Guest Post: The hidden secret of organization/A Mom of four littles organizes her family’s move

I’m thrilled to be posting the very first guest post here on Treasuring Home! 

Author: Esther Aardsma

{My comments are in italics. Everything else is from her.}

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Matthew and Esther and their family, March 2018.

About Esther: Married to my brother Matthew. Mother of four, ages 5 (almost 6), 4, 2 and 2 months. Currently in the process of moving from one state to another as Matthew nears the completion of his doctoral degree. Esther enjoys homemaking, sewing, spending time with her husband, and playing Memory with her kids. Continue reading “Guest Post: The hidden secret of organization/A Mom of four littles organizes her family’s move”

Your Home and God’s Kingdom

Be encouraged today, dear ones!edit5I know it’s easy to get discouraged. We hear bad news everywhere. Kids are departing from the faith. Hate and violence overwhelm our streets. Churches are shutting down. Families are splitting apart. Unrighteous lawmakers seem to prevail. Children are abused. Our world seems to be going crazy in many respects.

Fear and sadness grip our hearts as we hear of these things. But is this the whole story? Are there any battles being won for righteousness? Are there any advances being made for the kingdom of Christ in our world today?eeditOh, yes. Yes, there are! Continue reading “Your Home and God’s Kingdom”

Can we please let the men be men

“Stop being such a man.

You’re not allowed to be a man to the very core of your being. Don’t you know that? Just stop it. I mean, it’s fine to be a man, but please don’t be a MAN.”

This message is coming at our husbands and sons with gale force these days.

I know this problem is nothing new on the scene today. This is one of the many sad results of the out-of-control feminism of the past several decades. Men are stripped of their manhood in every arena of society. The consequences of this de-masculization are probably more far-reaching than any of us realize.

Here is how I have seen it playing out lately–

It’s fine for a man to be accused without evidence, to have his character destroyed on the basis of one woman’s uncorroborated sob story. Perfectly fine. It’s not fine for that man to rise up in self-defense, anger, and indignation over the unfounded accusations. He’s unfit for leadership at that point. Such a bad boy.

It’s fine for a woman to dress/undress and display her body in any manner she pleases. She’s beautiful, she’s confident, and she’s not inhibited by anyone’s opinion. Perfectly fine. It’s not fine for a man to respond to the advertisement of her body and everything she’s got by being stimulated in a sexual manner. He’s an animal at that point. Such a bad boy.

{I am not endorsing or excusing out-of-control anger or out-of-control sexual desire in any way. Those things are of course very real and they are wrong. I’m not talking about men who will use their prowess to harm a weaker individual or to take advantage of innocent people. I’m talking about good men who desire to do the right things, who display love and honor for their wives and children.}

It’s fine for a wife to make her own plans and decisions, live her own life, and determine the direction of the family. She’s capable and she’s got it all together. Perfectly fine. It’s not fine for a husband to express his wishes (kindly), to make suggestions, and to want to know his wife’s plans. Let alone desire to lead the family or to think his wife should consider his advice. He’s a dumb, egotistical, selfish pig at that point. Such a bad boy.

Our society seems to be completely unaware that 1- there is such a thing as a good boy and 2- there is such a thing as a bad girl.

Ladies, we must let our men be men. We must affirm to our husbands, sons, and society that real men are needed and they are valued. We must respect and honor them in their manhood, manhood that runs deep and strong. We must stop treating our good, honorable men like bad boys. As women, we desire to be respected and affirmed. Our society has no trouble understanding that point. Our men are deserving of absolutely no less. mountainsswinglight

Singing in the mountains of North Carolina (our second family song video!)

Attempting to film a family song video while we were on a family hike in the mountains of North Carolina ended up being a fairly big and fairly hilarious undertaking. But we’re glad we did. In a large family, things usually can’t get much more chaotic than they already are… so sometimes you end up trying things that seem a little crazy and you just figure, “Why not?” Continue reading “Singing in the mountains of North Carolina (our second family song video!)”

A Book List (especially suitable for young men)

Reading books of substance goes a long way toward true education. As homeschoolers we need to provide quality books and we must provide our students time to read. I am hoping to do a better job of this in the future; we always have room to improve, right?

Let’s be careful not to overestimate the value of running around to extra-curricular activities, and underestimate the value of time to read and absorb a good book.editWith that in mind, I am excited to share this amazing book list with you. This list comes to us courtesy of my brother-in-law Daniel. He kindly provided me this list in 2016, when I was searching for Christmas gift ideas for my teenage boys. Daniel is an avid reader, a history buff, and a dad of four boys. I knew, when I asked him for a book list, that he would offer valuable suggestions of exactly the types of books I would want my young men to read.  Continue reading “A Book List (especially suitable for young men)”

The Next Phase of the Journey

Get ready, get set, go! Currently, our household is in a stage that feels like “geeettt reeeeeaaaaaadyyy”, mainly because two weeks ago we tore the dilapidated ceiling out of our school room (down to the joists) and have been trying to give the entire room a facelift. This is the only room that has basically gone untouched since we bought our old farmhouse twelve years ago. This room has finally gotten a turn for some improvements, at long last. I’m loving how it has turned out. Fixing up my nest is one of my favorite activities. I should be showing some pics of the changes on my Instagram soon.

This year, our “getting ready for school” phase has also involved a new activity; that of getting our firstborn packed up and out the door for his first semester of college. Meanwhile, I’m trying not to think about how many days it will be until mid-December.

Continue reading “The Next Phase of the Journey”

When You Feel Discouraged

Some days discouragement knocks on the door and then floods in, before we hardly realize it. Here are some thoughts for those times when we battle disappointment, disillusionment, or feelings of failure in spite of giving our all.

IMG_E0894The devil loves to come marching in and start feeding us lie upon lie when we are discouraged. Continue reading “When You Feel Discouraged”

Real Life Romance

The picture on Instagram spoke volumes. It grabbed me immediately. (I wish I could give credit to the person who posted it, but I have no idea who it was now.) A mom and a dad were sitting in the front seats of a minivan, holding hands. The pic had been taken by a child in the backseat. The lady posting it said one of her children had gotten ahold of her phone and taken the picture. She discovered it later. She said that she and her husband always held hands when they went places as a family in their minivan.

This, I thought, is real life romance.

You have the fairy tale kind of romance, and then you have the real life kind.edit9The fairy tale kind of romance is Continue reading “Real Life Romance”

The First Arrow Flies & Summer Kicks In

Not much has been happening here on the blog, except for things quite unrelated to our theme, which is supposed to be marriage, motherhood, ministry and making a home. Time to get back on topic. Thanks for bearing with me! And thanks for following along!

Life on Windy Hill has been more of a whirlwind than usual. School came to a conclusion amidst a flurry of year-end activities.

Then, this happened on June 2. PEACHGraduation2018-215On graduation morning, which was marked by nonstop torrential downpours, I told Steve, “Today the dominoes are starting to fall.” He replied, without missing a beat, “No, today the arrows are starting to fly!” [Psalm 127:4] Continue reading “The First Arrow Flies & Summer Kicks In”

What’s All This about a New Vitamin? Part Four.

Following the events described in Part Three, everything started moving super fast. {If you are brand new to the story, you will want to start at Part One.} We got word that Dad’s longtime friend Tom was going to become the third person in the world to test the new vitamin. Tom was dealing with a recurrence of prostate cancer following a prostatectomy.  He was likely headed for chemo, but in the meantime he began to take MePA to see what effect (if any) it would have on his prostate levels, which were being checked every few months. Continue reading “What’s All This about a New Vitamin? Part Four.”