We sent off our oldest son, again, this morning. It never gets any easier. We all stood in a circle and held hands. I had my oldest son on one side and my youngest on the other. After the prayer two boys tried to barricade the door so the oldest one couldn’t leave. Tears were shed and my mother heart was happy and sad and worried and joyful all at the same time.
On this Memorial Day, I am remembering the mothers. Mothers who stood and waved and watched their boys go off– to war.
With my older boys home (and the leaf back in our dining room table), meal prep has recently become even more of a focus for me than it was before. Also, Katie, who had been helping me with supper prep, is now away most evenings putting her cooking skills to work elsewhere, so I’m back to being the main cook again.
Here’s what we’ve been eating for our main meal each day, for the past week. All of these are tried and true crowd pleasers at our house. Feeding a family is such a big job, and it never ends. I hope this post (lacking in photos, but not in links and recipes) will give you some new ideas.
How I make a Summer Salad: I use a circular platter like a pizza pan. First I make a bed of lettuce, and then on top of that I start making rings of various toppings. I always boil eggs earlier in the day so they are ready to go as a topping. Some kind of meat topping is a must when feeding growing boys. Chopped chicken or ham are a good choice, or baby shrimp as a special treat. Other topping possibilities include: chopped tomatoes, celery, sweet peppers, carrots, nuts such as sliced almonds, cranberries, cheese, croutons or crushed buttery crackers. It looks so pretty when it’s finished!
Katie made the Snickerdoodles and they were exelente!
Anything created by God will flourish best wherever it is placed by God. Remove that created thing from where God placed it, and it will die (at worst) or not reach it’s full potential (at best).
“…the wise tried to see where God placed individuals in the natural order of things, the assumption being that since God is good, the environments that He puts things in naturally help them to flourish.” – C.R. Wiley
As we seek to raise a child so that he will thrive, not just survive, in this harsh world, we should remember where God placed the child to start with. The child is placed within the mother’s body first, and then in her arms, and then by her side– and all within a home and in a family. This placement has everything to do with allowing the child to flourish.
Question: I wondered if you can relate to the stress and tiredness and being overwhelmed before a new baby, and if you had any tips on things that you think are the most important to focus on in those last weeks?
Answer: Yes, I can relate! Here are some tips for the end of pregnancy:
1) Listen to your body. If you are tired, rest. If you are energetic, go for it! No guilt allowed. Your body knows what you need.
2) Get the baby clothes washed and ready. Get the baby’s little station set up (changing area, etc).
3) Pack the hospital bag. Or, if planning a home birth, gather all the needed supplies.
4) If time is dragging, do what you enjoy but don’t normally have time for. I resorted to Sudoku puzzles at the tail end of some pregnancies, reading a fiction book at the end of others.
5) Buy a special nightgown or pajamas for the hospital and for postpartum. Anything to help savor the stage you are in and to give you little boost along the way.
The Household and the War for the Cosmos This is an excellent series with deep and relevant content. We have watched the short videos and are soon going to be reading the book. I wish every Christian parent today could hear, understand, and emulate these concepts. From the book description: Because people saw themselves as part of an ordered whole, they also believed that they had obligations to the people around them. They were not just autonomous individuals, but members of households with unique duties to past and future generations. Words like “piety” and “religion” did not refer to what you did in your quiet time, but were more like the seemingly obsolete values of “duty” and “honor.”
Ring-a-Majigs I found these little toys at a consignment shop while we were deep in the winter doldrums about a month ago. I was instantly taken back to my childhood! I had these toys as a child, in the same container. Anyone else remember these? Turns out they are as much fun today as they were back then.
K’nex Also during the winter doldrums, this classic toy provided hours (literally hour upon hour) of constructive entertainment. Toby and Sammy especially enjoyed making some very complicated creations, including some with moving parts connected to a little motor. We have some books of designs with detailed instructions which helped them with ideas and specifics. Did I mind having K’nex all over the living room floor, 24/7, for weeks on end….? Yes, but not really, if that makes sense.
Before this month completely gets away from us, here we are with the second edition of our product share feature!
We use this rice cooker all the time. We eat quite a bit of rice and it used to be that the rice would so easily burn when being cooked on the stove. Now it never burns, which is the best part of using a rice cooker. It also has some convenient settings such as a delay start option. I have made different types of rice in it, and all has turned out well. Read the instructions carefully, because the measurement for the rice is a little different than you might expect. The only thing I don’t like is that, when cooking the rice, it doesn’t tell you how much time is left until it gets down to 10 minutes, and then it gives you a countdown. It usually takes about 40 minutes to make a batch. It will keep the rice warm and ready to eat for hours, if you need to cook the rice ahead of time.
I absolutely love the milk frother whisk I got recently. I use it to blend anything in a cup, like hot chocolate or my daily greens powder. What’s amazing about this little tool is that it works wonders for mixing things that tend to be lumpy. I made homemade hot chocolate earlier, and getting the cocoa to incorporate is usually quite a challenge. I took this quick video to show you.
Happy Valentine’s Day! Below are some thoughts and quotations that I gathered from my Commonplace Books, on the theme of love.
My prayer for you today is that you will learn to love others more deeply as you more fully comprehend the love God has for you. If you are a natural-born pleaser/achiever like me, it can often be difficult to realize and remember that God’s love for you is not based on any merit of your own. He loves you in spite of all your failures and sins. He loves you, and not because of anything you have done or anything you are currently doing. You cannot and you will not measure up. His love is undeserved, yes, a thousand times yes, and that is what makes God’s love toward us so exceedingly precious.
This truth has come home to me over the past few years, and it repeatedly brings me to tears, because it speaks to my soul.
“How deep the Father’s love for us, how vast beyond all measure, that He would give His only Son, to make a wretch His treasure.” -Stuart Townend
God’s love was expressed in a supreme Sacrifice. Wherever there is true love, there must be giving, and giving to the point of sacrifice. Love is not satisfied with giving trinkets; it must give at the cost of sacrifices; it must give blood, life, all. -F.B. Meyer
Without social media, it’s harder to share daily life. Although we feel that exiting Facebook et al. was the right decision for us to make, I have to admit I miss it.
So here is a “patchwork” post… various items of note, combined into one rambling post, kind of a “facebook not facebook” if you will. 😄 I’m hoping to do one of these every month. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments, or hear from you personally!
Here I Stand – A life of Martin Luther – by Roland Bainton
I’ve been trying to read this book for quite a while. I’m ashamed to even admit how long it is taking me! But, I’m determined not to give up. I found out that Joshua is also reading it for his Reformation History class. I’m struck by so many things as I poke along through this book. Here is one quotation:
“I will tell you straight what I think. I am a Christian theologian; and I am bound, not only to assert, but to defend the truth with my blood and death. I want to believe freely and be a slave to the authority of no one, whether council, university or pope. I will confidently confess what appears to me to be true, whether it has been asserted by a Catholic or a heretic, whether it has been approved or reproved by a council.” -Martin Luther
Luther only made this statement after hours and hours of trembling on his face before God. He didn’t strike out on a limb without knowing Whom he really must answer to. God help us to raise warriors with this kind of courage! And help us to be those kind of warriors ourselves!
Joshua has taken on a new venture. He is now the string bass player for BJUGrass, and has the opportunity to travel out several times this semester to minister in churches and various venues. This weekend he is in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. All those violin lessons and summer Fiddle Camp experiences have paid off!
The lines of separation between good and evil in our society are now drawn more clearly than ever. Evil is definitely raising it’s ugly head and gleefully having a heyday. As we observe the chaos of our times, one phrase keeps coming to my mind: “There is no future in that.”
Meanwhile, I’ve been reading and re-reading Psalm 37, which speaks to the same theme– those who have a future, and those who do not.
God has made His world to work by certain unchangeable principles. He tells us who will have the future. Although we find ourselves living in a time that is not for the faint of heart, take courage and take comfort from this Psalm, which presents a clear contrast between the good and the evil.
Repeatedly mentioned in this Psalm is the phrase “inherit the land.” This phrase strongly implies a future.