Monday, December 23, 2013

We Wish You a Merry Christmas...

I had big plans...this year, I was going to get pictures taken and order Christmas cards  AND get them sent out (that's the big one, there - I usually forget to mail them.)

I should have known it wouldn't work out like that.

First of all, every time we made plans to take pictures, something came up and it didn't work out. So, no family picture.

Finally, last week, since it was clear we weren't going to get a family picture made, I went digging through my files for some recent pics I'd done of the kids and designed a card. Obviously, since it was so close to Christmas, I wasn't going to be able to shop around and find the best prices, since I was going to have to have them printed here in town.   Office Depot was having a sale, so I chose them.

Apparently that was a bad idea, as when I went in the day after ordering, they could even find my order on the computer, and then when they got them printed after I had to email it to them, they were so badly pixelated that the text was nearly unreadable in places.
So, now it's two days before Christmas, I have a stack of unusable cards, AND I'm out the money I paid to get them printed. I'm still waiting to hear back from Customer Service if they'll give me my money back.

In the mean time, I don't have cards to send out, so and e-card is going to have to do! :)

So here you go - if you think you should get a Christmas card from us, this is for you!!

(you can click to view larger)

Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Breakfast for Supper - Brupper? Sup-fast? Brinner? Whatever...

Ever go to fix supper and think, "Man, I'm tired of making the same old stuff!"?

Yeah, me too.

Last night I went to fix supper, couldn't think of anything I wanted to make, then remembered that I had a package of all natural sausage in the freezer that I had gotten to try. (No chemicals, just meat and spices - the way food SHOULD be...don't get me started) So, I figured I'd fix breakfast food for supper. A lot of times when I do that, I'll do a breakfast casserole I make with bread, eggs, bacon or sausage and cheese - Kind of like a savory french toast casserole - but I didn't really want to fix that and didn't have enough bread anyway. Last time I did a brupper (yep, pretty much just made that word up on the spot!), I made a biscuits and gravy casserole using canned biscuits - it was good, but I didn't want to do it either...and I didn't have canned biscuits...

So what's a girl to do?


Off to Pinterest I went.

I looked at all sorts of breakfast casseroles. French toast casserole - didn't have enough bread. I still wasn't having much luck, so I thought, well, maybe I'll just make pancakes or waffles...but I really didn't feel like standing over a griddle doing pancakes. 
Then it hit me  - why not a pancake CASSEROLE?!
I searched, and, sure enough, there were recipes.  Looked at a bunch, most of which seemed kind of like big pan-sized egg-y popover type things - which is fine, I like egg-y popover type things, but that wasn't what I wanted. 
After some hunting, I settled on this recipe.

Of course, I couldn't leave well enough alone, so I altered it a bit. I also made homemade cinnamon/vanilla syrup to go over since that bottled stuff you get from the store is just nasty (and not good for you, either, but how do you make something that is essentially sugar good for you?).

As it turned out, it was pretty good - one child at it happily, the other child ate it somewhat begrudgingly, but he didn't spend half an hour declaring the he was NOT going to put that in his mouth, so I consider it success [ :) ] (plus, this child only likes plain pancakes- he refuses to even taste syrup. Or jelly. Or peanut butter...strange kid, I know), and the father declared that it would be better without the sausage in it, but he ate two pieces, so it must not have been too bad! :D

So, if you want to try the original recipe, go to that link up that. If you want my version, here it is! (click the recipes to view full size - my 3-column layout messes me up in this case)

I served this with scrambled eggs and applesauce this particular time - and of course, coffee for the big people (you can't have breakfast without coffee!!) and the little folks had hot chocolate. If the summer, it would probably be juice of some sort.

Disclaimer: I do not claim to be a food photographer.
And yes, I did take this picture outside - it's the only place I can get any decent light!

Hope you enjoy it!!

What about you - Does your family eat Breakfast for supper? 

Friday, November 1, 2013

On Witches and Zombies & Ghosties - Revisited!

Hey, it's me again.

Just wanted to do some clarifying on my Halloween posts - a disclaimer, if you will.

  • First of all, if I offended anyone with my posts, I'm sorry. I meant no offense whatsoever. I was merely thinking out loud as I often do, and researching and writing things down. As often happens with me, I sit down to write a little non-dramatic post, and before I know it, all these words are pouring out of my fingers. Seriously, I can go back and read something I've written and wonder if I really wrote it. While I don't claim that all of my posts are inspired, very often I do feel that God is putting something on my heart and mind, and when I begin to actually write it out it becomes something so much more than I ever intended it to be. Whether this is one of those times, or just me waxing wordy, I couldn't tell you! :) (not that I'm admitting to ever being wordy or anything...)
  • That being said, I am not now, nor at any time have I had any intention of judging you less of a Christian than I if you do choose to participate in the Halloween festivities. You have to make the decision of what is best for your family, and I will trust that you have done your best to seek the will of God in anything you choose to do or not do.
  • Also, I am not 'scared' of Halloween, and I am fully confident that God is quite big enough to handle it (without my help, no less!). I personally don't think that the typical witches-and-zombies-and-dead stuff emphasis that is put on the day is at all glorifying to God for all the reasons I mention in my previous posts,  but I don't think God closes up shop for the day just because there's a lot of devilish stuff going on. 
  • And yes, I did turn out all of my outside lights, and huddle up inside. Why? Because it was a stormy, nasty night; I had no candy to give trick-or-treaters; therefore, we closed up. (And, personally, I find it rather horrifying to have people walking up and knocking on my door. Does that mean I can't be a Christian because I don't love my neighbors? Actually, I like the ones I know just fine, and would not hesitate to help them out if needed. I just can't handle large quantities of uninvited guests. I have a hard time with invited guests, actually. Just another quirk of my particular hermit-ish personality type. Judge away!)  Instead, we watched a 'scaring' movie with our kids (Monsters University, if you're wondering), and ate popcorn and ice cream (they did, at least). Guess I should have turned on the lights and handed out gospel tracts. (and cleaned up the resulting TP on the lawn this morning...)
  • Yes, the kids did dress up. We took them to Boo at the Zoo last weekend in their costumes and they trick-or-treated with the animals, and we went to church for a fall party tonight and they got to dress up again! Here's the proof: 
Miss Tinkerbell

And her friend Peter Pan.

...and I'm pretty sure Peter Pan is getting some rather mischievous ideas in his head...  

Yep, 'fraid so...

So, I hope that helped clarify my intentions on my series of posts about Halloween. Hope you'll come back and visit me sometime!! :)  
 (Not sure why my pictures are going all kooky on me... they don't seem to want to stay how I put them!)

Thursday, October 31, 2013

In Honor of Reformation Day

496 years ago, a man walked up the steps of the All Saints Church in Wittenburg, Germany, and nailed a document on the door. This day marks the beginning of a whole new era in church history.

Martin Luther - Augustinian monk, priest, Professor of theology - had devoted years of his life to the study of the Bible. On his life as a monk, he remarked, "If anyone could have gained heaven as a monk, then I would certainly have done so." Yet, he later described this time in his life as one of deep spiritual despair, stating that, "I lost touch with Christ the Savior and Comforter, and made of him the jailer and hangman of my poor soul." It was during this time that a superior advised to cease focusing on his failures and sins and instead reflect on the merits of Christ and this would later bring him the spiritual guidance that he sought.
'In 1513, while preparing lectures, Luther read Psalm 22, which recounts Christ’s cry for mercy on the cross, a cry similar to his own disillusionment with God and religion. Two years later, while preparing a lecture on Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, he read, “The just will live by faith.” He dwelt on this statement for some time. Finally, he realized the key to spiritual salvation was not to fear God or be enslaved by religious dogma but to believe that faith alone would bring salvation. This period marked a major change in his life and set in motion the Reformation.'

It is this very fact that gives us much of the religious freedom we enjoy today. 

10-12 years after the day that he nailed his 95 Theses on the door, Luther wrote what is the best known today of all the hymns he wrote - a hymn we know today as A Mighty Fortress is Our God. It has been called one of the best-loved hymns of the Lutheran and Protestant traditions, and was called by some, 'The Battle-Hymn of the Reformation".  Luther wrote the song as somewhat of a paraphrase of Psalm 46, the first seven verses of which read:

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,the holy habitation of the Most High. God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved; God will help it when the morning dawns. 
The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts. 

The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.

Though the song was written nearly 500 years ago, its words are still relevant for us today. Much as in Luther's day, sin is rampant. Even the so-called religious leaders are proclaiming that sin today is not what we used to think it. Things that, once, were thought of as abominable by even the non-religious, are now accepted as cultural norms. Governmental leaders are promoting those that would like to see Christianity gone for good, and telling anyone who will listen that that group of people that are categorized as 'Evangelical Christians' are nothing more than terrorists. 
Never more than today does it seem that we need a refuge, a fortress to protect from those that are out to destroy the cause of Christ. And, thankfully, the same Refuge that the Psalmist wrote about, the same 'Mighty Fortress' that Martin Luther leaned upon, is still ours today.

Our foe is great - but our God is greater. 

"We will not fear for God has willed His truth to triumph through us!"

Take courage! We have 'the Right Man' on our side, and 'He must win the battle'!

 A Mighty Fortress is Our God 

A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.

And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.

(Words and music by Martin Luther, circa 1520-1530 AD)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Witches and Zombies and Ghosties - Oh My! Part IV

Hi again! Today is the last part of my series of posts on Halloween. If you've stuck around this long, you have a formal invitation to be my best friend! :) If you're just joining us, be sure and go back and read parts I, II, and III!

When I started to write this, it was just supposed to be a little post venting about some of the issues I have with Halloween. I never dreamed it would turn into something so long it had to be broken up into 4 parts to make it a little easier to read. But, as often happens, I sat down and started writing, and then I started researching, and one thing led to another - and here we are!!

Just a little story to end this thing:

A couple of weeks ago, I was in the store with my daughter (who is almost 7), and she told me we needed to get some Halloween decorations, because it was almost Halloween and we hadn't decorated anything for it. She had mentioned this in passing a few other times, so I decided it was probably time to discuss it and settle the issue.
I explained to her that I don't decorate for Halloween, and pointed out to her that most of the Halloween decorations we saw were witches, skeletons, ghosts, spiders, and the like, and that those were not nice things, and I didn't want to celebrate them. After we discussed it for a while, she saw what I meant, and agreed with me that those things weren't really things she wanted to celebrate, either, but she was still feeling a little disturbed that we had NO decorations at all. (I rarely decorate for any holiday but Christmas, except for a seasonal tablecloth and (maybe) centerpiece on the dining room table, and some sort of seasonal door decoration) I told her that I would be happy to find her some fall decor - pumpkins, leaves, scarecrows, etc. and that made her happy. (We now have a cheerful scarecrow residing in our front flowerbed, and she has a small one in her room, among other things).
Similar to this little fellow. (Source)
I didn't realize how much she had taken our little talk to heart, though, until yesterday. 
Each day, when she comes home from school, she brings a binder with her completed papers for the day; one of these was a math sheet, on which they were learning about adding doubles. At the bottom of the page, it told them to draw pictures to demonstrate the problem - specifically, witch hats.
I looked it over and didn't see any witch hats.

My child had taken me seriously when I told her that we didn't want to be having witches around. In place of the witch hats, she had drawn cats. (Hopefully she got her teacher's permission before she did this.) 

So, what was the point of all of this?
Mostly just a chance to vent a little, but hopefully, if there were any questions in your mind about Halloween, and if Christians should celebrate it, maybe this has helped you, or at least made you want to find out for yourself what it's all about! Personally, it's always made me somewhat uncomfortable, and in recent years, has almost made me downright upset seeing how far some people seem to take it. Lately, a lot of what I've been seeing is people dressing up as zombies and dead people, axe murderers, etc. and it just seems to me that it's basically turned into the glorification of every thing bad and disgusting - and I want no part of that.

Disagree with me? Feel free to tell me so in the comments.Won't be the first time somebody hasn't agreed with me, and I imagine it won't be the last! :) I'll still love you anyway!

Now for some happy pics so that you can see I DO let me kids have a little fun every once in a while!!  We painted pumpkins last week - we carved pumpkins the week before, but they didn't even last a week and they were leaking all over the place, so we threw them out and started over. 

The Artiste - she likes everything to be perfect, and usually has a meltdown at every drip and streak
The Next Picasso - he's very into abstract art. The design on his pumpkin is, in fact, a cat.

Dad even got in on the pumpkin painting - his canvas was a bit smaller, though.

The finished products. If you look real hard, stick your tongue out just so, and squint a bit, you can almost see the cat face on Jonathan's pumpkin!

And, yes, we do like cats. And we like them to be anatomically correct, so these even have tails.  :)

I hope you've enjoyed my little jaunt into Halloween-land!

(Note 11/1/13: I wrote another post today to better clarify my intentions in writing this series of posts. Go check it out, here!)

Friday, October 25, 2013

Witches and Zombies and Ghosties - Oh My! Part III

Welcome to Part III of my series on Halloween. 
Wow, you must be a loyal reader, if you're back again! :) If you're just joining us, be sure and go back and read Part I and Part II!

Yesterday, we talked about the origins of the holiday we know as Halloween, and how it is linked to pagan rituals, Catholic traditions, witchcraft and ancient superstition. 
Now we want to discuss:

What does the Bible say about it?

Well, obviously, it doesn't address the day directly, but it does have somewhat to say about spirits and witchcraft; any times a witch or wizard is mentioned in Bible, it does not have anything positive to say about it:

(uh-oh, now we're really getting serious - bullet points and everything!)
  • Exodus 22:18: Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. (KJV)
  • Deuteronomy 18:10-12: There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee. (KJV)
In the New Testament, witchcraft is mentioned among a list of things that, it tells us, would prevent the doers thereof from entering the Kingdom of God (i.e. Heaven): 
·  Galatians 5:19-22 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (ESV)

 "The Bible definitely speaks negatively about occultic practices, spirits, and witches and condemns not only the practice but also the people who are involved in it. As Christians, we are to have nothing to do with the occult. Tarot Cards, contacting the dead, séances, lucky charms, etc., are all unbiblical and can harm a Christian's fellowship with God and open the Christian to demonic oppression. " (source)

There are many other scriptures I could use that speak to us about avoiding evil, etc.

So, what's a Christian to do? If we allow our children to participate by dressing up and trick-or-treating, are we casting our implicit approval on the day?

I don't have all the answers to these questions (and others). 
I don't have all the answers for my own questions, to be honest. In some ways, my instinct says avoid it completely; I know that, in part, however, this is due to my personality type, and to my own experiences as a child. My family didn't trick-or-treat. We could dress up any day of the year, but we didn't get special costumes for Halloween. My parents did buy us some candy to help with our feeling left out on that respect, but giving us tons of candy was never priority. On the other hand, my husband's family DID go trick-or-treating. He remembers having fun with it, and wants out kids to be able to have fun as well. 
This is where we are at this time: 

  • I do allow my children to dress up, but the costumes cannot be anything scary or related in any way to ghosts, witches, dead people, demons, or the like.
  • We have, on some occasions, taken them trick-or-treating, but usually try to find something a little safer for them to do to occupy them on that day. Mostly, we want them to have fun and not be the one child left out when all their friends are crowing about the obscene amounts of candy they scored. (Not that I think it's always terrible to not go with the crowd - I firmly believe there is a time to stand for your convictions and it doesn't matter if LITERALLY every is doing it - if it's wrong it's wrong, but this is not one of those times.)
  • I fully support churches holding 'trunk-or-treat' or harvest themed events and promoting Bible and historical character costumes. It seems to me the best way to 'redeem' the day, so to speak, by giving kids something to do that is not involving them in the bad aspects of the holiday.
This isn't a definitive list, but it should give some idea of what we are allowing at this point in our lives. I can't tell that it won't change in the future, but I can tell you that the type of 'celebration' of this holiday that has become mainstream will NEVER be something I can willingly embrace.

Please understand that I am not presenting this as a one-size-fits-all thing. There are some Christians who would look at this as appalling - why in the world would a person go so far? It's just an amusing holiday is all! On the other hand, there are those who would even doubt my own Christianity for participating as much as we do. I understand that. This is where WE are at this point in our lives - I'm in no way saying you can't possibly be a Christian and 'do' Halloween. What I AM saying is that I can't comfortably do it.

Come back tomorrow for one last installment - an amusing ending to an otherwise dark subject!  

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Witches and Zombies and Ghosties - Oh My! Part II

Welcome to Part II of my series on my concerns about Halloween. If you're just joining us, be sure and go back and read the previous post.

The origins of the holiday we know as Halloween are somewhat uncertain. The most widely held opinion seems to be that it originated in the early middle ages with the Catholic church. The day after Halloween, November 1st, is the day known in the Catholic church as All Saints Day - a day set aside to celebrate all of the 'Saints', both known and unknown. It was apparently held by some that on the day prior to this (October 31), all of the souls that were currently residing in Purgatory (a holding place, so to speak, somewhere between Heaven and Hell, where souls unworthy of Heaven were thought to be held for the day of Judgement), were released to walk the earth for 24 hours. It became tradition for some to go from door to door on this day, asking for prayers for the souls of their deceased loved ones, as they believed that a soul held in Purgatory could be released to Heaven if enough supplication was made on their behalf by those still living.  

Still others trace the origins of Halloween back to the feast of Samhain, which was a Celtic festival celebrating the end of the harvest season, dating back to the time of Christ of before. Fairies and spirits were thought to be particularly active during this time, and feasts were held, during which places were set at the table for those that had passed, and their spirits were beckoned back to earth. The spirits of the dead were thought to wander the streets, looking for bodies to inhabit, so many of the living (who did not want their bodies to be overtaken by a spirit) would dress in costumes and parade about making loud noises, so as to frighten the spirits away.

"The Jack-O-Lantern apparently comes from Irish folklore about a man named Jack who tricked the devil into climbing a tree. Once the devil was in the tree, Jack carved a cross on the trunk, preventing the devil from coming down. The devil then made a deal with Jack not to allow Jack into hell after Jack died if only Jack would remove the cross from the tree. After Jack died, he couldn't go to hell, and he couldn't go to heaven. He was forced to wander around the earth with a single candle to light his way. The candle was placed in a turnip to keep it burning longer. When the Irish came to America in the 1800's, they adopted the pumpkin instead of the turnip. Along with these traditions, they brought the idea that the black cat was considered by some to be reincarnated spirits who had prophetic abilities." source

Since the early 20th century, pagans and Wiccans have adopted Samhain as somewhat of a religious celebration.

So, it seems that the holiday we now know as Halloween is linked to pagan rituals, Catholic traditions, witchcraft and ancient superstition. 

Sounds great. Let's have a party! (not.)

...To be continued. Come back tomorrow for the next installment!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Witches and Zombies and Ghosties - Oh My! Part I

(For the next several days, I will be writing a series of posts addressing my concerns with Halloween. Be sure and come back to read the rest!)

It's that time of year again.

You know the one - the time of year when it's not at all uncommon to see pseudo-graveyards popping up in peoples' yards; when  gigantic mutant spiders build their webs on porches; ghosts wind their spooky selves around trees; and witches fly on their brooms throughout your normally quiet neighborhood.
It's that time of year when it seems everyone is preoccupied with the dead, dying and downright scary.

Now I'm not a big fan of fall to begin with - I prefer the breezy spring days with their colorful flowers, and the lazy, hot summer days. Fall just depresses me, mostly.
And then you add in all the Halloween decorations people insist on plastering on every available space, and it's enough to drive a barely-sane person crazy!

(Not these. They're cute  - even they are ghosts!)

Why does it bother me so?

People often tell me I'm making too much out of it - it's just an innocent holiday, a time when kids (and now-days, adults, too) dress up and go around asking for candy. Nothing wrong with that, right?
(Actually, the idea of wandering around, knocking on complete strangers' door asking them to give me anything makes me a little queasy, but that's just my anti-social, hermit-ish personality type shining)
And no, I can't say that there's anything wrong with kids dressing up, or with getting candy (other than the obvious health hazards linked to eating too much my children's mother completely losing her mind after they run their 57th lap around the house giggling maniacally in their sugar-induced stupor. But I digress.), however, I just can't reconcile having a little 'innocent fun' with all of the dark and dead stuff that seems to be celebrated on that day,

(To Be continued. Come back tomorrow for Part II!)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Big Books for a Little Girl - Suggestions?


Well, my friends, I have another question for you.

But first, let me tell you why I'm asking it:

As I'm sure you probably have figured out by now, I have a 6-year-old (almost 7) daughter.  She's doing well with her reading, though she's still limited to fairly simple stuff or she gets frustrated fairly fast.  I do, however, want to try to cultivate a love for reading reading in her. As a child, I read incessantly (the ladies at the library all knew us well), and I feel like it was a great learning tool for me, and I want her to be able to experience that. (On the other hand, my husband and his siblings did not read as much, and as a result, only one of them really loves to read.) 
As of this fall, she now attending another Charter school (this one run by the same board of directors as the one she attended in Lake Charles), and, unlike this past spring when we walked to school, we now have a 20 minute drive to school every morning. (It's only 6.5 miles, but through town, so it takes 20-25 minutes) Because of this, I've been checking out audiobooks from the library (using their online checkout program - I highly recommend it! You can download audiobooks and ebooks to the device of your choosing, and they return themselves at the end of the lending period - no overdue fees when you forget to take them back! Not that I have any experience in that matter, of course... *cough, cough*)  and we've been listening to them on the way to school. 
So far, we've done the Ralph S. Mouse books, Pippi Longstocking,  and we're almost done with Anne of Green Gables. I wondered at first if Anne might not be a little to advanced for her still, but she's really gotten into it! Since we're almost finished with that one, I'm thinking of what to get next. 
Here are some I've thought about getting:

  • The Wizard of Oz  series, by L. Frank Baum
  • The Little House series, by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • The rest of the Anne series, by L.M. Montgomery, etc. (however, since the rest of the series is more about her grown-up years, I'm not sure they'd hold her attention as of yet. This also being the problem with the rest of L.M. Montgomery's books - while I loved them when I was young, I was in my teens, I think, when I read them all, the Anne books, as well as the Emily books, that I don't know if they're really going to be interesting for a 7 year old.)

Do you have any suggestions for me? 

I know there are are the Amelia Bedelia books, Fancy Nancy, etc. and she likes those, but she can read them herself with a little help. I'd rather something a little more advanced, chapter books that are still too much for her to handle on her own, but that the story will hold her attention and make her want to read  more.
Make sense? 

Leave any suggestions you might have in the comments...I'd appreciate it greatly! :) 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

It Is Enough.

bible wallpaper

My faith has found a resting place,
Not in device or creed;
I trust the ever living One,
His wounds for me shall plead.

Enough for me that Jesus saves,
This ends my fear and doubt;
A sinful soul I come to Him,
He’ll never cast me out.

My heart is leaning on the Word,
The living Word of God,
Salvation by my Savior’s Name,
Salvation through His blood.

My great Physician heals the sick,
The lost He came to save;
For me His precious blood He shed,
For me His life He gave.

I need no other argument,
I need no other plea,
It is enough that Jesus died,
And that He died for me.

(Hymn, "My Faith Has Found a Resting Place" by Eliza E. Hewitt (1851-1920)

Friday, August 30, 2013


Change is good, right?

If you remember, a couple of weeks ago I posted about possibly changing the blog name. While I didn't get any input on here, a couple of you did comment on Facebook with your suggestions for what I should name the blog. Neither of those made the final cut, but I thank you for you input, anyway! (You know who you are)

You'll notice that there is a new header with a new title.
You might wonder why I chose that particular title - after all, this is not primarily a music blog. If you're curious, there is also a link at the top of the page that will tell you a little bit about why I chose that particular name. After asking for suggestions,  I was thinking about it, and out of the blue, this is the phrase that came into my mind. After thinking about it while longer, I slowly became convinced that this was the right thing to do. And after thinking about it for a couple more weeks, here we are!

Hope you like it!!! :)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

What Shall We Name the ... BLOG?!?

I've been thinking.

(Yes, I do that every once in a while, and NO, it didn't hurt. At least, not too bad.)

I really should give my blog a real name.

I mean, it's just been called "The Davis Family" for a long time. And really, while I DO write about my family some, I spend just as much time thinking out loud and posting about crafty-pinteresty things.
So, I really need a name for this thing.

Only one problem with that.

I am SOO not good at naming things.

I mean, really, my son was a good 12 hours old before we finally settled on a name!

So, I'm asking you:

What should I name the blog?

Burlap & Hydrangea

So, it been a few months, and my springy-tulipy wreath was feeling a bit TOO springy for the Louisiana summer, so I got to brainstorming again.
Of course, everyone's doing burlap this and that these days, and, like most trendy things, it takes a while to grow on me...but I was starting to like the idea of a burlap wreath. I saw one on, um, you know (glances furtively around and whispers) THAT PLACE  that I liked that used a burlap wreath with bunches of hydrangeas on it, and sorta fell in love (because I have this THING about hydrangeas - and have unfortunately never succeeded at growing them).
I won't post pictures of those, because, well, they put my little DIY project to shame, but if you want you can just search 'burlap hydrangea wreath' on Pinterest, and you'll find lots of loveliness to tickle your eyeballs. (Or you can look at my DIY board and probably figure out what I was looking at.)

So, anyway, I'm thinking maybe a nice dark red/burgundy and those kind of ecru colored hydrangeas they have at Hobby Lobby...but then, I get there to look at them, and the ones I was thinking of were $10 - per head.
Not happening, folks.
Even at 50% off, they were still $5 a piece, and with needing 6-8 at least plus the other materials needed, I was looking at a $50-60 dollar wreath.
Um, No.
I like pretty things at much as the next girl, but I have a hard time paying that much for a piece of something to hang on the door. For the neighbors to look at.
Seriously - I'm never at that door; we use the side door. The only time I see that door is when we drive in the driveway or I'm out in the yard with the kids - and then I'm not usually looking!

So I put the idea away for a bit.

Then, one day I was in that store that I spend waaayyy too much time (and money) in (the one that starts with a W and ends in -almart), and happened to pass through the fake flower department - 'scuse me, the ARTIFICIAL flower dept. - and saw these big bunches of blue hydrangeas for $5 a piece. They weren't as pretty, or as real-looking as the Hobby Lobby ones, but at that price I thought I could make that work a little better.

One wreath form, a couple yards of burlap, one bunch of hydrangeas and a couple of hours of work later, we had a new wreath!

(Could someone please tell me how to take pretty pictures of an ugly door?!)

Of course, I don't have any pictures of how I made it because I'm impatient like that, but I'm sure you can figure it out. I used a 16" wire wreath form, cut the burlap into approximately 4" strips (would probably be easier and neater to use burlap ribbon, but I have the yardage on hand from another project, so I used what I had), and wove it through the wires, leaving small loops, and then scrunched it together. Since I didn't take the time to cut the burlap precisely, it was unraveling and I had strings everywhere by the time I was done. Don't do what I did - do it right and you won't have as big of a mess to clean up!

I wanted to be able to use the burlap part for other seasons, so I didn't want the flowers to be permanently affixed. I ended up just cutting the stems about 2-3" long and just poking them in between the puffs of burlap. So far it has stayed. We'll see - if any hurricanes come along, I might have to fasten it a little more securely! ;)

Burlap (about 2 yards) = around $5.50
Wire Wreath Form = $2
Hydrangeas = $5
Total = $12.50

Time to make: 1-2 hours (I was working on other things at the same time)

I don't know about you, but I can handle that price a whole lot better than $50-60!!

I'll be thinking of ways to accessorize it for fall and winter.

What suggestions do you have?

Linking up with:

Monday, July 8, 2013

Go Ahead - Cast the First Stone!

If you've been in church very much at all, you might have heard the story; those of us who grew up in church for sure know it, have probably heard songs about it - maybe even sang them ourselves, and probably referenced it a time or two. You know the story:

We find it in the New Testament, a story of a woman caught committing a sin, but so much more than that, the story of many religious people who thought they had laid the perfect trap to catch this man they called Jesus. I can imagine they had probably plotted - planned down to the most minute detail how the scenario would go down; the plan was to bring this sinner to Jesus - this woman they had caught in the act - I repeat, in the VERY ACT - of adultery...(sounds a little fishy to me - seems like this woman was awfully handy, if you know what I mean) they would bring her to Him, tell Him her story, and ask Him what He thought they should do with her. The Law said she should be stoned; if He said, "Do with her as the Law demands", they would accuse Him of being harsh, cruel, and judgmental. If He told them to let her go, they would say He was not upholding the Law - either way, it couldn't look good - at least, they'd make sure it didn't look good.
It couldn't fail, right?
Or could it?

As the story goes, they brought the woman to Jesus; they told Him what she had done; they told Him what the Law commanded they do with her; then they asked Him: "What do YOU say we should do with her?"
Jesus ignored them.

He stooped down to the ground, maybe whistled a little tune (hey, I'm using my imagination here!), and using His finger began to doodle in the dust at His feet. What did He write? The Bible doesn't tell us. Many have surmised, and I, too, think that possibly He might have written the names of some of the men (these Pharisees - religious leaders, no less) who had been involved in the same sin they were now accusing this woman of committing! Whatever it was, some of them started getting a little squirmy.
They pressed Him for an answer, "Master? What do say we should do with her? Should we stone her?"
Jesus, still stooped to the ground, replied in essence, "Go ahead...but...let the man who is without sin cast the first stone."

And He resumed His writing.
After some time passed, He looked up to find only the frightened woman looking at Him curiously.
"Woman," He said, "Where are those that accused you? Has no one condemned you?"
"No, sir," she replied. "They have all gone."

Where did they go?! Just a few moments before they seemed to be clamoring for her blood, but now, they had all gone - slipped away without a word! The Bible tells us that, "...they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last..." (John 8:9, KJV).

We know that Jesus then told this woman, in John 8:11, "Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more." 

 We Christians often ponder about how Jesus didn't condemn the woman; we reflect on the mercy He showed her; we might wonder what sins the Pharisees had committed that made them slink away like a chastised dog creeping off with his tail between his legs.
We use this story as an opportunity to boldly proclaim: Don't judge!
And these are good things to think about.

But then life happens...and we forget about the stones.

...We see someone committing what seems to us to be a horrible sin, and we loudly exclaim, "How can they do (blank) and call themselves a Christian?!" *Whooosh! A stone flies through the air.*

...We see someone else's children misbehaving; we think to ourselves (or even say to our friend or family), "MY children would never do that! Why, I can't believe how some people let their children act/dress/talk/etc!"

...Someone stops attending our church for whatever reason, and we think, "Oh, They never really paid the price and got a Holy Heart. They didn't want to walk in the light - that's why they left!"

...We see someone who used to attend our church, and first thing we do is look them over to see how their dressed; maybe their sleeves are too short, their clothes too tight - whatever it is, we snort to ourselves, "Hmmph. I knew they never really had anything.  If they had, they wouldn't dress that way..."

...Someone is a little short with us, and we get our feelings hurt and don't speak to them for months because of it.

...Someone disagrees with us on one issue, and we write them off - even though we agree on all the important stuff.

...We see pictures of someone posted on our facebook page, and without stopping to think what might really be going on in the picture, we take it at face value - for what we ASSUME is going on, and we become disappointed in that person and tell others how we've lost our confidence in them, 'because I saw a picture and they were doing (insert offensive thing here)!"

So many scenarios come to mind I could mention; you may look at the list above and think, Wow, that's silly. But all of the things I mentioned are things that I've actually seen and heard people say or do.

We're so quick to cast stones when it's our pet issue at the forefront. Many times we don't take the time to find out the whole story - we get a snippet of information from here, another from there, and another from over there, we put it all together and make our own story - which may be, and probably is, grossly different from the REAL story - the thing that ACTUALLY happened.
We want to write people off when they don't play the Christian 'Game' like we think it should be played; when they don't don't dress, talk, think, act or believe like we think they should.

When someone judges us for the things we do, we're quick to remind them, "Judge not!". We want them to show us mercy...but in our minds, we're still casting stones at others. When someone does us wrong, we want to throw the book at them - but when it's our pet sin, we want to gloss it over.

Yes, I'm guilty of it just as much as anyone. No, maybe not for the same reasons as you might do it, but I'm still guilty.
We want to remind others not to cast their stones our way...but we want to still keep our pile of stones - just in case - and every once in a while lob them at someone who doesn't measure up.

No, we don't use real stones (last time I checked, throwing rock at people was generally frowned upon), but our 'stones' are just a hurtful. Instead of rocks, we use:

  • Thoughts
  • Words 
  • Attitudes
  • Actions
  • Etc...

Thoughts?! You might wonder how your thoughts can hurt someone. Well, what you think about (thoughts), becomes what you talk about - and a few poorly chosen words can hurt a person for life. Whether it is words spoken to the person, or words spoken to someone else about them, the things we say can do irreparable damage.
But still, even without ever speaking a word, our attitudes and actions can let someone know in no uncertain terms that we don't feel they measure up.

I don't know about you, but I've got enough things of my own to tend to - I don't need to solve everyone else's problems, too.
I need to remember that:

  • kids aren't perfect.  In some areas they may be the most intelligent, well-behaved kids around, but in other areas, they need lots of guidance. Until my children are perfect and without guilt in ALL AREAS, I have no right to judge your kids.    I'll work on training my kids; you work on yours.
  • ...My parenting skills still need lots of help. I'm not always as patient and loving with my family as I should be. They need all the time and attention I can give them. They need my love and acceptance - even when they're driving me crazy and making me want to tear my hair out. My children need me to teach them how to go about doing this thing called 'life' - even when I feel so woefully inadequate at it myself.  You work on being a perfect parent to your children; I'll work on being a better parent to mine.
  • ...I need to work on my own relationship with God; am I doing everything He's asked me to do? Am I living a life of perfect obedience to Him? Do my clothes measure up to the standards He's given me? Do my attitudes always reflect Jesus? Do my words and my actions show joy make people feel loved and accepted, or do I make people feel like my life and the duties that have been assigned to me are a drudgery? Do I count my blessings as often as I should - or do I complain all the time? 

I don't know about you, but taking care of that list right there is going to take up just about all the time I have; you'll have to worry about your own - I don't have time for that!

(a little inter-webz humor...)

I have an idea.

How about, instead of 'throwing stones' at people, we pray for them instead?

  • When we see something that bothers us, instead of judging, how about we pray for the person instead? 
  • When we get our feelings hurt, instead of telling God (and everyone around us) how hurt we are, how about we just pray for the person that hurt us?
  • When someone dresses in a way that we feel is inappropriate, instead of telling them -or anyone else- how bad they are, ask God to lead them, and direct them. (He can tell them how He want them to dress - I don't need to!)

I could go on and on...but you get the point. How much better off would the world - and the Church - be, if we would spend more time praying, and less throwing stones?

The truth is, God doesn't need our help! Yes, He does use people to help do His work, but judging them is HIS job - and He doesn't need us to help Him judge. He can show people how HE wants them to live, talk, dress, act, etc...He doesn't need me to help Him. If they don't have the set convictions I have, SO WHAT? God need me to be obedient and surrendered to Him - He'll worry about the rest.

I don't know about you, but I have enough on my plate just keeping myself in line...

Time to clean out the rock pile!