Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Sunday, December 24, 2006
Saturday, December 23, 2006
Friday, December 22, 2006
(Image courtesy of AllPosters)
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
No, it's not a joke, and the funny thing is that I'm not (let me emphasize not) one of these super-organized people who fits the spice-cabinet-alphabetizing stereotype.
I cook just about everything from scratch, and I cook a lot, and I just got tired of never being able to find my spices.
I got two little cheap plastic lazy susans from Wal-Mart and lined the jars up alphabetically. I found a bunch of spices I didn't know I had, and now I can find any of them in a second. Works for me!
WFMW hosted by Shannon
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
This week a friend wrote and asked me for ideas for inexpensive homemade gifts for Sunday school teachers and the like. Those little things can add up. Below is part of my reply, unedited. I figured we might not be the only ones who need to come up with many small gifts on short notice.
This year I'm just going to make a huge batch of tea cakes, you know, cut out sugar cookies. That will be our gift. I'm going to put them in a brown lunch bag with some pretty ribbon and a card. They are relatively inexpensive to make. Let me know if you need a recipe. Your girls could handle this for you.
Monday, December 18, 2006
After about the sixth time through the story Elizabeth asked, "Mama, do you do that? Ask and you shall receive?"
It's scary to know that our little ones watch us so closely. It's also challenging. Billy and I want our kids to see real, authentic faith in us; not hypocrisy. I pray that when my children grow up they will be able to say, "My parents walked what they talked." I want them to see that I don't just know about Jesus, I know Him as my Savior and dearest Friend, and I believe He can provide for all my needs. I want my children to see that I believe that if I ask, I'll receive. Times like this, all I can pray is, "God, don't let me mess up!"
Sunday, December 17, 2006
Hmmm, I didn't realize retro could mean so many things. Maybe I should clarify the statement below where I said I love anything retro. That should probably be "anything from the 50's". More or less. Or "a lot of things from the 50's". Retro seems to be a pretty ambiguous term.
I’ve been thinking a lot about identity and images and what certains icons or symbols say about people. In particular, I’ve been thinking about my blog and what someone might learn or assume about me in a passing glance. What impressions I’m leaving. How I come across. Is it accurate? Is it who I really am? I try to be honest, but I still realize that unless we know someone well, we really only make judgments and assumptions about them based on our own perceptions.
It got me to thinking about who I am. Here are a few things about me that may or may not come across here on Charity Grace. I’m a young wife, a pastor’s wife. I’m the mother of 3 small children. I was homeschooled and I homeschool my own kids. I grew up in a large family (5 children) and I hope to have a large family of my own one day. I’m not a Baptist, I’m a Christian whom God has placed in a Baptist church. I grew up in the country and some day I’d love to live in the country again. I like to cook whole, natural foods for my family. I’m a full-time homemaker, something I’m so grateful for. I love to stretch a dollar. I’m passionate about the benefits of breastfeeding for my babies. I’m into old stuff, especially anything retro. The only retro thing I can think of that I don’t like is furniture. In that regard I’m more into some blend of shaker and craftsman styles. I live in the deep South. I grew up near the Mexican border. I love to craft. I’m an incurable girly-girl, and I love pink (surprised?), nail polish, lipstick, skirts, and dangly earrings.
If you’ve made it through this self-absorbed laundry list, congratulations, because I’m about to let you in on a little secret. That’s not who I am. Those things are not where I find my identity. Those things are not what I’m about. They are just frou-frou.
Here’s who I am: a Christ-follower. A child of God. Period.
If all those other things were stripped away, who I am would still remain. Because who I am is about the heart. And who I am is—or should be—reflected in my character. (Yes, I know, scary.)
If I find my identity in my lifestyle, the center of my being is on shaky ground. A lifestyle can be gone in a moment. If I find my identity in my family, I’ll be lost when my nest is empty. If I find my identity in my home décor, then I will feel uneasy when I’m not able to decorate my house just the way I want it. If I find my identity in crafting, arthritis or failing eyesight that could come with age would throw me into depression.
If I find my identity in Christ, I’m free. Free to embrace whatever He gives me and however He leads me. Free to just be his girl, trusting in His love, at peace with His plan. I don’t have to lean on the crutch of external categories. It’s not that I don’t love and enjoy God’s gifts in those areas of my life, or that they aren’t important, because they are—some more than others. But they don’t define me. If He leads me to spend my life in a high rise apartment where I develop a penchant for modern art (perish the thought!), who I am does not change. If I discover that by some surprise, He has only chosen to give me 3 children, I’m the same. If I never get to buy anything old and quaint again, it’s OK. At my center I’m secure. Because it’s not about me. It’s about Him. And He never changes.
Friday, December 15, 2006
We drink lots of hot tea in the winter time, but those little boxes sure get expensive! Recently I bought half a pound of red raspberry leaf, peppermint, and spearmint from The Bulk Herb Store. It’s around $6 per pound (depending on what kind you get), and a pound of dried herb is a lot of tea.
Since our tea ball/infuser has larger holes, which leak little bits of the looseleaf tea into the water, we’ve been making ours in the coffee maker. I put the tea in the tea ball, and then put the ball in the filter, just as I would to make coffee. Voila, no floating tea leaves.
This tea will last us a long time—probably till we’re tired of it. It’s far more economical than buying boxed tea already in tea bags. Check it out!(Frugal Fridays hosted by Crystal.)
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Sarah is still not over her stomach virus, which started Sunday night. She seems to feel pretty well during the day (although her appetite isn’t up to snuff), but especially at night she’s struggling with the not-so-fun elements of the virus.
This is one of those times that I’m so grateful for breastfeeding and the way God has designed mother’s milk to meet her baby’s needs. Although Sarah has lost a lot of fluids and hasn’t been able to keep much down, she is staying nourished and hydrated because she’s still nursing. I attribute a lot of her energy to this as well. I’ve heard that when a baby gets sick, a mother’s body automatically begins producing antibodies in the milk to combat that particular illness. My kids are rarely sick before they wean, and when they are it usually doesn’t hit them very hard. Normally by the 4th day of such a virus, a toddler would be weak and worn out. Not so Sarah. The unpleasant elements are more a nuisance to her than anything, a brief interruption before she can run off and play again. She seems to be on the mend now. I’m confident that breastfeeding has helped her get to this point. Not only has it provided comfort, but fluids and calories to make sure she gets healthy as quickly as possible. Breastfeeding works!
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
While Sarah didn't let me get too much accomplished, I did have an hour or so while she slept to cut and snip. Now I'll probably have to spend time every evening between now and Christmas sewing after they are asleep. It will be fun though. I'll try to post pictures of the finished products, because these gifts are so very simple. However, making them in threes is pretty time-consuming!
Hopefully this virus will be overwith soon and I'll be able to come up with some more productive posts.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Monday, December 11, 2006
This one is perfect because it's a chilly, drizzly day. Sarah has thrown up 3 times since midnight. She's asleep now, and I'm very tired. The older children have been occupied watching old movies while I try to collect myself. Somehow in spite of all my activity, not much has gotten done. One of those days. Maybe a nap would help? Like I have time for that. :) Ah, well...These days are part of life. But I really must see what I can get done in the next few hours so this day is not a total waste. Off to wash some dishes and fix myself some lunch...The babies have already eaten. Elizabeth asked for fruit salad and green salad, "Because I want to eat something healthy." Now she is asking me if ranch dressing is good for us. What's with the obsession with health food lately? Oh wait, she asked for mac & cheese for breakfast...So she's not too obsessed. Excuse the stream of consciousness today. My brain is jelly.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Saturday, December 09, 2006
Friday, December 08, 2006
Frugal Fridays hosted by Crystal
Now when she's overwhelmed I'll ask her, "Baby, how do you eat an elephant?"
"Bite by bite," she replies--her translation of what I've told her.
In one of my favorite books ever in one of my favorite series ever, The Fields of Home by Ralph Moody, Ralph's Uncle Levi tells him, "Slow and steady goes far in a day." Ralph discovers that careful, steady work is more productive than hasty intensity.
Over the past couple days I've faced a mammoth job, and that refrain has gone over and over in my mind. Slow and steady goes far in a day. And I remember that you eat an elephant one bite at a time.
So here I am taking a short break from elephant-eating. And now I'm off to keep up a slow and steady pace so I can FINISH THIS THING!!!
Thursday, December 07, 2006
In any case, it's wonderful to see each room become orderly and less cluttered. I know that new things will be coming into our house over the next few weeks, so now we won't be as overwhelmed by it. After Christmas I'll probably do another declutter. If you haven't yet, let me encourage you to join me in decluttering the house for Christmas!
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Christ, as a light
illumine and guide me.
Christ, as a shield
Christ under me;
Christ over me;
Christ beside me
on my left and my right.
This day be within and without me,
lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.
Be in the heart of each to whom I speak;
in the mouth of each who speaks unto me.
This day be within and without me,
lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.
Christ as a light;
Christ as a shield;
Christ beside me
on my left and my right.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
First is the blog Farmgirl Fare, which is supposed to be a food blog but mostly has beautiful farm pictures for each day. Love it.
Then my husband stumbled across In My Kitchen Garden and he knew right away that I'd like it. Lo and behold, it's a companion blog to Farmgirl Fare. More beautiful pictures, more wonderful information.
Through Apron Thrift Girl I found MaryJanesFarm Farmgirl Connection. And I also found the Homesteading Today forums. I don't have time for message boards, really, and the farmgirl thing is a distant memory and future hope, not a present reality...But I'm keeping these forums in mind for reference later. Even when I just get ready to plant herbs in pots.
Friday, December 01, 2006
Boil turkey carcass to make broth. Strain broth (very important, you don't want any tiny pieces of bone in your soup) and take any remaining meat off the bones. Set meat aside.
Chop up whatever veggies you have on hand--carrot sticks and celery left from a relish plate, a potato, an onion, whatever. Cook veggies in the broth. Season with a of salt and pepper and herbs. I used thyme because it compliments poultry nicely. Add a can of green beans and the leftover chopped turkey. Then stir in leftover cornbread dressing and cook for a few minutes. This gives it a nice body and flavor. You could also add mashed potatoes at this point.
Serve with fresh bread. Or if you really want to get into the Christmas dinner theme, cranberry muffins.
Frugal Friday hosted by Crystal