month is at the second couples house. Then the third in the third month is at our house! I am excited but very nervous. The point is to get to know people, especially people like us who are new to the church. I am now stressing because all the flaws of our humble little home are like neon lights...LOL I know that is not the point, and so I am going to try and think differently.

I will be trying lots of menus this month on our family ;) It should be fun! I have asked the Lord to send us like-minded people that we could befriend, so this could be the way it will come to be.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Our 7th Wedding Anniversary

Today is our big day! We're planning on getting a matching set of new wedding bands in celebration within the next week. I don't even have a band as our rings were kinda cheap (blush). Mike's ring has held up, but he wants one to match my new one. I cared more about the wedding and reception itself so we chose to pour our budget into those areas. Now we're ready to upgrade. :D We will be celebrating a romantic evening together maybe on Wednesday since he's stuck at work tonight.

Praise God for sustaining our marriage during the unbearable times. Our marriage is everything I have ever prayed for! We held on because of consciousness of God and his will and he has blessed us immensely in his perfect timing.


Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The Family Meal Table and Hospitality

I finally received my book: The family meal table and hospitality by Nancy Campbell today! I am devouring it..LOL. I went thru the first 4 chapters correctly, looking up supporting biblical verses (there are tons) and answering the questions. Then I quickly read the next 9 chapters...LOL I have to go back and do those questions, and look up those scriptures.

Today I made a pretty table setting for the kids and me to share. We opened up with a prayer for God to be present with us at our meal table, and use this time to teach, learn, and for our family to develop some meaningful conversation. Of course we thanked Him for his provision to us.

Then we ate and talked. I actually got my daughter to converse..usually she just acts strange like she's shy to talk to her own family. How awful for her, and that we haven't made this a priority a long time ago. Then I read a quick story out of John, when Jesus walks on the water. I read a couple verses of proverbs, and had a lovely time. So the book is already a blessing to us. It inspired me to do what I know I should have, and gave me new ideas as well. =D I am excited to share dinner with hubby tomorrow. Tonite he had to work a 12 hour shift.....

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Day of Good Deals

Day of Good Deals
Tonight the moon was so huge and extra bright, low and golden. It was really impressive and pretty.

Anyhow, I found a really great cabinet/hutch type of piece at a tag sale yesterday. It looks like a kit someone bought and put together themselves. They said they used it as a entertainment center. My vision was for its home to be in our kitchen. It has a country look to it with the couple of scalloped edges. It reminds me of something you might see in a country store where they display their candles for sale. Too cute! I was soo excited. I am the Queen of missing good deals because I am never out there looking for them with 6 kids. Well, I got this for $5 bucks!!! It's not stained, but I like it natural, as the other lady was using it. So for now it's in the kitchen as is.

I also did the girls' school clothes shopping last night. The JcPenney outlet moved from CT to a nearby town mall, so we checked it out and did quite well. One of my daughters is plus sized so I always have to buy her clothes at JcPenney. The other daughter did well finding blouses/shirts. She has a lot of shirts with words & pictures on the front, so we found some respectable stylish yet subtle shirts nice enough to wear with skirts to church or a function, but would also look nice with Jeans and boots. We didn't bother with the shoes or coats. We spent enough as it was. I still need to get some things for the 4 boys. They don't need as much though, as I had been slowly collecting clothes for them all summer. Their shirts averaged 8 bucks, as their sweaters; their jeans averaged 13 bucks; the coats started at 19.99.

Normally I hate to spend money, but my husband had a mini crisis and wanted me to buy a new dish set (service of 8), glasses, plastic tumblers, silverware, cereal storage containers, butter dish; and redo our entire cabinet. I was overwhelmed at first and irritated to have to spend money and lug 6 kids with me, but once we got out there I actually had fun. I guess spending money IS FUN afterall....LOL I get so worried about saving money for our house sometimes to a fault.

Monday, August 15, 2005


Something set on my heart lately is extending hospitality. I've always thrown birthday parties for the children with a buffet style meal, so have practice on the informal scale. It's time to reach a little beyond that. My husband and I have walked away from our old lifestyle, and people associated with it. That has left a little lonliness in our life. I know it's for the best, but I have prayed for God to help us find/meet at least a couple other like-minded people that we can get together with and become friends with. I believe my prayers have been heard, and now that we have found a new church home I think it will be instrumental in our meeting the kind of people who can encourage and inspire us, and us them, as we walk the journey to Christ. I feel so settled and at home, I am excited to think of what he has next for us! There is a book I have been wanting for awhile now called: The family meal table and hospitality by Nancy Campbell. Maybe it's time to order my print! I have enjoyed what I've gleaned from online sources about table settings and simple meals, so the book should have all of that and much much more. There are a handful of scriptures supporting hospitality. This one is my favorite:

Hebrews 13:2
2Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.

1 Peter 4:9
Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Summer of Change

This summer was great. I began a home ec curriculum with my daughter(TOD-KAH). My 13 year old learned the basics of Square Foot Gardening, is learning some biblical doctrine, and accomplished a couple of basic sewing projects. These things were slow going as there are six children, and 3 of them are still quite young, our time to pour into these areas are limited. However, I could detect a sense of accomplishment in her that brought me joy and great encouragement.

I shudder when I remember the days, lost in depression while the children zombified themselves in front of the TV, or wandered around outside the home looking for something to do. Praise God that my eyes have been opened and he raised me out of that miry pit before it was too late for them! Now I am excited, excited to introduce my children to Christ and teach them useful skills that keep their hands busy, their minds out of the world, and encourage them by seeing the fruit of their own hands. They are preparing for their future and building wonderful memories of time with mom.

The love I have for my husband has deepened and widened more than I thought was possible. Watching him become the godly man I have prayed before in front of my very eyes is nothing short of a miracle. We used to be stuck in our sins like in quicksand. Our whole life was held back. Now, we have vision, and it is amazing. We've been freed.

Instead of hanging out in bars or gossiping with the Joneses, my husband is self teaching woodworking alongside our older boys (ages 4 and 7). What a useful skill to learn as a boy and bring into adulthood with you. He's showing them when and how they can protect their sisters. He's also spending time to learn keyboarding with a great little book, Keyboarding for Dummies. He's making the most of the time he has at home with his family. He's taking in God's word and teaching his family. All the Glory belongs to God. Most people who knew my husband and where he came from probablly wrote him off, they would be amazed if they knew him today. People who knew us last year would be amazed if they were a fly on our wall this day. We are a new creation in Jesus our Savior. I'm excited to see what is next!

Thursday, August 11, 2005


I'm so grateful for the turn my life has taken. I'm not famous, or the CEO of a multi billion dollar company, or an extremely successful artist; I'm am a child of God. How extraordinary! For so long I couldn't fully appreciate this. For so long I felt I was a Christian because I believed in God and his Son who died for our sins and rose again on the third day. Yet nothing changed. I continued in my sinful ways. I didn't murder my neighbor, I didn't steal, I just lived my life like any ordinary person in the neighborhood. Therein lies the problem. I didn't stand out from the crowd and I didn't reflect Jesus to anyone, I wasn't walking with Him. How extremely blessed I am that I have finally truly become a Christian. I have been reborn! I am changing in ways I and those close to me can see. I am finally believing ON Him, trusting him, and obeying God's word. That is where the difference is. I am stepping out in Faith and living according to his will, even when it's not easy, even when things don't make sense. He is so good! Our family has done a turn around, and all the glory is His. Without him we would have no hope, no destination. We have vision thanks be to God and we are raising up our children for Him.