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Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 in a Nutshell

Here is a glimpse of our live in 2010.

Joshua turned 1 year old!

Jon started homeschooling as well as homeschool soccer!

Lyshie joined American Heritage Girls and finished off the first Olive Branch Book Club with also included a tea party afterwards.

Matt started his bread making bonanza.

I have had the best garden yet!  I also got a vehicle which was very exciting!  My health also improved drastically from last year.  Huge blessing in itself!  I successfully made yogurt cheese for the first time as well as some lacto fermented salsa and a wild years sourdough culture.

Thanks to Sarah Harmer, we found the best pizza place around!  We were also told that Colony Meats was the best meat market by some co-workers of Matt's.  Boy they were right!  When you're a  family that loves good food; yes these things are significant!

Best of all, God has given us another year to live and love each other.  I can't begin to say how much my family means to me.  If God sees fit to give me another year with my family, we will again be amazingly blessed!  

~ So long 2010, welcome 2011~

Monday, December 27, 2010

Purdue Spiced Nuts

My mother made these from as long as I could remember while growing  up.  I was shocked that it was almost impossible to find this recipe online.  So, not only am I posting these here to share with you, but to also make sure I always have a copy of this wonderful recipe.  

I hope you had a lovely and peaceful Christmas!

Purdue Spiced Nuts
3-4 cups walnuts, pecans or both
1 egg white slightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoon cinnamon

1. Put egg white and nuts in a bowl and stir well till all nuts are covered with egg white.
2. Add sugar, cinnamon and salt.  Stir till the nuts are well coated with this mixture.
3. Remove excess sugar mixture through sieve and spread nuts on baking sheet.  
4. Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes or till nuts are dry.    Store in airtight container.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy Birthday Jesus!

Some "Christmas Facts":
Christmas started out as a pagan holiday.
Jesus was not born in a cold December.  Some believe it was in the spring while others believe it was closer to fall.
The wise men did not visit the baby right after he was born. 
The shepherds were first to visit Him.

My love language is gift giving (and receiving).  I used to think I was a selfish person because of that but now know it's the way I feel and show love and there's nothing wrong with that.  This year we decided that we would give our children their gifts the 24th of December.  On the 25th (the day we set aside to celebrate Christ's birth), we would have a full birthday party for Jesus.  Today we'll be having cake, games, reading the true birth of our Lord, etc...  The kids can't wait and neither can I.  May the love of our Lord fill your heart today and always! 

To find out more facts about the the birth of Christ, visit this site.   You can also take a quiz to see how well you know the story of Jesus and his birth.  That can be found here.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Peace On Earth

"Then peeled the bells, more loud and deep: 

'God is not dead, nor does he sleep! 

The wrong shall fail, the right prevail, 

with peace on earth, goodwill to men.'" 

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1807-1882

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Bethlehem Dinner

I got this idea from a blog online.  You can find her post in it's entirety here.  While coming closer and closer to Christ's birth, we are working hard at trying to make sure we are focused on the reason we are celebrating Christmas; Jesus birth.  Tonight I plan to have a Jewish style dinner with my family.

For our dinner:
pita bread
lentil soup
grape juice

Honey cake

Music:   (we're using this solely for the music)

dressing up in robes and sandals

basin for hand washing
use oil lamp
sitting down and eating our food on the coffee table

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I've copied this from Confessions of a Homeschooler.  I LOVE her blog post and thought you'd enjoy it too.  You can find her post in it's entirety here.Letter of the Week Blend Ladders

As part of my K4 add on’s I am having my daughter do some beginning reading. I posted these awhile back with different animals, but here they are with my Letter of the Week themes.
For each consonant we practice reading the blends with each vowel. We also add another consonant on the end to make small CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words using magnetic alphabet letters.
Hope you have fun with beginning reading skills!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Joshie's Busy Book

I wanted to do one of these for Jon when he was little but never got to it.  Now, several years later I've finally started AND completed one of these little books.  I'd love to add more pages in the future, but for now I call this good.   Knowing Joshie, he'll love this!  I can't wait to see him get it on Christmas Day!

                                                       A Big Letter "J" for Joshua!
A black fuzzy buckle to play with; fringed felt to run his sweet baby fingers through and a red wagon; every little boys dream.
Cut out shapes with velcro for matching and a Kangaroo mama and with a baby roo that peeks in and out of her pouch.
                      A dolphin leaping out of the waves (that make noise) and a cow with a jingling bell.
Last but not least, a little zipper pocket.  Let's polish up on those fine motor skills while we zipper from side to side.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Little Things

It's the little things that make my heart melt

and leap for joy all at the same time.

Today I had one of those moments.

Although I must say, it's not just a little thing after all.

My son came up to me and said "Mom, I prayed to Jesus and told Him I love Him".

Indescribable the feelings that are going on inside this body after hearing those precious words.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Our Christmas Favorites

Some years I've felt so overwhelmed with school that I chose to do pretty much nothing in the way of crafts, readings and movies to teach the children about Christmas; Jesus birth. Don't get me wrong, we talked about it and read through the bible, but I didn't do much extra at times to reinforce it. It has since occurred to me that anything we do; small and time consuming or not, it's helping teach our children about the true meaning of Christmas. Below is a list of resources we have found to be most helpful for our family. I know as always, I'm sure I'm missing something. Sorry about that. In the meantime, I encourage you to sit down and read with your children, do little crafts and watch movies that reinforce Christ's birth. You will never regret doing so.

4 week Christmas Unit Study - Chris Downes has a great resource she has put together online for teaching about the true meaning of Christmas. The beauty of this study is you can pick and choose what to do with your children.

The Nativity Story - Dvd

The Christmas Story - a little golden book

Happy Birthday Jesus - song

Mary Did You Know - song

Monday, December 6, 2010

Bible Doctrine for Kids Part 2

To go along with what I posted yesterday, here is a list of other items I'm including in my binder for my children's bible study. I'm putting them in page protectors to hopefully be able to keep them through all my children. I did a search online for the following and found these items with beautiful illustrations that I was easily able to print out.

The Beatitudes
The Armor of God
The Ten Commandments
The 23rd Psalm
The Fruit of the Spirit
The Lord's Prayer

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Basic Bible Doctrine for Kids Part 1

God has given us a great gift and great responsibility when He gave us our children. Many times I've sat in awe of who He gave us and just what that means. I was listening to a Bright Lights cd from their curriculum set and heard Sarah say that her father realized there was so much more she should know about the Lord by the time she was 12 and her she was entering the age of 13 in a couple weeks. That got me thinking; have I taken for granted that my daughter has a solid biblical foundation? It reminds me of the first years we homeschooled. That first year Allysha was 4 years old and we were teaching grouping. Lyshie had such a hard time grasping the concept of taking 3 little bears and putting a circle around them. It hit me that there are so many fundamentals we don't realize we were taught when we were younger that I now had to teach my daughter. It's the same with biblical principles. There are things that we learn while growing up and as adults that become so firmly implanted in our brains that we sometimes forget that those things need to be taught to our children. It's not something that just pops into their little heads. I found the below information online recently. I hope this will be as helpful to you as it is to us. As with anything, make sure to look up the verses in your bible to make sure what's being said is accurate. Anything in parenthesis is what I have added.

The Bible
1. What is the most important book that has ever been written?
A - The Bible

2. What is the Bible?
A - God's word to man.

3. What is another term for the Bible?
A - The Holy Scriptures

4. Does the Bible contain any errors or mistakes?
A - No, God cannot lie or make mistakes. (Psalm 12:6-7 talks about God preserving His word).

5. Was not the Bible written by men?
A - Yes, but they were men inspired by God in such a way as to keep them from writing errors. "All scripture is inspired by God." (2 Tim 3:16) "Men, moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God." (2 Peter 1:21)

6. What are the two main divisions of the Bible?
A - The Old Testament and New Testament.

7. What is the dividing point between the Old and New Testament?
A - The birth of Jesus.

8. In what language was the Old Testament originally written?
A - Hebrew

9. In what language was the New Testament originally written?
A - Greek

10. Who is the most important person spoken of in the Bible?
A - God

11. In what three persons does God reveal Himself?
A - God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. (Mt 28:19)

12. Is anyone of these three persons greater or more important than the other two?
A - No.

13. Have all three of these Persons existed forever from eternity past?
A - Yes

14. So then are there three Gods?
A - No. There is ONE God who manifests Himself in three persons.

15. Can we understand this?
A - No. God is greater than our minds can understand.

16. What name do we give to these three persons in One God?
A - The Holy Trinity

17. Name three attributes of God that prove His complete trustworthiness.
A - He is all-powerful, all-wise, and all-loving.

18. What if God were all-powerful and all-wise, but not all-loving?
A - He might hurt us or not want to do what is best for us.

19. What if He were all-powerful and and all-loving, but not all-wise?
A - He might not know what was best for us.

20. What if He were all-wise and all-loving but not all-powerful?
A - He might not be able to do what is best for us.

21. What is God's primary name?
A - "Jehovah" or "Yahweh" in the Hebrew. (Ex. 3:14)

22. What does "Jehovah" or "Yahweh" mean?
A - The Eternal One (Literally - "I AM")

23. What does it mean to say God is Eternal?
A - He exists from eternity past through eternity future. He always lives. He never had a beginning nor will He ever have any ending.

24. What does it mean to say God is "Immutable?"
A - He never changes. He is the same forever.

25. What does it mean to say He is "Omnipresent?"
A - He everywhere, all the time.

26. What does it mean to say He is "Omniscient?"
A - He knows all things.

27. What does it mean to say He is "Omnipotent?"
A - He is all-powerful.

Creation and the Fall
28. Who created the universe and all that is in it?
A - God

29. How did He create His universe?
A - By speaking the word and it was done. (Genesis 1)

30. What were the names of the first man and woman?
A - Adam and Eve

31. Were they really the first two human beings or only symbolic?
A - They were really the first two human beings. (The New Testament confirms this: 1 Tim 2:13; Rom 5:l2ff; 1 Cor 15:45ff; 2 Cor 11:3)

32. How did God create Adam?
A - He formed him out of dust and breathed into him the breath of life. (Gen 2:7)

33. How did He create Eve?
A - Out of the rib of man. (Gen 2:22)

34. Could they have "evolved" from lower life forms, such as ape-like creatures? Why or why not?
A - No. This would make God a liar.

35. Who are evolutionists?
A - People who try to explain the existence of higher forms of life without reference to God and creation.

36. What does God call people who choose to ignore Him?
A - Fools (Psalm 14:1; 53:1)

37. Are there any highly educated, highly intelligent men who accept the Biblical account of creation?
A - Yes. There are thousands of scientists who reject the theory of evolution and believe God's account of creation.

38. Did God create Adam and Eve as sinners?
A - No

39. What was their state while living in the Garden of Eden?
A - A state of sinless innocence.

40. How did Satan tempt Adam to sin?
A - By first tempting Eve and using her to tempt Adam.

41. What happened as a result of Adam's sin?
A - He, and all of his descendents (which includes all human beings) became corrupt and sinful.

42. What do we call this tragic event?
A - The fall of man.

43. What person of the Trinity came to earth and lived as a man?
A - God the Son

43. What is His name?
A - Jesus

44. Is Jesus fully God?
A - Yes

46. Did He begin to exist in the past or does He exist eternally?
A - He exists eternally.

47. Has He always been the same or has He changed in any way?
A - He has always been the same. (Hebrews 13:8)

48. What does the name Jesus mean?
A - Savior

49. What is His full title?
A - The Lord Jesus Christ

50. Why is He called "Lord"?
A - Because He is to be obeyed as our Master.

51. What does the word "Christ" mean?
A - "Christ" is the Greek form of the Hebrew "Messiah." It means "Anointed One". He is anointed by God the Father to be the Master and Savior of the world.

52. How did God the Son become a man?
A- By becoming a tiny baby in the womb of the virgin Mary and being born as a child.

53. Was Jesus tempted to sin like we are?
A - Yes, "He was tempted in all things as we are." (Hebrews 4:15)

54. Did He ever yield to temptation and commit sin of any kind?
A - No, "He was tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin." (Hebrews 4:15)

55. Did Jesus, having never sinned even once, deserve to die?
A - No

56. Why did Jesus come into the world as a man?
A - To die on the cross

57. Why did He die?
A- He died in our place, as our substitute, to pay the penalty for our sins, and to enable us to have eternal life.

58. What happened to Jesus after He was crucified and buried?
A - He rose again. (I Cor. 15:4)

59. What does His resurrection from the dead prove?
A - He conquered death, hell, and the grave.


60. What is sin?
A - Sin is the transgression of God's law (1 Jn 3:4). It is disobeying God.

61. What is a "sin of commission"?
A - When we do something God has forbidden us to do.

62. Give 5 examples of sins of commission.
A - Lying, stealing, disobeying parents, boasting, losing our temper.

63. What is a "sin of omission"?
A - When we do not do something God has commanded us to do.

64. Give 5 examples of sins of omission.
A - Not praying, not reading the Bible, not telling others about Jesus, not gathering with others to worship, not giving generously to God's work and those in need.

65. If not taken care of where does sin lead to?
A - Death and hell. Separation from God.

66. Are some sins so minor and unimportant that they would not lead to death and hell?
A- No. Any and all sin leads to death and hell. (Gal 3:10; Jms 2:10; Rom 3:23)

67. Are some people, other than Christ, so good that they can avoid sin altogether?
A - No. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. (Rom 6:23)

68. What is temptation?
A - A thought that it might be desirable or pleasurable to commit a particular sin.

69. Is temptation a sin itself?
A - No (Heb 4:15)

70. What are the consequences of sin in a Christian's life?
A - Loss of fellowship with God (l Jn 1:6); Chastisement from God (Heb 12:6); Sometimes death (I Cor 11:30); Sometimes removal from fellowship of church (I Cor 5:4-5)

71. What should a Christian do when he realizes he has sinned?
A - Confess it to God immediately, then thank Him for His immediate forgiveness (1 Jn 1:9).

72. Does the fact that Jesus died for the sins of the world mean everybody goes to heaven automatically?
A - No, many will go to hell. (Matt 7:14; 25:41,46)

73. Then what must we do to be saved from hell and have our sins forgiven?
A - Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. (Acts 16:31)

74. Is "belief" the same as "faith" in the Bible?
A - Yes. These words translate the same Greek word.

75. What are the three elements of saving faith?
A- 1) We must know the facts, as given in scripture about God, Christ, ourselves, and sin. 2) We must accept these facts as being true. 3) We must commit ourselves to Jesus, trusting Him and only Him to save us.

76. Is it not enough to realize that He really is the Son of God and accept as true what the Bible teaches about Him?
A - No. Demons "believe" in that sense, yet they do not go to heaven. (Jms 2:19; Mark 5:7)

77. Can we get to heaven by trying extra hard to be very good?
A - No. No one is good enough to earn heaven. Jesus and Jesus alone is the way to heaven. (John 14:6)

78. Once a person truly puts his trust in Jesus, can he lose salvation and go to hell after all?
A - No. (Jn 10:28-30; Eph 4:30; Rom 8:28-39; 5:8-9)

79. Name 7 things that happen when one trusts the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation.
A- 1) Jesus comes to live inside us. 2) We are immediately justified. 3) We are sanctified. 4) We are given eternal life. 5) Our old inner man dies. 6) We become new creatures. 7) We become children of God.

80. Name 7 different ways we refer to the experience of trusting the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation.
A- 1) Being saved. 2) Being converted. 3) Becoming a Christian. 4) Receiving Christ. 5) Being born again. 6) Trusting Jesus. 7) Being regenerated.

81. Do all these phrases refer to the same experience?
A - Yes

82. How does it feel to have this experience?
A -It does not feel any particular way. Some people weep. Some simply have an inner joy to know what Jesus has done for them.

83. Does the Bible teach we should feel a certain way when we are saved?
A - No

84. Can a person be saved and not feel anything?
A - Most certainly. When we trust Jesus we are saved, regardless of feelings.

85. What does it mean to be "justified?"
A - It means God has forgiven all our sins and has declared us to be righteous because of Jesus.

86. What does it mean to be "sanctified?"
A - To be set apart for God's use; to be set apart from sin to obey God; to be made "holy".

87. Is sanctification something that has already happened or something that is still happening to a Christian?
A - Both. We were set apart for God's service when we trusted Jesus, and we are still being daily set apart from sin in order to obey Him. (I Thes 5:23; I Cor 6:11)

88. What is another way of expressing the idea of sanctification?
A - Growing to be more and more like Jesus.

89. What is glorification?
A - We are glorified when we receive new eternal bodies which cannot perish.

90. When will we be "glorified"?
A - Glorification refers to the final aspect of our salvation. It occurs at the resurrection when Jesus comes back to earth again.

91. What happens to one who dies without trusting Jesus Christ?
A - He (or she) goes into hell.

92. What is hell like?
A - It is a place of everlasting punishment, a place of torment, a place without the love of God.

93. Was it prepared for man?
A - No. It was prepared for the devil and his demons. (Matt 25:41)

94. How can a God of love send people there?
A - He does not. He has done everything possible to keep us out of hell. Men go there by refusing God's means of salvation.

95. What is Christian Baptism?
A - The immersion down into the water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, of one who is trusting the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation.

96. If a person trusted Jesus and died before being baptized would he go to heaven? Why?
A - Yes, because we trust only Jesus for salvation, not Jesus plus baptism.

97. Then why do we need to be baptized? (Give two reasons.)
A - 1) God commands us. (Mt 28:18-20); 2) It gives a beautiful picture and testimony of what Jesus has done for us. (Rom 6:1-11)

98. What does baptism picture?
A - Death, burial, and resurrection. (Rom 6:1-11)

99. Whose death, burial, and resurrection is portrayed?
A -Jesus' and ours.

100. What 2 aspects of our burial and resurrection are portrayed?
A - 1) The death and burial of our old inner person and our resurrection as a new creature. 2) The future death and burial of our body and the resurrection of our glorified bodies.

101. Must baptism be by immerson?
A - Yes. Only immersion can adequately picture burial and resurrection. The word "baptism" in the Greek means "immersion".

102. Is baptism that occurs before real salvation valid baptism? Why?
A - No. Baptism must be a picture of what has really happened to us. Baptism of an unsaved person is meaningless.

103. Should baptism be a public experience? Why?
A- Yes. Because it is a testimony to others of what Jesus has done for us. We must not be ashamed of Him. (Luke 9:26)

104. Does it matter who performs the baptism?
A - No. (I Cor 1:13-17)

105. What special designation is given to the special commandment of baptism?
A - It is referred to as an "ordinance".

The Lord's Supper
106. Are there any other special commands called ordinances? How many?
A Yes, one other. (Two ordinances in all.)

107. What is the other ordinance?
A - The Lord's Supper

108. Do these ordinances help us to be saved?
A - No. Only Jesus saves us.

109. Would it be proper to refer to these ordinances as "sacraments?"
A - No. The word "sacrament" implies that it helps us to be saved. Only Jesus saves us.

110. What are the two things we take at the Lord's Supper?
A - Unleavened bread and unfermented grape juice.

111. What are the bread and juice called?
A - The "elements".

112. What does the bread represent?
A - The body of our Lord Jesus. (I Cor 11:24)

113. What does the juice represent?
A - The blood of our Lord Jesus. (I Cor.11:25)

114. Does the bread and juice miraculously change in substance when we eat and drink them?
A - No. They simply represent or symbolize Jesus' body and blood.

115. What is another name by which we refer to the Lord's Supper?
A - Communion

116. Why is the bread unleavened and the juice unfermented?
A - The yeast that causes bread to rise and juice to ferment is used in the Bible to refer to sin. Jesus was sinless in body and blood.

117. Who may partake of the Lord's Supper?
A - Only those who are trusting the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation (I Cor.11:23)

118. Are there any other conditions, such as baptism or membership in our local church?
A - No. (I Cor. 11:23)

119. What should we think of before we eat the Lord's Supper?
A - We should examine our lives making sure we are in close fellowship with the Lord Jesus and all our sins are confessed and repented of. (I Cor. 11:28)

120. What should we think of as we eat the Lord's Supper?
A - Our Lord Jesus Christ, dying on the cross to pay for our sins. (I Cor 11:26)

Christian Living
121. What are 4 areas of responsibility for a Christian's personal spiritual growth?
A - 1) Private Devotions; 2) Bible Reading, Study & Memorization; 3) Fellowship with other believers; 4) Regular worship with other believers

122. What is meant by "private devotions"?
A - Time spent each day alone with God.

123. What are 5 possible elements of private devotions?
A - 1) Confession of sin to God and receiving forgiveness; 2)Asking God to supply specific personal needs and needs of others; 3) Praising God in word and song for who He is and what He has done; 4) Quietly listening to God for direction; 5) Reading and meditating on His word

123. What is a Christian's primary responsibility toward the world in which he lives?
A - To use every means possible to help them come to know Jesus Christ as personal savior.

125. What are three of those means?
A - 1) To give generously to support God's church and the work of missions. 2) To be a personal witness, telling others what Christ has done for me and can do for them. 3) Pray for the growth of God's Kingdom

126. What is a Christian's secondary responsibility toward the world in which he lives
A - To use every means possible to encourage others to live by Biblical principles.

127. What are 4 of those means?
A - 1) Prayer; 2) Witnessing; 3) Giving; 4) Involvement in seeking to influence in a Biblical way decisions of government, business, schools, and other public and social groups.

128. To what two things did Jesus compare this involvement?
A - To being salt in the earth and light to the world. (Matt 5:13-16)

The Holy Spirit
129. Is the Holy Spirit a person or a thing?
A - He is a person.

130. How can we know He is a person?
A - He is intelligent (I Cor 2:10-11); He has feeling (Eph 4:30); He has will (I Cor 12:11); He teaches (Jn 14:26); He guides (Romans 8:14); He commands (Acts 8:29); He speaks (Jn 15:26; II Peter 1:21); He can be grieved (Eph 4:30)

131. What is the relationship between a Christian and the Holy Spirit?
A - The Holy Spirit indwells a Christian. That is, He lives within us. (I Cor 6:19; Romans 8:9)

132. Does the Holy Spirit indwell all Christians?
A - Yes. (Romans 8:9)

133. What does it mean to be "filled with the Spirit?"
A - To be completely controlled by the Holy Spirit. (Eph 5:18)

134. Are all Christians "filled with the Spirit?"
A - No (Eph 5:18; Acts 2:4; 4:31)

135. What are the conditions for being filled with the Spirit?
A - Repentance of all known sin; asking to be filled; and believing God has kept His promise. (Luke 11:13)

135. What are the 9 characteristics of some one who is filled with the Spirit?
A - Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Gentleness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Self-Control (Gal 5:22-23)

137. What are these characteristics called in scripture?
A - The fruit of the Spirit.

Angels, Good and Bad
138. Are angels real?
A - Yes. They are referred to 275 times in scripture.

139. What are angels?
A - Spirit beings who serve God. (Heb 1:7)

140. What do they do?
A - Obey God in service (Heb 1:14); Assist in answering prayers (Act 12:7); Care for us when we are near death (Luke 16:22; Jude 9)

141. Who is Satan?
A - The great enemy of God and His children. (Rev 12:9)

142. Where did he come from?
A - He was the greatest of angels, who rebelled against God (Ezek 28:11-19; Is 14:12-20)

143. What was his chief sin?
A - Pride (I Tim 3:6)

144. What does Satan seek to do to God's children?
A - Tempt us to sin (Matt 4:1-11; Act 5:3); Accuses and slanders us (Rev 12:10); Hinders our work (I Thess 2:18).

145. What are demons?
A - Other fallen angels who rebelled with Satan. (Matt 12:24; Eph 6:11-12; Rev 12:4)

146. Do Christians have to struggle against demons?
A - Yes (Eph 6:11-12)

147. What can demons do?
A - Cause sickness (Matt 9:33; Luke 13:11,16); Cause strange behavior (Matt 17:15); Deceive people (I Tim 4:1); Oppose our spiritual growth (Eph 6:12)

148. Do Satan and his demons do their work obviously so that they are easily recognized?
A - No. They are subtle and extremely deceptive and hard to recognize. (Rev 12:9)

149. What is their most common method?
A - They insert thoughts into our minds, which seem to be our own, designed to deceive us or mislead us. (II Cor 10:3-5)

150. Name 11 weapons God has given us to fight against Satan and his demons.
A - The Belt of Truth; the Breastplate of Righteousness; The Shoes of Peace; The Helmet of Salvation; The Shield of Faith; The Sword of the Spirit (which is the Word of God); Praise; Prayer; The Name of Jesus; the Blood of Jesus; the Word of our Testimony (Eph 6:14-18; Rev 12:11; II Chr 20; Acts 16:18)

The Return of Christ
151. Does the Bible teach that Jesus will bodily return to earth someday?
A - Yes.(Acts 1:11)

152. What will happen to His followers that day?
A - Those who are dead will be raised. Those who are alive will be changed. (1 Cor 15:51-52; 1 Thes 4:16-17)

153. What will the bodies of His followers be like after He returns?
A - They will have eternal, glorified bodies that will never die again. (1 Cor 15:42-44)

154. What will Jesus do when He returns?
A - He will set up His Kingdom on earth and reign for 1000 years. (Rev 19 and Rev 20)

155. What is the common name for this 1000-year time period?
A - The Millennial Reign.

156. Does the Bible give us signs so that we may know when His return is near?
A - Yes.

157. What are some of the signs that we should watch for?
A - A time of intense and terrible trials on the earth (Matthew 24:21); The revealing of the Man of Sin (1 Thes 2:1-4; Rev 13); A rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem (1 Thes 2:4; Matt 24:15)

158. What is the intense time of trials usually referred to?
A - The Great Tribulation (Matt 24:21)

159. And what are two other names that are often given to the Man of Sin?
A - The Antichrist and the Beast (Rev 13)

160. What will happen to the Man of Sin and his followers?
A - They will be cast into the lake of fire when Jesus returns. (Rev 19:20; 20:15)

161. And what happens to the followers of Christ?
A - We shall reign with Him forever and ever. (Rev 22:5)

162. How are all these things made possible?
A - By the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Eph 2:7)

© 2000 Steve Hall. Permission is hereby granted to quote from these web pages, in part or in full, as long as the following statement is included: "© 2000 Steve Hall ( Quoted by Permission."

Pancake Buffet

Yes you read right! I was trying to figure out what to serve our guests tomorrow and decided on a whole boneless ham with a pancake buffet. The sky is the limit. Some people like to offer mix-ins as well but I was trying to keep cost down and keep things simple. Here's what we are having.

homemade applesauce
homemade buttered pecans
powdered sugar
fresh whipped cream
homemade blueberry sauce

Toasted Pecans
2 cups raw pecans
3-4 tablespoons melted butter
up to 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

l. Place nuts on a cookie sheet and drizzle with melted butter; then sprinkle with salt.
2. Roast in a 325 degree oven for 20 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
3. Drain over paper towels and let cool. Store in airtight container.

Oh and last but not least, let us not forget Matt's scrumptious pancake recipe.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Tuna Macaroni Salad

Tuna macaroni salad is one of my favorite main dish salads. I used to look and look for the perfect recipe until not too long ago. I was at a local health food store and asked them what they used for their dressing. Their reply, "mayonnaise". How simple! Here's our now favorite and simple recipe.

Tuna Macaroni Salad
cooked, drained and cooled noodles
frozen peas, cooked and cooled
hard boiled egg, chopped
sweet onion, minced
canned tuna drained
shredded cheddar cheese, optional
canned and drained tuna

1. Mix all ingredients together. Add enough mayo to make everything moist. Simple and divine! It's best the second day. You may need to add just a bit more mayo the next day.

If you need to garnish, this would look lovely in a cupped whole lettuce leaf (as the bowl) with the salad in the center and sprinkled lightly with paprika.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Another Thanksgiving here and quickly gone tomorrow. What are you thankful for today? At the very least, here is my list.

My amazing children whom I love and who love me.
For a husband who is my best friend.
For a free country where I have the privilege to vote.
For this roof over our head; our sanctuary.
For a second vehicle (and the first one too).
For working hot water and appliances.
For amazing friends who never fail to lift me up when I am down. Who truly understand me and who love me.
For extended family.
For the ability to school my children at home.
For the wisdom of my dear friend Sheryl and others along the way.
For parents who raised me in love, doing the best they knew how.
For plenty of clothing for myself and my family.
For a God who loved me so much He sent His Son to die for me! To Him I owe everything!

May you be blessed this year not only on Thanksgiving Day but every day to follow.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Planning the Homeschool Year

I've had several people ask me how I plan our homeschool year. Let me start by saying, this is what my family does; it's not a perfect fit for everyone. However, using the simple guidelines here I know will be helpful for every homeschool.

1. Establish how many days you want to actually school. We count in some sick days, holidays we know we'll be out of town and 2 weeks of extra "off" days. In the past we've had 5 day school weeks; some families have 4 day school weeks.

2. Figure out what month you want to start school and what month you want to end. For us, September through May works well. Some people school year round and others change things up even more. That's fine, just make sure you have a goal in mind.

3. Figure out what curriculum you're going to use, what books you want to cover, etc... We use A Beka for our core curriculum and fill in with other things. We see how many lessons/pages are in the book and how many pages/lessons we need to do per day in order to complete the work within our time frame. I then write in the front of the books how many pages/lessons need to be done per day so no one forgets :)

4. I keep a running list on my computer of extra books, activities, etc... I want to cover for the kids. This is very helpful at keeping me on track.

Having all this prepared out well before the new school year helps give us focus and stay on track and lessons stress immensely. Without this, I know I would be asking for disaster. If you need any help planning your school year, please feel free to ask. I'll help you in any way I can.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The New Homeschool Year

I just got a neat ebook from The Old Schoolhouse and wanted to share a few quotes with you. It's full of wonderful biblical wisdom in letting God lead your homeschool. This woman taught a 6th grader while taking care of toddlers; which of course totally spoke to me. That's our situation! The book is called The New Homeschool Year and can be found FOR FREE at this link -

"In your home, it is important to determine who makes the decisions....If you are not the authority, you will be met with questions, comments and complaints.....If you go back in history and examine the on-room-schoolhouse model, you can see clearly the teacher had a plan for the school day and the children understood the plan was to be followed.....In order to have a successful multi-level school, you must establish that you have authority and you will decide the plan for the day."

I can't reiterate how important this is.

"You can also decide to focus your primary attention on the absolutes. For us, those are: Bible, math, and reading. If we only get a small amount done for some reason, I will choose those first."

I have a homeschooling friend who has homeschooled her 8 children. Her youngest is Allysha's age and she has 5 homeschool graduates and one on the way with a couple in between. I've often looked to her for advice whether it be things she did well or things she feels she didn't do well with the first ones. She told me from the beginning reading is essential as is math. She doesn't even do any other sit down lessons with the children until they are in 1st grade because these two things need to be mastered well. This has helped our homeschool tremendously and I'm so thankful for her wisdom.

"If you start each day with no plan and you are continually reinventing the wheel, your children's education will suffer for it....Put yourself in their position. Imagine you get to work each day and your boss, who controls all your work has it locked up in his office. He tells you to sit at your desk and wait for him to decide what you should be doing. Then he gets distracted......and you are left to sit listlessly and roam the halls...That is what it's like for your children when you have no plan."

She explains here that there are lots of great activities. Just because they are there, doesn't mean they are a wise use of our time.

"....our heavenly Father knows your frame (time) and knows your limitations. He will never ask you to do more than you are physically capable of doing...If you feel like you have more on your plate than you can possibly do well, then you are very likely doing some things he never intended.....prayerfully consider what are some things you need to set accomplish the good work He intends for you."

After this she lists a things she had to forgo so she could do the task God had called her to; homeschooling. Everything on her list isn't bad, it just stole time away from her family. Things from co-ops, to excessive trips outside the home, hobbies, tv, long phone calls, etc... Things we're all guilty of.

Man, I'm still reading through this and loving it! I know every homeschool has room for improvement. I pray that you will all take time to pray today by yourself or with your spouse and see what the Lord wants you to do in your school. Do your children know what they are to be doing daily? Do they know that you are the authority and follow it? Are you putting too much on your plate to do the good work God has given to you; homeschooling your children? I know sometimes it's easy to have pity parties. That's not what we're here for today ladies. Today is a new day and tomorrow is a new school week. See what he has for you today. Do that great work he has called you to! God will equip you to do just that! We serve an amazing God!

James 1:5-6 - If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt...

Matthew 7:7 Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Happy Gospel: The Wrong Jesus

It's not often that I copy someone else's blog post. Today however, I felt I should. It will only take a couple minutes to read through and is so worth it.

The Happy Gospel: The Wrong Jesus

Satan delights to disguise himself as “an angel of light”. He is king at cloaking deception underneath truth. And that is why the Bible tells us to “study to show ourselves approved unto God” and to “rightly divide the Word of truth”.

“…the Jesus I follow demands my allegiance, obedience and death to self. He has some things to say about the way I live, and I am delighted to obey Him.”

“Jesus is all you need”.

True or false?

The statement is true. But if the statement is used to suggest Christ’s disciples have no obligation to live out the gospel in real life (or to attack those who advocate that living out) it becomes a lie.

The statement is cleverly used because it’s safe; and that disarms us, makes us feel relieved and relaxed and open to receive anything that comes next–the deceptive part. (Lies are always “almost true”.)

Jesus IS all we need…..if it’s the *right* Jesus, and not one we have fabricated to suit our natural desires.

The real Jesus motivates us to love His Word, to search out His wisdom, to delight in His commands and to savor His will.

It’s easy to see how rampant this new Christianity is. We have tens of thousands lifting hands claiming to love Jesus, with zero life transformation. If Jesus doesn’t transform us, and we claim Him as Savior, we trample His very death on the cross.

Many, many are being deceived by this new, “freedom” that is perverted. And they are, in turn, deceiving many.

The lie that comes behind this truth is, “I am not subject to obey, to submit my life to the Jesus in whom I believe, to follow His teaching and to uphold His truths–especially the ones that don’t feel right to me. I can make up my own rules and mainly, I just want to ‘hang out’ with Him.”

But that is contrary to what Jesus Himself said.

Jesus delighted in complete submission to His Heavenly Father, EVEN when that submission brought bitterness and agony!

“If you love Me you will obey My commands”.

Members of this new gospel stand with dagger in hand ready to slash anyone who proposes they must submit to a Higher authority, anyone who “teaches” (unless the teacher tickles ears), or anyone who expounds on the practical application of Scripture for our lives.

The bravest ones even re-martyr saints of the past.

Be prepared for the daggers. If you suggest that God has indeed given us guidelines for how to live, you are in danger of the daggers.

“To obey is better than sacrifice.”

If you suggest, for example, that God has laid out an order to family life, that God has something specific to say about marriage roles, if you are, in obedience to Scripture, teaching others to love their husbands and children and manage their homes, you will probably be labeled as a “family worshiper” instead of a “Jesus worshiper”.

You will even likely be accused of being in a cult.

Cause now you’ve gone to meddlin’. Yep, you’re a bona fide ”false prophet”.

(Never mind the fact that marriage is THE VERY PICTURE of the gospel; one would think that makes family a pretty important issue for the follower of Christ to get right.

Never mind the fact that failure to “teach these things” could result in blasphemy of God’s Word. Nope, we better just stick to “Jesus is all you need”, and stay away from all that other stuff in the Bible.

If you suggest that God says “children are a blessing”, you are probably a “child worshiper”. Why do you keep losing focus???

“but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.”

Oh, and don’t dare quote from the Old Testament; that will move you to the rank of “raving lunatic”.

Satan is clever indeed and has enlisted a whole army of deceivers to try and sway God’s people from speaking truth about anything.

“Jesus is all you need” is a safe, happy statement with no strings attached. We can be anyone, do anything and no one can touch us because if they try, we’ll just call them “judgemental and legalistic” and retreat back to our “happy place”.

But the Jesus I follow demands my allegiance, obedience and death to self. He has some things to say about the way I live, and I am delighted to obey Him.

The Jesus I follow is gracious and merciful to those who LOVE Him, who demonstrate that love by obedience.

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”

Does He know you? Do others recognize you as a follower of Christ because you “do the will of the Father”? Can YOU recognize a true follower of Christ?

“Blessed rather are those who hear the Word of God and obey and practice it!”

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Honoring our Veteran's on Veteran's Day

Our brave men leading the parade.

Jon giving a card to a veteran.

Today was such a wonderful day! I thought instead of sitting at home and watching a 3 minute long video on Veteran's Day, we'd go ahead and go to a local Veteran's Day Parade. While getting ready to go, I had the kids make Veteran's Day cards for the veterans we'd see while we were there; not realizing it'd be at least as much of a blessing to us. It was so neat seeing the kids hand out the cards and the surprise and then extreme gratefulness that followed. It not only brought tears to my eyes but the eyes of the receivers. Too often, we don't realize just how much these wonderful men and women have done for us.

While one veteran was up giving a speech, he told us of the time he had just returned home from Vietnam. He was so proud to be a soldier and be serving his country. THe battle was long, hard and many people had died. Instead of returning home for a hero's welcome, this man returned home to see some people burning the American Flag. Very distraught by this site, he jumped in and took the flag out of the fire. Immediately following this act, he was beat up very badly. While this older gentleman told his story, tears streamed down his face and you could hear his voice choking up as he talked. I am so grateful for this man and all the men and women like him that have served us and served us well.

There is a saying that I'd love to pass along to you today. If you don't want to stand behind our troops, please feel free to stand in front of them :) Isn't this country and her people worth protecting?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Healthy Holiday Recipes - Tried and True! Part 1

Here are some of my favorite holiday recipes that are not only very yummy, but healthier too. I will be adding more very soon.

Cut-Out Sugar Cookies - without the sugar by The Nourishing Apron
I would actually call them honey cut out cookies if it were me.  I added in lemon flavoring.  I think a cream cheese, honey and lemon icing would be very yummy!  I also rolled mine a bit thicker and had to bake for 18 minutes.  

1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup cold butter
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup honey.

1. Pulse butter and flour in food processor till mixture resembles course crumbs.
2. Drizzle honey and extract through the top hole of the processor while pulsing till mixture begins to hold together.
3. Gather dough into a ball and wrap in plastic.  Refrigerate at least 2 hours.  Roll into 1/8 inch thick and cut into desired shapes.  Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 300 degrees for 8-10 minutes.  
4. Remove to a wire wrack to cool.

Spiced Cider
6 cups apple cider
2 cinnamon sticks
6 whole cloves
1-2 oranges, peels only
extra cinnamon sticks (optional)

1. Place the cinnamon sticks, cloves and peels in a cheese cloth and tie it up.  
2. Put cider in a pan and turn on medium/low.  Add in the cheese cloth bundle.
3. Bring to a slow simmer and simmer 10 minutes or so.  
4. Serve in cups with cinnamon sticks sticking out as a garnish.

Cream Cheese Stuffed Dates
cream cheese, softened
dates - cut in half and pitted
nuts of your choice - walnuts or pecans taste best

1. Spread cream cheese in each date half.
2. Top with a nut then sprinkle with cinnamon if desired.
These taste best at room temp.

Maple Mashed Sweet Potatoes
2lbs sweet potatoes (I used canned- drain them)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons of maple syrup (or more to taste)
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
3-4 tablespoons half and half or milk

1. Cook sweet potatoes and mash till tender - or drain and mash.
2. Add to pan and warm up with the rest of the ingredients.
3. Add cinnamon if desired. I never do because they are perfect without it :)

Spinach Artichoke Dip
I got this recipe from my sister-in-law and boy is it good!
2 cups pram cheese
1 box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1-14oz can artichoke hearts drained and chopped
2/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup mayo
2 teaspoons garlic, minced

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Mix together parm cheese, spinach and artichoke hearts.
3. Combine remaining ingredients and mix with spinach mixture.
4. Bake for 20-30 minutes.
5. Serve with crackers or toasted bread.

I've altered the way I make it a bit. I hate big pieces of spinach or artichokes so for the directions, I place the spinach and artichokes in a food processor and process. Then I add the rest of ingredients and blend together. I bake just like above. Regardless of the way you make it, I think you'll find this is the best hot dip out there.

Maple Syrup Walnuts by Ellie from the Food Network
2 cups walnuts halves
1/3 cup maple syrup
pinch of salt

1. Stir all ingredients in a warm pan for about 3 minutes or till nuts are toasted and caramelized.
2. Put on plate to cool.
3. Break apart and put in airtight container or bag.

World's Best Gingersnap Cookies by My Years Without Sugar
These cookies have a lovely flavor! I do think they are a bit dry and will try to remedy that next time. Because of that, whatever shape you put these on your pan is what they will come out looking like.
1 cup butter
1 cup date sugar
1/4 cup dark molasses
1 egg

Mix these ingredients together, then add:
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt

Mix these and then add:
2 3/4 cup flour (can use whole wheat flour...)
1 tsp. baking soda

Mix until they are ready to roll into balls (do NOT roll in sugar of any kind) and place evenly on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 6-8 minutes until they are cracked on top. I always like to take them out early so they are especially soft and chewy. Every oven is different, so check often and enjoy!

"Mounds" Frozen Candy Bars also from My Years Without Sugar
I thought these were so yummy. I would however recommend making these in mini muffin tins. They are too big and rich for big ones:)
1 1/3 C. unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 C. coconut oil (unrefined, virgin is best)
1/4 C. honey
1 tsp. almond extract
1/2 C. sliced almonds

Melt coconut oil and honey over low heat until just melted. Whisk to combine. Add almond extract and coconut flakes.
Take a 12-compartment muffin tin and evenly distribute the almonds in each. Then evenly distribute the coconut mixture over each of those. Place in freezer on flat surface for 30 minutes.
Next, you will prepare the chocolate:
3/4 C. cocoa powder (not dutch cocoa)
1/4 C. honey
1 C. coconut oil
1 Tblsp vanilla extract

Combine these ingredients in a 2-cup measuring glass and place in a pot of simmering water. Heat and whisk until everything is just melted. Remove from heat and continue to whisk until smooth.
Take out the tin of frozen coconut and evenly distribute the chocolate mixture over it.
Put back into your freezer and freeze until hard, about 30 minutes.
To get them out after freezing, simply pop them out with a knife. Keep them frozen as they melt otherwise.