Thursday, October 20, 2011

Joyful Parenting ~ Day 1

About a year ago I read Ann Voskamp's blog for the first time. I fell in love with her writing style and her heart that shines through her words. After consuming every part of her blog in just a couple of days, I happened upon her Parenting Manifesto of Joy. I read it several times and then printed it. I posted a copy in my office near my computer so I could read it every morning before I wake my children. Recently, I put a copy on our daily clipboard so I could flip to it at any moment of the day and remind myself of my ultimate goals with my family.

I thought we could take some time over the next ten days and share our thoughts about the 10 points of the manifesto and how we can bring joy to our parenting.

"1. Today I will make our home a house of prayer. I will pray at set times. I will invite our children to come move into an interior space that lives with God."

Don't we need this? Isn't this absolutely essential for us and for our children?

In order to make our home a house of prayer, we must pray. Our prayer life cannot be suffering and dried up. I think of prayer somewhat like a phone conversation. If you are calling someone that you rarely speak to, there is a lot of time in the beginning of the call in just introducing yourself, catching up and sometimes making apology for how long it has been since your last call. It is not this way with people you call frequently. When I call my best friend, I never have to say who I am, she knows. I don't have to ask how she is doing, I know. I can tell by the tone of her voice how her day is and if she needs me and she can do the same. There is no awkwardness. Sometimes we don't even have to say hello. Our lives feel like one seamless conversation. I can pick up thoughts we had a few days back and the conversation keeps on going without reminder or review. This is how it can be when we are constantly in communication with our Father. He invites us to this relationship and our children see it and feel it.

Even when the conversation between us and our Father flows throughout the day, we still need special times to meet with him; planned times where distractions should be minimal. Though my husband and I talk our way through the day, we see each other each evening and we discuss all of the issues around the house as the needs arise, we still need time away together where we can really focus on our conversation. For us to have this time, we must plan it and be intentional about it. We know that every night when the children go to bed, we will purposefully take some time to recap the day, talk about tomorrow and just be with each other. We need this so much more with our Heavenly Father.

When we are purposefully and actively in conversation and communion with the Lord, the space around us changes. When we invite our children to follow in that example, our home beats with new life; fresh air that is life to us all. Our spouses and children can feel the difference in our homes. People who visit can feel the difference in a house that lives with God.

May the air that our children breath be saturated with God and may the fresh breath of air that greets our visitors be the gentle wind of the Holy Spirit.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Weekly Scripture Memory

2 Corinthians 10: 3-4

For though we walk after the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;

Read a post about how we work on scripture memory here.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Recipe of the Week

Aunt Robin's Homemade Veggie Pizza

2 Tbsp Olive Oil
Minced Garlic to taste (we use about 1 TBSP)
Sun Dried or Roma Tomatoes
Mozzarella Cheese
Chopped Spinach
1 each Yellow, Orange and Red Bell Pepper Chopped
1 cup Tomato Sauce

Make a basic bread dough like the one found here. Roll out to a pizza crust thickness to fit your pan or baking stone. Brush dough with olive oil and minced garlic. Spread tomato sauce over crust. Cover with spinach and chopped veggies to taste. Sprinkle with mozzarella. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes.


Worship Wednesday ~ On Thursday

So, my worship Wednesday post has been hanging in draft for well over 24 hours now.

Can all that we do be done worshipfully? Can we make every action of our day an act of worship? This is where I am camping out this morning and where I have been for quite some time. Worship is one of those words that is always tumbling over and over in my mind. What is this thing of worship?

It has been said and I have repeated that worship is a way of life, not just a Sunday morning trek and experience.

A couple of verses will not leave me alone. (Don’t you just love how God’s word is that way sometimes?)

Colossians 3:23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Heartily is literally “from the soul”.

I am fully aware that the context of this passage is referring to slaves and how they work for their masters. I am not at all suggesting that we are slaves of God but he is our master in the same sense that Peter referred to Jesus as Master and we do labor for the kingdom.

Can all that we do be done from the soul and not just as an outward display or duty?

Revelation 4:8 … and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, LORD God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.

If worship is acknowledging who our God is, should everything we do, declare that the Lord is God? Is it possible to live this life, resting not day and night, as a sacrificial act of worship, as unto the Lord?

I don’t claim to be a bible scholar or to have all of the answers. This is just the latest road I am walking down with my Father.

Healthy Green Thursdays ~ Homemade Baby Wipes

I have come to love making my own baby wipes. This is a skill that my bestie, Brandi, perfected first and I have recently added my own twists to the process.

There are a couple of reasons for making your own wipes: 1) it’s cheaper; and 2) it’s healthier for mom and baby and anyone else who uses the wipes.

Brandi says that she can make the wipes for ½ cent each compared to paying 1-2 cents for store bought wipes. I know that is not a huge savings but, every little bit counts. When you combine that with being able to prevent diaper rash, treat it quickly and safely if it does appear and being able to condition baby’s skin and mommy’s hands while changing a diaper, homemade wipes are a wonderful thing!

To make wipes you will need:
1 roll Viva paper towels (It is important to get these towels or a comparable brand.)
1 Tbsp Baby Mild Castile Soap
1 tbsp Sunflower Oil or Jojoba
1 cup Distilled Water
10 drops tea tree oil
10 drops lavender oil
Secure container with lid that is easily travel with

Here is the contaner we use (obviously, it is wipe making day).

Cut the roll of towels in half and stand lengthwise in a bowl or roll off towels and place flat in container with lid. Mix together water, soap and oils and pour over towels. Close container securely and use as needed.

See my favorite youtube video that demonstrates the process here. I have changed the ingredients to reduce chemical exposure and to maximize benefits to mom and baby.

You can learn more about herbal health and remedies by on the Vintage Remedies link below or on my sidebar. I have been a student of Vintage Remedies for quite some time now and love their teaching format!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Weekly Catechism

Q. What is the reason annexed to the fifth commandment?

A. The reason annexed to the fifth commandment is a promise of long life and prosperity (as far as it shall serve for God's glory and their own good) to all such as keep this commandment.

Discussion Points for Children:
1. What is the fifth commandment (review)?
2. What does it mean to honor someone?
3. God's promises.
4. Why would honoring your parents be so important to God?

Our weekly catechism comes from the Well Planned Day Homeschool Planner. Check out the Well Planned Day and other student planners on the website by clicking the link on the right side bar of this page or below.

October 2011 ~ 30 Day Focus

Fruit of the Spirit: Love
Character Trait/Habit: Regularity (Adhering to a Schedule or Routine)
Composer: Vivaldi
Poet:Christina Rossetti
Artist: Claude Monet
Hymn: Blessed Assurance

Go here to see how we incorporate each focus point for the month.

Homekeeping Tuesday ~ Homemade Shower Spray

Making huge changes all at once has always overwhelmed me. I find that I am a person much more suited to baby steps. I took this into consideration when I decided that to eliminate chemicals from my home. Instead of going through my house with a trash bag and purging every chemical product I could find, I simply wait until I run out of a product and then find a recipe and make a natural replacement.

Today I am out of shower spray so, here is what I am going to replace the chemical stuff with:

24 oz spray bottle (I buy these at the Dollar Store and keep several on hand)
½ cup of vinegar
6 drops Castile Soap
10 drops tea tree oil
10 drops sweet orange oil
Fill with distilled water

This version of shower spray is completely safe, costs less and works perfectly!!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Weekly Scripture Memory

John 14:27

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your heart be troubled and do not be afraid.

Our memory verse did not come from a curriculum or calendar this week. It came in the mail in a card last week.

I will be attending The Esther Experience this weekend. In preparation for that event, the staff of Living Vessels Ministries has been sending me cards for the last couple of weeks. Last week, when I opened up the latest card from one of the staff members, this verse was inside. I remember thinking how perfect the verse was since my life had been anything but peaceful for the last few weeks. Little did I know that it would get even more chaotic.

Today we are memorizing, reciting and praying this scripture over our home and for my best friend Brandi and her husband Brian. We pray for peace that the world cannot give, peace that passes all understanding that can only be given from the Father.

Read a post about how we do scripture memory here.