Saturday, October 27, 2007

Checking In

Sorry for not posting lately. We are still sick. Hopefully a few more days of rest and we'll be able to shake these horrific coughs. Actually we are better, but not well yet. (((Hugs)))

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Anyone But Hillary

Update: T-shirts, yard signs, and buttons now available too.

OK, I never talk about politics here, but this was too funny. Lindsey is selling these bumper stickers. Details here.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Last week and this week have been "grace weeks" in school due to travel and sickness. School has gone on, just at a slightly more relaxed pace. One of the great things about homeschooling is that illness doesn't necessarily mean the learning stops. If we have to take a sick day it's because we are really sick!

Today I spent several hours making our first lapbooks with the kids. Elizabeth made one about butterflies and Silas wanted to do ants. Sarah glued miscellaneous pictures and papers to cardstock and she is so pleased with her "lapbook" too. I have no idea if we did it "right" and I'm sure there are as many ways to lapbook as there are people who do it. If you've never heard of it before, here is a YouTube video that shows more. (I just realized that the examples on the video are butterflies and ants. My kids saw the video so I guess that is where they got the ideas. But it didn't sink in till now. Funny!) I know a lot of people invest a lot of money in lapbooking kits, but I honestly don't see why you can't make your own with a bit of creativity.

The kids loved it, but it was actually really stressful for me, I suppose for the same reasons I don't scrapbook (time, mess, perfectionism...). And also I found myself saying about 5 million times, "Sarah, don't touch the scissors. Sarah, don't touch the glue. Sarah, leave the paper alone. Sarah, get off the table." She wasn't really being naughty, just curious and wanting to join in what we were doing. But a 2-year-old with scissors and a glue stick is just scary.

Anyway, Billy has the camera so I'll have to wait to show pictures till tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A Recipe, A Remedy, and a Recommendation

The Recipe

We had guests Sunday night and Elizabeth and I whipped up a batch of the world's easiest brownies. They are as easy as a box mix and just as good, probably better. I originally got the recipe from Jane's Apron and she said it came from Martha's Everyday Food. I modified it slightly and here it is. I would post a picture, but they are all gone. Actually they were all gone yesterday morning. They are very good.

Fudgy Brownies

2 sticks unsalted butter
2 c. semisweet chocolate chips
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 t. salt
6 eggs
1 1/2 c. flour

Melt butter and chocolate chips in the microwave for about 2 minutes and stir till smooth. Whisk in sugar and salt, then eggs and flour. Pour into well-greased 9 by 13 pan and bake about 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

The Remedy

We've all had something (allergies? virus?) that comes with a nasty, deep, chesty cough. My mother-in-law said to rub Vicks on the bottoms of our feet and put on some socks and we'd sleep without coughing. Just minutes later I read the same thing online. The kids still coughed a bit while they were going to sleep, but I woke several times in the night to the sound of...Silence. Everyone slept through the night without coughing. It works!

The Recommendation

I just got my latest copy of Critique in the mail. This little publication has probably done more to help me grow spiritually than any other in the past few years, especially in regards to how I view and relate to the world around me. Even when I disagree, Critique never fails to sharpen and encourage. Ransom Fellowship, which publishes Critique, lives up to its motto: Developing Discernment, Deepening Discipleship. You can't subscribe, but they will add you to the mailing list for free--or a donation. You can read some back issues of Critique online, but it doesn't look like the current issue is up yet. Which is unfortunate, because it has a wonderful article I'd love to share with you called A Way of Loving about cooking and hospitality as ways to share the love of Christ with others. LOVE this magazine.

As for other books that have greatly impacted me, Dallas Willard's Renovation of the Heart tops the list. (I reviewed it here.) In the Bible, the book of Colossians is great for memorization and in-depth study of spiritual formation.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Thank You Donetta!

Donetta very kindly gave me the Community Blogger Award. Thank you so much Donetta! It brings me joy to know that people read and like my blog!

Friday, October 19, 2007

God is Good

Last night the flame gas grill kept blowing out. As I was trying to re-light it in a moment of part stupidity, part ignorance, apparently gas in the air ignited. I must have heard it before the actual explosion, because my head was turned away and eyes closed...I never saw flame, but the kids did. Funny what goes through your head in a split second. Oh no, I must be on fire. Stop drop and roll. What if I'm disfigured for life?

Amazingly I didn't actually catch on fire. However, for a moment I couldn't figure out what all the crunchy stuff was on my arms and head and what that weird smell was. The kids said, "Why is your hair so fuzzy, Mama?" Burned hair of course. I have an appointment with the hairdresser this afternoon to see if she can repair the damage. I'm just thankful that's all the damage that was done.

Edgar A. Guest

This is a book my sister gave me of Edgar Guest's collected poems. Guest is far and away my favorite poet. He wrote things like this:

Good Books

Good books are friendly things to own.
If you are busy they will wait.
They will not call you on the phone
Or wake you if the hour is late.
They stand together row by row,
Upon the low shelf or the high.
But if you're lonesome this you know:
You have a friend or two nearby.

The fellowship of books is real.
They're never noisy when you're still.
They won't disturb you at your meal.
They'll comfort you when you are ill.
The lonesome hours they'll always share.
When slighted they will not complain.
And though for them you've ceased to care
Your constant friends they'll still remain.

Good books your faults will never see
Or tell about them round the town.
If you would have their company
You merely have to take them down.
They'll help you pass the time away,
They'll counsel give if that you need.
He has true friends for night and day
Who has a few good books to read.

Show and tell Fridays hosted by Kelli.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Hey Everybody

Thanks to everyone who left comments over the last few days. I enabled moderation and I am still trying to figure it out, so that's one reason no one's comments showed up right away.

We've sold our old house (after 6 months) and are in the process of buying a new one! More on that later...We are thankful. We were out of town for a few days to close on our old place, and we also swung by my parents because they again graciously raised a beef for us, and it was time to pick up the meat. We also came back with venison, pecans, and sweet potatoes (everything but the potatoes from my family). So I guess you could say it was a "fruitful" trip!

Trying to catch up from our days away. Hopefully I'll have some more substantial posts soon.


Saturday, October 13, 2007

Come Out Come Out

I just noticed that I'm Lindsey's blog pick of the week. Wow! So if you are a new reader--from anywhere--please leave a comment! Or you can email me: simplecraft at hotmail dot com.


When I was little, I desperately wanted a banana tree in the back yard. Funny how God sometimes gives us the desires of our hearts years later.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Frugal Clothes Shopping

Sorry I haven't been around much lately. Two months of pregnancy sickness has put me very far behind, and quite honestly, blogging is at the bottom of the priority list right now. Unfortunately. I enjoy it so much. It's really my one indulgence.

Tuesday was errand day and I knew we needed to go clothes shopping for Elizabeth since she has suddenly outgrown pretty much everything she owns. By several sizes. Jeans that fit fine a few weeks ago won't even go on now. I guess our new location agrees with her.

I've honestly never had to shop for clothes for my kids before. It's not that I've been unwilling or unable to, but between gifts and hand-me-downs they have had more than enough. However, Elizabeth is getting to an age where hand-me-downs aren't as readily available, and it's harder to find decent (read, not trampy) little girl clothes anyway.

So we set out for Goodwill. Samantha Blythe once said she has no idea why anyone would sew when there are so many beautiful and economical clothes available at thrift stores. This week I realized what she meant. We came away with a nice selection of new and like-new clothes for $25. The whole lot would have easily cost $100-$150 at a retail store. The little outfit above is one example. The shirt is from Old Navy and the skirt is from Limited Too. I looked up girls' skirts on LT's website, and those of similar style and quality cost $45-$50 new. We got it for $2.50. So, within my budget, I could buy a cheap skirt from Wal-Mart for $12 or $15 or a designer skirt for $2.50...To me, that's a no brainer.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Family Movie Reviews

A couple of my favorite sites for movie reviews.

Plugged In Online

Screen It

These two sites will tell you everything that could possibly be objectionable about a movie, which I find helpful when deciding what to watch with the kids. Plugged In doesn't have every movie, but there's no membership involved. Screen It offers reviews of new releases to members only, but within a couple weeks the review is available to everyone. Just go to the main page, scroll to the bottom, and click on "no thanks." Then search for the movie you want to know about.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Mini Break

Going offline for a few days. Up against some deadlines. See you later!

Monday, October 01, 2007

"Quiverfull" Photo Album

I'm excited to see that Barbara Curtis has started a Full Quiver Photo Album at her blog. As a mother of 12 (by birth and adoption), and a respected Christian author, Barbara is a powerful voice for families.

The term "quiverfull" refers to Psalm 127:3-5, which says,

" Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.
Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them;
They shall not be ashamed,
But shall speak with their enemies in the gate."

As used by those who define themselves as quiverfull, the word typically means the couple has decided between themselves and God to ditch birth control in favor of receiving as many child-blessings as God chooses to send.

God issues no mandate in His Word for Christians to have unlimited numbers of children, and in fact does not address the issue of birth control at all. I don't fall under the quiverfull banner as commonly defined, although a big family has always been in our future, God willing. However, even a cursory reading of the Bible reveals a God Who is unabashedly in favor of the blessing of human life and Who has a great love for children. I believe with all my heart that His people should re-examine the blitheness with which we so often disallow the existence of a human soul made in God's image. I've heard many, many older couples say they wish they had had more children, but I have never heard a parent of many wish for fewer.

Go check out Barbara's album and be encouraged!


Our friend Dr. Collin's Can of Worms post about large families

Al Mohler addresses this topic here and here.