Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year 2008!

"Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended:
but this one thing I do,
forgetting those things which are behind,
and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
I press toward the mark for the prize
of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."
~ Philippians 3:13-14

Monday's Musings...

I hope y'all had a blessed Lord's Day.
It is always a blessing to us
to be in the Lord's house!
Pastor's message was about
striving for the mastery...
"And every man that
striveth for the mastery
is temperate in all things.
Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown;
but we an incorruptible."
1 Corinthians 9:25

He related our Christian walk
as that to an Olympic race.
We, as believers, are in a "race"
and just as someone that trains
for an Olympic race
lives, eats, breathes for that race,
so ought we for ours.
What we do, eat, say, think on,
how we live, go about our day, etc...
effects how we run our race.
We should be striving (working hard)
for the mastery!
They do it for a corruptible crown,
we for an incorruptible.
We should be 100% for God!

We shouldn't be taking spiritual "vacations".
If we aren't moving forward, we are backsliding.
We ought to be running the course
that the Lord has set before us!
Our race is not over until we stop breathing...

"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about
with so great a cloud of witnesses,
let us lay aside every weight,
and the sin which doth so easily beset us,
and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;
who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,
despising the shame, and is set down
at the right hand of the throne of God."
~ Hebrews 12:1-2

What a blessing it was!
We, also, partook in the Lord's supper,
which is always such a precious time and blessing.
My heart was overflowing!

And if that wasn't enough,
the Lord continued in the evening service.
We had our "All Youth Service"
where the young people led the service.
The young man that did the preaching
talked about how we ought not to be satisfied
with what the Lord has done in the past...
Meaning there is much more to be done.
He talked about how he had seen people saved,
lives changed, etc... as God used him
but that we cannot become satisfied with that
and not allow God to use us to do more.
That we need to continue pressing toward the mark...

"Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended:
but this one thing I do, forgetting those things
which are behind, and reaching forth
unto those things which are before,
I press toward the mark for the prize
of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."
~ Philippians 3:13-14

He admonished us that when we get to Heaven,
enjoying its splendor and seeing our Savior's face,
there will still be many others
suffering an eternity in Hell.
We may become self-satisfied on Earth
but, in Heaven, will we be able to say,
"I did ALL I could. I did my BEST for Jesus"?
The Holy Spirit convicted hearts
and set a challenge before us!

In addition to the great preaching,
we had some wonderful special music from our youth.
The children's choir sang "Joy to the World"...

It's such a blessing working with them!

Ally played an offeratory on the piano
as Will took up the offering...

Also, Ally and her friend
sang a song for special music...
(Ally lost her guitar pick at the beginning. lol)

Afterwards, we had a fellowship!
Complete with pizza and brownies! Mmmm!

It was, truly, a blessed Lord's Day!

"I was glad when they said unto me,
Let us go into the house of the LORD."
~ Psalm 122:1

Saturday, December 29, 2007

New Year Fun!

Kelli is hosting this "New Year Fun"
and I thought it would be fun to participate.

Post the first sentence
of your first blog post of each month.
You can also add a favorite picture from each month.

It sure was difficult to choose the photos!
Here are mine:

~ January ~
Yesterday we saw my beloved off to Iraq.

(receiving Daddy Dolls from Daddy before he goes)

~ February ~
Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks,
and to look well to thy herd."~ Proverbs 27:23
I love relating this Scripture to my role as a mother!

(photo from Daddy holding a picture that Will drew)

~ March ~
A few weeks ago we ordered a pattern
Common Sense Patterns for a new dress for Ally.

(the children and I sitting in a church pew
during our trip to Colonial Williamsburg and Historic Jamestown)

~ April ~
When your child has been too weak
to play much piano but she has a good day
and decides to play around with a few pieces,
what's a mama to do??
Record it (without her knowing, of course)!

(enjoying our visit from Gramma)

~ May ~
Okay, I guess that should be the other way around...
A new hair cut and a new blog look.

(reading names on Memorial Day)

~ June ~
I am taking a somewhat unexpected
bloggie break for the next day or so.

(Ally baiting her own fishing hook for the 1st time)

~ July ~
Below is the song that Ally and I sang this morning
for our Independence Sunday service...
Bring Back the Glory...

(the younger ones found sleeping in my bed)

~ August ~
The years truly do fly by!

(Gotta share 2 pics for this month!)

(the children welcoming Daddy home for a visit)

~ September ~
Oh, for Okri...
Where I grew up, in the south and in the countryside,
my grandparents had a decent size garden.

(visit to the ocean during a tropical storm)

~ October ~
I recently received an email from a mama
that was distraught over difficulties
she is having at home,
particularly with a young, school age child.

(singing the Birthday Song to Beth with Ally's violin)

~ November ~
I hope y'all are having a good week.

(children gather around Ally and her guitar to sing
at our church's Thanksgiving fellowship)

~ December ~
Final choices...
(referring to family photos)

"To every thing there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under the heaven:"
~ Ecclesiastes 3:1

Friday, December 28, 2007

Friday's Fillings: Christmas Catchup...

I hope y'all had a blessed Christmas.
Thank you all for the Christmas wishes,
kind words, and prayers.
On Christmas Eve, we went caroling
with friends and it was such a blessing.
We were received with such excitement
and they accepted Gospel tracts afterwards.
We hope to go caroling every year!

On Christmas Day,
we had a lovely time together at home.
In the morning, we read Luke 2 together
then we did our stockings and gifts.
In the afternoon, we had friends visit
and we enjoyed supper and fellowship together,
Christmas Day Sourdough Pizza. ;o)
We enjoyed talking on the phone
to distant family, too, especially Daddy!

I thought I'd share a few
of my "favorite faces" photos from Christmas morn...

lol ;o) I love their excitement!

Here is a tree skirt that Ally crocheted for me.
I was showing it off as a shawl, however.
She did such a beautiful job!

We were thrilled when we got to talk to Daddy!

We sure can't wait till he comes home!
Speaking of that... this upcoming week (or two),
we plan to tackle our entire house
to get it ready for our Marine! ;o)
Though I can't disclose exactly when he'll be coming,
it's soon enough to get the house ready for him!
The children and I, also, plan to start making signs soon.
We are all getting very excited!

So if I am a bit quiet the next couple of weeks,
it's because we're busy preparing
for a long, anticipated reunion! ;o)

I hope y'all have enjoyed your Christmas week
and that you enjoy your weekend!

"The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying,
Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love:
therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee."
~ Jeremiah 31:3

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Merry Christmas!

I'll be taking the next few days off from blogging
as the children and I spend some relaxed time together,
focusing on the Reason for this season.
I pray you all have a blessed
and Christ-centered Christmas.

Merry Christmas from our home to yours...

Ring the Bells...

Ring the bells, ring the bells,
Let the whole world know
Christ was born in Bethlehem
Many years ago.

Born to die that man might live,
Came to Earth new life to give,
Born of Mary, born so low,
Many years ago.

God the Father gave His Son,
Gave His own beloved One
To this wicked, sinful earth
To bring mankind His love, new birth:

Ring the bells, ring the bells,
Let the whole world know
Christ the Savior lives today
As He did so long ago!

Ring the bells, ring the bells,
What a glorious morn!
Men and angels worship Him,
Singing: Christ is born!

Born to die on Calvary,
Born to set His people free,
God Himself in human form,
Tell it! Christ is born.

He has left His royal throne,
He has come to claim His own;
Christ, the Lord, has come to earth;
Go spread the news of Jesus' birth.

Ring the bells, O ring the bells,
Let the whole world know
Christ the Savior lives today
As He did so long ago.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Shaped Cheese Scones...

This afternoon, the children and I
went for a visit and took a basket of these
to an older lady from our church and her sister.
Since they were cutouts,
we were able to sample them! ;o)
And they are a new family favorite!
We cut them out in holiday shapes...

Then packaged them up to present them...

Shaped Cheese Scones

2 C unbleached flour
2 TBS sugar
3 tsp baking powder (aluminum free)
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp of garlic powder
1 1/2 C shredded cheddar, mozzerella,
or pepper jack cheese
1 egg
1/2 C fat free sour cream
1/4 canola oil
3 TBS milk

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt,
baking soda, and garlic powder into a bowl.
Stir in cheese.
In a separate bowl, combine egg, sour cream,
oil and milk. Make a well in the center of
the dry ingredients; stir in egg mixture
just until moistened.
Turn dough onto a floured surface;
knead gently 10-12 times.
Pat out to 1/3 inch thickness.
Cut with shaped cutters.
Place about 2 inches apart on greased baking sheet.
Bake at 425 for 11-15 minutes or till golden brown.
Remove from pan to wire rack.
Serve warm and enjoy!

recipe adapted from The Taste of Home Baking Book

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Our Haven's Happenings...

It seems our happenings here at home
have picked up rather than slowed down lately.
I have decided to set our new schedule aside
for this week and, likely, most of next week
as we are celebrating the Christmas season.
We have spent the week running errands,
baking, visiting, and mailing packages out.
It has been a good busy.
Over the weekend, Ally and I were able
to finish our family dvd
(an annual tradition we began last year).
We were glad to get it finished
and send it off to family, along with some baked goods.
We, also, enjoyed watching it together as a family,
as we watched and reminised about this past year.
I'll be a blubbering, tissue-using mess
when the children are all grown and gone
and I sit to watch these dvds...
I already get teary eyed watching them.
Family/children are so precious!

This past Sunday evening, our church had its
"All Church Christmas Program".
Since we are a smaller sized church,
pastor decided to include all of us

in a cantata-type service.
It was a joy to sing together,
listen to the narration, and the special music.

Beth and Carolynne watching Pastor
pick at his guitar before the service.

Will and one of the pastor's sons
at the piano before the service.

Ally and Pastor practicing their duet.

Here is a video of their violin/guitar duet...

It was a blessing to see Ally serving the Lord this way.
I'm proud of her and how she has been practicing diligently
in teaching herself how to play the past three months.

Also, on Sunday evening the children's choir sang.
It is a blessing, too, to see
the young children singing for the Lord...

I hope y'all are enjoying your week.
I really do hope to respond to comments and emails soon.
Thank you so much for understanding. ;o)

Before I go, here are a few shots of the girls
being a bit silly this week...




A Special Thank You...

As I was checking my bloglines,
I read this post at Susan's.

I wanted to say a special thank you
to her for her kind thoughts and words.
Thank you, Susan.
Your words were such a blessing and encouragement.

"Pleasant words are as an honeycomb,
sweet to the soul, and health to the bones."
~ Proverbs 16:24

Friday, December 14, 2007

Friday's Fillings and a Trip to the Aquarium...

Wow! All week and no post!
We surely have been keeping busy.
Following our new "sequence of events"
went pretty well (for the first three days)
even though we began about an hour later
that I had initially intended
but I was okay with that. ;o)
I think the new schedule will,
for the most part, work well with us.
I'll just need to 'work well' with it. ;o)

Thursday was a 'hope so' baking day
and a 'work on our annual photo dvd' day
until we discovered that we were
completely out of flour and milk
and our dvd creator software
was being violent by chopping off
too many heads in our photos
so, instead, we opted for a day out
(and borrow software from a friend).

Today we had our homeschool field trip.
We were all excited to visit
one of our state's aquariums.
(Warning: LOTS of photos ahead!)

Our trip began with a sea turtle demonstration...

Beth and Carolynne trying on 'turtle hands'.

We were all excited to see and feel the real sea turtle...

After the presentation, we explored the aquarium.
Here a few photos of what we saw...

look closely for the sea horses

"lawnspur", as Beth and Carolynne say.
(a.k.a. lobster)

We, also, enjoyed a presentation in the shark/fish tank.
One of the divers answered questions
as she stood among the sharks and fish.
The children were all fascinated, as were the mamas. ;o)

One of the favorite parts for all of us
were the touch tanks.
Everyone loved watching and feeling the sting rays...

It was a lost cause to try to peel Ally away
from her new favorite friends, the sting rays...

So the rest of us, also, enjoyed seeing and touching
the horseshoe and hermit crabs...

Seeing these familiar "faces", though,
did cause us to reminise about our
beachschooling days
that we had before we moved.
So we were glad to see those familiar "faces". ;o)

Another favorite at the aquarium
was watching the river otters
search for and eat their food...

The lil' girls enjoyed looking at the model
of how the baby sea turtles make it to the ocean...

They were, also, brave enough to get close to this fellow...

And so was Will...
but he must have gotten too close...

Another favorite (I know, lots of favorites Ü)
was seeing the moon jellies...

Also, the lionfish and eels (eek!)...


I sure love this kind of learning together...

After we toured the aquarium,
we all went for a nature walk

on the provided natural trail...

It was so delightful hearing the children sing and march!

After the walk, we sat at the picnic tables for fellowship
and the children got to run and play...

On the way home, the children and I
stopped at a couple of antique stores
(I hope to share my finds in my next post).

Lest you think the ride home was dull...


We did have a wonderful time!
I'm expecting the children will sleep well tonight
after all of the excitement this day held.

Before I go, I thought I'd share a few last photos
from our trip to the aquarium...
Have a great weekend!


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