Friday, December 30, 2011

Change of Address

I would like to cordially invite you to visit me at my new address, beginning January 1st, 2012 I will be blogging at Mama Leisha Ministries. I have been tossing around some ideas of changing a few things for a while now and the ushering in of a new year seems to be a most appropriate time to initiate those changes. So please ...come see would be so very lonely without you!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Can You Help a Girl Out??

I need neighbor needs you.....her daughter was clearing out a junk drawer in the kitchen and came across this handy little device/tool/gizmo. She took it to her mother (my across the street neighbor who is a wise wise woman in her early 70's who could run circles around me with her knowledge of all things home and hearth) for identification purposes. They spent some time trying to figure it out and came up empty, then the other day when WonderBoy ran some bananas I had picked up for her while I was getting groceries, she sent him back with this......

I know one of you knows, maybe even has one in your kitchen drawer at this very moment. We have our theories and I am so curious to see if we were anywhere near right. I personally think it is a butter thingie for slicing and serving and the little notch on the end works to knock the butter slice off the blade and make serving easier. I know I have seen one of these somewhere, but cannot recall where or;-) My plan is to wrap it up and run it back across the street with what ever it needs to function and see if she can figure it out then. I'll keep you posted ;-) Oh and one last thing - her daughter 'thinks' it is an old Pampered Chef product if that helps......Thanks so much in advance! You're the best!!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

God's Wisdom For Mother's by Jack Countryman

The title of the book immediately got my attention - as a Mother I daily feel the sometimes overwhelming need for God's wisdom! I received a complimentary copy of this lovely little book through Booksneeze to review....It is what I would term a devotional/gift type book. It is small and compact, easy to pick up and pull nuggets from when you have a quiet moment, something to keep in the car, by the bed for a free minute or two of refreshing or encouragement opportunity presents itself. The book is divided into sections which include; God's Wisdom, The Crown of an Excellent Mother, God's Wisdom with Children, God Teaches a Mother to...., Walk by His Word, God Delights in Mothers Who Are..., God Walks with Mothers, God Encourages Each Mother to..., God Teaches a Mother How to..., and God Gives a Mother....Each section contains scripture that relates to the theme of the section, this could also be used as a study tool or daily devotional which is how I used it in going through the book and it worked well in that application for me.
Designed to encourage us in our spiritual calling of motherhood, this is a sweet tool to have at the ready and would make a lovely gift for mothers of all ages and stages!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

One Thousand Gifts......I Dare You

I had an amazon order to place a few months back and needed just a few more dollars to qualify for free shipping, of course it was a no brainer there was something that I needed to have and a book had to be it!! I had been hearing and reading some wonderful rumblings about One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are so couple that with the fact that dear Ann is a Canadian gal, well my choice was made. The book arrived several months ago and I am only now reading it. I met a woman in church this past Sunday who happened to be sitting next to me and we were politely chatting prior to service beginning, she was in town visiting from Kansas and when I mentioned something in conversation about being originally from Toronto, she perked up and said "Oh I am reading a book by a Canadian woman" she could not recall the name but I knew instantly that it was the same book I was reading and asked if it was the one with the woman holding a bird's nest on the front? "Yes! That's it!" I told her I had started it a little over a week ago and was reading it as part of my quiet time each morning - "Oh wow! That is exactly what I am doing too!" Well worship started and the conversation was forced to end.....
I am less than halfway through the book, but already feel myself changing and am up and out of bed each morning looking forward to the insight and vision that Ann shares with such raw grace and beauty. I have started my list and am opening myself in a new way to the Lord each morning, expectant, grateful and awestruck in ways I have not been for a very long time. I am not yet sure what this will look like or where it will take me but I have a sense of excitement in it that I can't quite put a name to. This is already a renewal and a joyous refreshing to my soul!
You know dear ones, that I am not inclined to keep good things to myself so rather than wait to finish this book, which truthfully I am in no hurry to finish, I am enjoying the savoring far too much to rush it, I had to share it now and encourage you, get a piece of paper right now and write #1 on it and begin......I double dog dare you!!

Have you read this book? Do you have a list? What number are you on? I would love to hear about your experiences......also if you want more take a minute to stop by Ann's blog where is all began.....A Holy Experience is a whole other adventure!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day

Like Mother's Day, Father's Day brings much emotion for many people, regret, sadness at the passing of a lost loved one, for each of us it means something different. I am so blessed to have a man in my life now that I can honor on Father's Day. I do not know my father, have never met him and know only very little about him so this is not a day that I have childhood memories or traditions built on. I could ramble ad nauseum about how wonderful and what a blessing The Principal is to our family and my son in particular. I will spare you. I did want to take a moment to publicly thank my sweet husband for the man he is and the living example of what a godly husband and father looks like in his daily walk with God. Thank You Lord for giving The Principal to us that WonderBoy and I might know what it is to have the love of a good man with a kind and humble heart in our lives.

Sweetheart, thank you for taking on the role of father with such grace, character and honor.
Happy Father's Day
I love you deeply!!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Ten Years of (Wonder)Boy Joy!!

May 1st, 2011 WonderBoy turned 10 years old. We were without power due to the storms that came through our area April 27th. For that reason and lack of a properly functioning computer, I was not able to do a post for his birthday as I would have like to, so this is that post....Happy Belated Birthday Sweetie!!
The words whirlwind, wow!!,tornado, one man show and full steam ahead all parade across my mind when describing my sweet boy. He is FULL to overflowing with life, energy, curiosity and a live life large spirit! I was recently blessed by my sweet husband with a new laptop for Mother's Day and in the process of going through files on the old laptop and transferring and cleaning out files I had a very teary eyed stroll down memory lane. The 21 Days of Prayer for Our Sons is just about halfway completed now and I thought this was an ideal time to share with you some of the moments from the last 10 years that will be forever etched in my mother's heart of the gifts that WonderBoy has brought to my life. I am so grateful to Brooke for this prayer challenge by the way - it has given me new vision and perspective that I knew I needed just wasn't great at getting in my own efforts.
Everyday as I pray, I see new ways to pray, new areas that would benefit from prayer and even where prayers of the past and been answered and where God is moving in WonderBoy's heart. Beginning with Day 1 I prayed that God would give me His eyes to see my son through - what an amazing view and perspective I am seeing emerging, my heart is being softened and I find I am not as quick to pounce on some things as I may have been in the past - just being real ;-) I pray that God will continue to work in me as I lift WonderBoy to Him in prayer, afterall a learning, growing and healing mom is a blessing to any son!
Take a minute with me if you will and allow me to share some of my favorite moments from the 10 years that have moved as he does - in a flash!
Dear God, Thank You for these 1o years of motherhood, these 10 years of love, laughter, tears, craziness, confusion, struggles and triumphs.
Thank You Father for guiding us through the dark places when our flashlights were out of batteries.
Thank You for the heart of joy that you have given this child. Thank You for his good health and for his infectious smile!I pray Lord that he will know you and seek you all the days of his life.I pray that your ways will become his ways.I pray that Your approval will be the only approval he will come to seek in this world.I pray that he will know and hear Your voice and allow it to be his guide all the days of his life Father.
I pray he would honor you in word and deed and seek to be a man of honor always.
Thank You God for my son - Bless him today and always in the name of your precious son I pray.Amen.

I'm linking up with other 21 Days of Prayers for Our Sons moms here, take a minute and visit some of them if you can!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Matters of the Heart

I just completed my morning quiet time of prayer for WonderBoy. This is Day 3 of the 21 Days of Prayer for Our Sons that I am so excited to be part of. Today's prayers are centered around Avoiding Foolishness. This is good stuff - meat and potatoes that you can sink your teeth into prayer! I am loving it!!
Day 1 started things off with Obedience - is there a child (or adult for that matter) that does not struggle with issues of obedience? Nature of the human condition regardless of age and why prayer in this area is SO important - only God can change hearts.
Day 2 was a logical progression from Obedience to Submission to Authority. This dear readers is a hot topic in our home! It continues to amaze and confound me how this whole thing works. Let me give you a little history/insight....curtain is down on this, this is the real deal raw truth. My sweet son has some pretty major issues with Submission to Authority. My husband and I have little to no challenges in this area of our lives, we have our share of issues in other areas rest assured and I intend to be as transparent as I can be about those too in the interest of full disclosure ;-)
As you may or may not be aware from reading my ramblingsin the past, I am a survivor of divorce. WonderBoy's dad and I were together for the better part of 10 years all total, our marriage dissolved right at a year after WonderBoy was born. The reasons and gory details of all that are best left for another post entirely which, by the way has been brewing in the background of my thoughts for a while - so far I'm so sure how to put it all together - but I am thinking a series of posts about marriage (feel free to pray for me on this one).
Onward. Dad is not an ideal role model of Submission to Authority on any level but does provide many excellent examples of the consequences of what being out the God's Will in this area of life will produce. So how is it then, that the people you spend the most time with, the ones that are training and guiding, the ones sowing seed and watering growth, encouraging, sacrificing, grooming and doing all they know to be what a child needs to grow to the man of God they are called to be, have the least amount of influence? It leaves me downright flabbergasted. Onward. This is an area of prayer that we need to meet on our knees in full battle gear on an ongoing daily basis. The thing is that until WonderBoy's heart is changed little of what we do or say will have any desired impact. Only God can change a heart of stone.
Ezekiel 36:26-27
New Century Version (NCV)

26 Also, I will teach you to respect me completely, and I will put a new way of thinking inside you. I will take out the stubborn hearts of stone from your bodies, and I will give you obedient hearts of flesh.27 I will put my Spirit inside you and help you live by my rules and carefully obey my laws.

This whole issue of Heart has been coming up so much that it cannot be ignored. It is, I believe, the very root of where our battles must be waged from. The Principal is currently working through Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp (a wonderful book that I highly recommend) with his men's bible study lunch group each Wednesday and gaining wonderful insight in this area. We are constantly talking about issues of the heart. I am curretnly reading The Five Love Language of Children by Ross Campbell and Gary Chapman (another worthwhile read, which mentions time and time over about these issues of the heart. I am thinking that this is the road - the narrow road I am to follow. Would you be inclined to agree? I have been praying for years that God would show me how to 'get through' to WonderBoy and I no longer believe in coincedences. The timing of all these things is in His design for a time such as this!!
And if all this is not enough, WonderBoy asked if we could spend the day painting recently, so yesterday we gathered together our supplies and with a vision and a plan, this is what my son produced......

Ok Lord, gotcha! ;-)
This post is part of a blog hop in which I will be participating each Friday during the 21 Days of Prayer for Our Sons. I am on a team being led by Jodi at Granola Mom 4 God. Please take a minute to visit Jodi and some of the other Mom's on my team and share in what God is doing in and through them throughout this journey.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What's a Mom to Pray For?

So I decided to let WonderBoy in on what I was doing in participating the 21 Days of Prayers for Sons. Truthfully, he didn't seem too impressed, not nearly as impressed as I would be if someone was praying for me for 21 days straight - such is my lot to bear....anyway, I thought perhaps it would be interesting to ask him what he might like me to be praying about. So here in no particular order is WonderBoy's Top 10 Prayer Requests

1. His relationship with his dad (not The Principal)
2. His self worth (a direct result of #1 - again not The Principal)
3. His writing (he is a creative sort...hmm wonder where that comes from?)
4. His time with God (this one makes my mommy heart smile)
5. His relationship with The Principal (see #1..are you seeing a pattern here?)
6. His creative pursuits and abilities.(this is where his passions are no question)
7. His ability to start and finish things.
8. His ability to choose good friends.
9. His pen pals. (he really has a tender heart - makes a mom proud)
10. His desire to learn and enjoy homeschooling.

What a marvelous start! Some of these were certainly on my mental check list, but it is interesting to see where he feels a need for prayer. I am honored to be able to take these requests before our Amazing God on behalf of the precious son He has given into my care. How can we not be driven to worship and praise when we have such joy and abundance of blessings in the treasures our Heavenly Father gives us?
Are you thinking about special prayers for the boys in your lives yet?

Calling All Mothers of Sons......

As mothers of sons we have a life long job and joy that comes with the birth of these amazing gifts that God entrusts to us. It is a big job that brings with it big joys. I recently in my borderline blog addiction, came across a wonderful resource to assist in the big job of being a boy mom.

Brooke at Warrior Prayers has begun something and some place wonderful to gather with other mothers of sons to support and gird our boys in prayer. Brooke has a book available to serve as a guide for a 21 day prayer journey for our sons which we do with other mothers around the country and world via the Internet - what a fantastic idea!! We all need encouragement from time to time! This is a marvelous way to do a few pretty spectacular things in my humble opinion....
#1 find accountability to pray fervently for your son(s)
#2 connect with other mothers who share your joys/challenges
#3 pray for your boys futures in a deeper more focused way
#4 grow closer to God while interceding for your son(s)
......and those are just random and off the top of my head - of course there are many more. What if you have only daughters? Well, they are likely to marry boys right? So.. pray for the men who will be in their lives, the men who will provide for and care for not only them but your grandchildren! Everyone can do this, grandmothers, aunts, teachers, all women have a boy or know a boy somewhere in their lives I would venture to say. If you have no children of your own, commit to a young man you know and pray for him, a neighbor boy, a boy from a family at church, or even a child who has touched your heart through a news story or magazine article - he and his family will be blessed by your prayers.
This event begins June 8th and you can read about how to get involved here. The cost of the book is minimal at $5.97, skip a coffee or 2 and invest in the lives of the generation of men who we will hand things over to....seems like a no brainer to me at $5.97!
I have my book, have signed up to join an online group and I will be posting about the process throughout the 21 days of prayer for WonderBoy, I hope you will consider joining me by committing to pray for someone special over the 21 days starting June 8th, or at the very least, check in and see what God does in our family.
My prayer is that this be used of God to encourage us in our higher calling as mothers!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I Have to Ask......Did You Know?

This past Saturday I had my hair done, I came away with more than a new do and happy roots. I left with knowledge that has somehow evaded me for almost 47 years!! I cannot keep this little nugget to myself, but it's more than that....I have to know -did you know this?? I did a little research of course and aside from earning 8 swagbucks I came up empty, not a single website that I visited said a thing about it...I was beginning to think this was not accidental!
The story goes something like this....Jill was just about done with me and giving me a once over when she noticed a little more highlighting than she was happy with on the top of my head, so she double dipped a few strands and I hung out in the corner to cure while she started with her next client. They caught up on the obligatory how is the family things and somehow the conversation led to OCD behaviors, I sat quietly (I really did) and followed along. Talk of the tag in the bottom left corner entered the conversation and I had NO clue what they were talking about, but apparently, they both had tag in the bottom left corner issues?? Ok....inquiring minds and all - I HAD to ask....they looked at me a little confused and said - on the fitted sheet. OK...??? Well apparently, the way to ensure that your bed is properly made is to place the corner of the fitted sheet that has the tag on it, on the bottom left corner of the bed. I had never given this even a fleeting thought, not to mention I probably didn't know for sure that a tag even existed on a fitted sheet to begin with never mind where it should be located. I was a little surprised to think that this was common enough knowledge that 2 women on the same day at the beauty shop could bond over an OCD related tendency!? So when I changed out my bedding yesterday I looked and sure enough, there was a tag there!! Would you like to guess where I positioned it? Bingo - bottom left it was, because of course I now had the inside scoop don't you know!
The more I thought about this the more I wondered - was I supposed to know this? I was not reared in a domestically ideal setting so getting this nugget there was unlikely, but still....then it occurred to me that perhaps this is a Southern Thing and I had entered the inner sanctum by nothing but blind luck - you know while curing quietly in the corner ;-)
I cannot tell you all the trouble this could have saved me over the years if only I had known - I am not keeping this to myself....I will tell anyone who will listen and feel blessed to save even one the frustration of the 'did I get it on right the first time' guessing game that I have been plagued by for so many bed making years!
Ladies, I beseech you, tell your daughters, tell your sons, your neighbors, this secrecy must stop! Mention it at your next Bible Study, Girls Night Out or even during a casual phone conversation - do it without fear!
So, I have to ask.....did you know and if so, who told you?
Just one last it the bottom left when facing the bed or laying in it?

Friday, May 6, 2011

A Mother's Prayer.....

I have not forgotten I have a blog, computer issues continue to keep me from posting....good news to follow....
Mother's Day is probably one of the most difficult and happiest days of the year for me.....I don't even know where my Mother is if I wanted to send a card or make a phone call I could not - that of course is the difficult part. The other side is the joy and blessing that comes when I reflect on the gift that God has given me in Wonder Boy. My Mother's heart is easily overwhelmed!! I wanted to share this with you and wish you all a gloriously Happy Mother's might want to have a tissue near by - I'm just saying ;-)

A new laptop is on the way as I type for Mother's advised .....I'll be back!!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Builders, Take Heart!

I was taking a few minutes to go through old emails in my inbox this morning when I came across this gem and realized quickly why it remained there almost a year later....

If I remember the story correctly, a friend gave a mother the gift of a book on the cathedrals of Europe with this inscription:
"To _______, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees."
The book pointed out how the craftsmen who built these great edifices usually didn't see them completed in their lifetime.
And there is the story of one craftsman who was carving a bird on top of a beam and was asked why, because no one would see it.
He replied that God would. Wow!

It was almost as if the woman heard God whispering to her, "I see you, ________. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become."
"I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder."
"As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right, and one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women."
Have realistic expectations of yourself. Instead of comparing yourself…, recognize your own gifts and talents, your limitations, your specific family circumstances. It's no mistake that your children got you as a parent – it's by God's design!
Recognize spiritual warfare for what it is. The mind is the enemy's battlefield. I had to be reminded to take captive every harsh thought about my children, every selfish thought about my own entitlements in life, every self-pitying thought about being a less-than-perfect homeschool mom. I learned that the enemy really can't take away my joy, but he sure can influence me to give it up! If you are committed to raising warriors for God, your family is a target for battle, and you may want to take inventory of your Ephesians 6 armor.

Recognize the source of true joy. When I am spending time in God's presence, I can choose to be joyful, to speak gently and cheerfully, and to recognize that I am blessed to have this season with my children.

Be encouraged by this today Dear Sister Friends!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Glitches, a Sign and TMI

I have missed you!!! I have been lost in a tangle of computer problems that have had me pretty much locked out of my own blog. I hesitate to claim a return just yet(this post is far from posted) as I am still using the same offending laptop and if I don't stand on my left foot and tilt to the right while humming Amazing Grace I am not sure I can post successfully. The good news is there is talk of a shiny new 'if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy' purchase in the future ;-) And.....speaking of purchases.....guess what is in our front yard??

Can you believe it?? I can't! It seems like we have talked about it for so long that it probably would never really happen. We have zero prospects that we are really leaning toward so without a doubt this will be the house that God provides. This is as it should be and truly I would not have it any other way! Now if you are in our area and know of a piece of property, you could be used of God to lead us that way perhaps so feel free to contact me.

Now that the update of sorts is taken care of I thought I would try something a little different today. As an avid blog reader I really enjoy getting to know the women behind the blogs I read - who they are, what they do, where they came from, that kind of thing. I certainly do not flatter myself to claim the status of being an overly interesting person, however, I do think we all have something that is worthy of sharing that on some level is of interest to others and so in that spirit I want to tell you a little more about me. Here's how I think this may work....I will get it started and you dear readers are invited to question me about anything your little hearts desire. I am typically a forthcoming person so I will not place any limits on the questions, I will however state a right of refusal if it may cause harm or discomfort to others.
Let's begin then shall we? I am 46 years old, I know I don't look it or act it most of the time, but it's true - I will turn 47 in October. I was born and raised in Toronto and moved to Alabama in 1994. I am a Southern Girl - Toronto is located in Southern Ontario, just a few hours from the US border in case you were unsure ;-) In my misspent youth there, I once touched a Bay City Roller outside of CHUM Radio in a mob when I was crushed up against the limo they were there leaving in....for those who are interested it was Les (who just happened to be my favorite...check out his site he is still around!!). He stuck his finger out of a crack at the top of the car window - I promptly passed out and made the front page of the paper that evening, tartan clad and happy.

Several years ago - about 4ish I began a journey to live a more traditional life. Why? God was leading me that way is all I have by way of explanation, it certainly was not the way I was raised. In the time that has passed between then and now I have acquired some skills and there are now things that I will never do the way I used to. I very very rarely buy store bought bread of any kind. My first piece of equipment/traditional living tool was a grain mill and there has been no looking back. I have made some down right awful bread over the years, but those loaves made bread crumbs or croutons and I moved on. I seldom have crouton bread now unless there is a nub of a loaf on the stale side and then it becomes a good candidate. I would never b-u-y croutons either! I also make yogurt, sour cream, buttermilk, vanilla, ketchup, BBQ sauce, salad dressings, laundry soap, deodorant, soap, and the list goes on. I have begun growing and harvesting herbs and have been playing around with making teas and home remedies and using the herbs to scent and 'flavor' our soaps. There are so many homemaking skills that I want to pursue and will, one by one. I have boxes of old clothes (blue jeans and dress shirts mostly) that will with some favor become a quilt for our home in the country. I have also saved many of Wonder Boy's sweet little boy jeans and t shirts with the intention on making a quilt for him as well.
I struggle with my flesh daily and am so far from the woman that God has called me to be, that it is only when I reflect on where He has brought me from and how by His Grace Alone that I am where I am and blessed to be who I am doing what I am doing that I can find the stamina to not give up several times a day. There are plenty of stories that have woven together the tapestry that has become my testimony along the way.
In the interest of not prattling on too long. I will end here for now. Please leave a comment with your questions for me of email me if you prefer. I will continue to stand on my left foot and tilt and pray that I can find a way to get your answers to you!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Essentials for Life.......A Giveaway

I have the privilege of receiving complimentary books of my choosing from Thomas Nelson from time to time in exchange for my thoughts and reviews of those books. It occurred to me that it would be lovely to 'pay it forward' and share those books with you once I have fulfilled my commitment.

These are my impressions, thoughts and reactions to Essentials for Life by Marcia Ford. First and foremost, this is a book that is wonderfully suited to a daily devotional type read. It is organized in such a way that you can open it and go when time is not laying out endlessly in front of you. Concise 2-3 pages chapters like Extend Grace to Everyone, Catch a Glimpse of Eternity or Enlarge Your Sphere of Influence are wonderful ways to give your heart something to process as you go through the day. It is rich with scripture references and quotes to get you thinking - I love it when the written word compels me to dig, search and seek things of God on a deeper level, don't you? The book is subtitled 'Your Back-to-Basics Guide to What Matters Most', which is does an admirable job of getting your focus on. This is a book filled with little gems that you can take out and enjoy in your quiet time each day, but that will stay with you well beyond that portion of your day. Throughout the book each chapter includes a sidebar entitled "Interesting to Note...One of the most important steps you can take in dealing with your past is forgiving yourself. Numerous studies on forgiveness have shown that people who forgive themselves heal more quickly from emotional trauma than those who do not. That includes victims, who seemingly have no need to forgive themselves." Each of these entries are paired with a scripture, in this particular example Psalm 74:12 AMP reads Let now the downtrodden return in shame; let the oppressed and needy praise your name. Each chapter concludes with "What's Essential" and goes on to list 2 do's and 2 don'ts that apply. This is a wonderful book to have in your quiet time place and to work through as the Lord leads you.
If you would like to have my copy in your quiet time place, please leave a comment for one entry or follow me for an addtional entry and I will draw the winner randomly a week today on March 16th.
Bonne chance mes amis ;-)

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, March 7, 2011

Who's In Charge?

If you read this blog with any kind of regularity, I think it would be safe to conclude that family matters to you, so with that in mind, please allow me to step out of that polite place of hospitality for a moment and get a little political with you if I may ;-) Remember, I love y'all, really, in fact, it is because I love you that I am sharing this today. The American family is in danger! Really. If we are not diligent to guard against what the enemy seeks to steal, kill and destroy the American family as we know it will become merely a part of our history. I use the term 'American' not as a distinction exclusive to those living in the United States of America, but to also include those who live in a cultural climate like the one we have here. It stands to reason that our beloved neighbors (neighbours) to the North are absolutely part of what I want to share today - in fact if you don't know - I am one of you ;-) My first 30 years were spent North of the border in Toronto ;-) Ok so now that we have all the clarification out of the way, let's move on shall we? ;-)

The Child, a documentary that airs tonight seeks to address the decline and crisis of the American family.......

About The Child

What happens if our children's future is taken into the hands of the government? Watchman Cinema's 85-minute documentary The Child: America's Battle for the Next Generation unveils a quiet attack against the deep bond between parent and child in American law and culture. A new wave is gathering force: the belief that parents should not have the final say in the upbringing and education of their children.

What does this mean for America? It means that parents' rights and responsibilities on behalf of their children are gradually being taken over by the government. Parents have less and less freedom to opt their children out of sexual education in public school, make medical decisions for their children, or teach their children their most deeply held religious beliefs. Parents are even being arrested and prosecuted when their choices conflict with what government authorities think is in the best interests of their children. This also means that children can no longer trust that their interests are being represented by parents who know and love them, but instead by strangers from the government.

But a diverse group of concerned citizens is fighting back: lobbying for a Parental Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In the words of parenting expert John Rosemond, this is "a cause that protects the liberty of every American."

The Child presents a sweeping and sobering picture of the child-parent bond in America, along with what we can do to protect this fundamental relationship. Parental rights are no longer viewed as they once were in our society and that my friends is dangerous ! It is time that we get our heads out of the sand and open our eyes to what is going on around us. Our children deserve that, our grandchildren deserve that and our Father in Heaven requires it! The organization Parental Rights does a great job of keeping up with issues around the nation and I would certainly encourage you to explore their site, sign up for their emails and by all means support them if you feel led. There is much we can do, we may not can fix the world, but we can surely begin to work in that direction by making efforts in our homes and by spreading awareness of an issue that has become disguised as acceptable in our culture today. It is our job Mom and Dad to raise our kids, not the government, any government.
The decline of families is so prevalent these days that we are anesthetized to it and that is truly heartbreaking!!
I implore you - gather your family together tonight and watch this program. My family has not seen it and we will watch it tonight - join us.......please!
You can get the broadcast through a number of sources, Sky Angel will air it on channel 126, on DirecTV NRB is channel 378 or neither of those options are viable you can watch it via live streaming right here. Ok, that about wraps it up for now, still love me?

Monday, February 28, 2011

Six Years Ago Today.......

Six years ago today with my toes in the sand on a beautiful beach in Ocho Rios, Jamaica I made a covenant of marriage with the man God had chosen just for me. These have been six years truly filled with love and magic. The Principal is a true treasure in my life, a gift and always a blessing. We had no idea what lay ahead of us as we said our vows six years ago. If we could have predicted I know we wouldn't have even been close!! To say it has been quite an adventure is an understatement. To say it has been my joy and privilege to be Mrs. Principal these past six years doesn't even come close to what is in my heart.
Darling, you are my prince, my joy, my heart, my best friend and I thank you from the very depths of my being for being such a wonderful husband and father. You are a man of true honor and grace, rare in this world today and I count myself so incredibly fortunate to know what it is to have a husband who leads with that kind of character.
Every year of our marriage, I have woken up to roses on the pillow beside me - one for each year of marriage, this morning was no exception. The bouquet was stashed away in the garage and checked on periodically over the weekend - seems like they did pretty well considering weekend temperatures hovered around and above 70 degrees. The Principal told me over coffee early this morning that next year our anniversary will be on Tuesday so the roses will be fresher ;-) I can only imagine what lays ahead between today and a full dozen!!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Language Arts and Trivia Fun

I came across something fun today that I thought would be a fresh way to hone your childrens skills for trivia by some fun teaching them about the English language all at the same time.

Stewardessess is the longest word in the english language typed scrictly with the left hand.

Lollipop is the longest word in the English language typed solely with the right hand.

No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver or purple.

Dreamt is the only word in the English language that ends in 'mt'.

The sentence "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy brown do." uses every letter in the alphabet.

The words, racecar, level and kayak are the same read left to right or right to left - these kind of words are called palindromes.

There are only four words in the English language that end in 'dous', they are; tremendous, horrendous, stupendous and hazardous.

There are two words in the English language that contain all five vowels in order, they are - abstemoius and facetious.

Typewriter is the only word in the English language that can be made using only letters located one one row of a keyboard.

In the general fun trivia category here are a few offerings...... teach on of these a day or maybe make a game out of it and do "Trivia Tuesday' part of your weekely schedule.....

Our eyes are always the same size from birth, but both our ears and noses never stop growing!!

A cat has 32 muscles in each ear.

A goldfish has the memory span of 3 seconds. I must be part goldfish some days!!

A 'jiffy' is an actual unit of time measure for 1/100th of a second.

A shark is the only fish that can blink with both eyes.

A snail can sleep for 3 years. Ok so apparently I have some snail blood flowing through my veins as well ;-)

Almonds are a member of the peach family.

An ostrich's eye is bigger than it's brain.

Babies are both without kneecaps. They do appear until 2 - 6 years of age. Weird!!

February 1865 is the only month in recorded history not to have a full moon.

In the last 4000 years, no new animals have been domesticated.

If the population of China walked crossed in front of you, 8 abreast, the line would never end because of the rate of reproduction.

Leonardo DaVinci invented the scissors.

Peanuts are one of the ingredients in dynamite!! Who knew??

Rubber bands last longer when refrigerated. Wonder if Helouise knows about this??

Thea average person's left hand does 56% of the typing.

The cruise liner QE2 moves only inches for every gallon of diesel it burns.

The microwave was invented after a reseracher walked by a radr tube and a chocolate bar melted in his pocket.

The winter of 1932 was so cold that Niagra Falls froze solid. Glad I missed that one!!

Winston Churchill was born in the ladies room of a dance.

Women blink nearly twice as often as men. Ladies go challenge your son of husband to a staring contest and see who wins!!

There are more chickens that people in the world. There are so many things I could say here ......I like chickens ;-)

Ok...well that is all I have for now. Hope you enjoyed these and find some wonderful creative way to use them. Please check back and leave a comment to share with the rest of us if you do. Thanks Tiffiny for sharing!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Instructions Not Included.....

I am going to take a rather tentative step onto my soapbox - tentative because I have no idea what kind of response I will receive once I get there and speak my peace, but here goes....first of all, the disclaimers.... I am not a perfect parent raising a perfect child, the truth of the matter is that we are both so far from anything in that realm that it truly is laughable. SO keeping that in mind allow me to proceed. Those of you who know me personally know that I struggle from time to time with behavior issues - not just my own - Wonderboy can be a pill ;-) We have tried many of the 'techniques' commonly prescribed as well as a few of our own creative invention. Some have worked better than others, some for just a season and some were nothing more than a waste of effort and brain cells. Rearing offspring is no easy undertaking and certainly not for the faint of heart - at least not in the this household. There are as many parenting theories and approaches as there are kids to try them out on it seems, kind of like eating trends there seems to always be some new trend that is bigger, better, shinier. I tend to be an old fashioned kind of gal - you know the 'if it ain't broke don't fix it' school of thinking. This has more or less served me quite well overall. I have to confess however that there have been times when the 'shiny new thing' has captured my attention and wooed me away from good old fashioned common sense. Sadly, this has been true in my parenting journey.
Well after many tears, MUCH prayer and countless days of feeling alone, hopeless and quite honestly ready to turn in my Mom card, I finally reached a point where I had had enough and the line was drawn in the sand. Failure was not an option, so I did what any self respecting Mother does in this day and age - I did a web search. It was during that process I came across the book that I am currently 4 chapters into, It Takes a Parent by Betsy Hart. Betsy is my kind of girl - a no nonsense, common sense, straight shooter who says it plain and doesn't sugar coat it - I liked her right away and knew that she had something to offer in the pages of her book. Now keep in mind - I am only 4 chapters in and I have another 9 to go, but I like what I have read so far because it makes sense. She makes no promises, no get rich quick schemes and in doing this puts some power and authority back where it belongs - in the hands of the parents!! Imagine that? The big light went on for me when she shared an incident where she was getting some less than desirable attitude from her one of her daughters and the interaction that followed....this was where my moment of ah ha came in "And one thing I didn't do was to ask her why she was behaving the way she was. Kids almost never know why they do the upsetting things they do. Let's face it, that's true for many adults too. It's often up to us parents to help interpret for our kids what's going on in their hearts." I sat there and saw a slide show of countless conversations that had taken place in the past few years in which the question was asked repeatedly.....why?? Why did you lie? Why did you disobey? Why this, why that....and you want to guess what the number one and still reigning answer is and has been - drum roll please......"I DON'T KNOW" !!!! Much to our continued frustration and angst!! Imagine that - he may have been telling the truth all this time - he really doesn't know!!! I've had a hunch about this once or twice because I know the looks and saw the heart behind those looks - he really doesn't know, this is not just a pat cop out answer to shut us up - well not all the time in any case ;-) I could go on and on and on, for now I have said all this to say this.....we need to know our children, lead their hearts and teach them right from wrong. This is not a popular parenting mantra of late, but look at what is going on in the world around us - I am not raising a child for society, I am raising a child for God and I am the one who will have to answer for what I take the time and effort to teach and what I allow to root and grow in his life. Is it easy? No way, in fact it is without a doubt the hardest thing I have ever done - but he is worth it!!
I am taking my stand here on this soapbox and in my home - I love my son too much to leave him the way he is and allow what society says is ok to be ok. I am raising a boy to become a man, who will be able to lead his family, to love his wife and teach his children in the ways of the Lord. I am raising a man, one who will reflect his Father, my Father, your Father and bring Him honor in all he does and says. I will no longer tolerate the rolling eyes, the irritated grunts and sighs, the lazy behaviors, the sub-standard efforts, the lying, the disrespectful words, action or behaviors because I am weary and have no tidy little solutions. I owe it to my God, my son, my future daughter in law and grandchildren to raise a man who will be a man of character and honor and to myself, because God chose me to do just that!
I am rolling up my sleeves, digging in my heels and persevering to the end, the outcome far out weighs the effort in value. Betsy Hart has given me some hope along the way that I needed pretty desperately when I came across it - accidental? I think not - God is into the details remember ;-) SO.... I wanted to share this today, in case you may have to travel some of the same roads we do on occasion and could use a little encouragement, some refreshing and a much needed dose of perspective and common sense in this crazy world in which we live. Betsy has a blog which I have not yet had much time to poke around, but look forward to seeing what other nuggets are there that I once knew and have foolishly cast away for the bigger, newer, shinier nuggets that the latest snake oil salesmen were selling....

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Practicing Hospitality Gets an Upgrade

Sometimes you come across things that you just have to share - this is one of them. I had a conversation this past Saturday with a mom from Wonderboy's basketball team, during which she mentioned that she was having a hysterectomy later this month. I immediately offered a meal, this has become something that I love to do to bless others - I love to cook and know what a help a meal is when things are out of whack in the daily routine of life. I was very curious when she told me that a woman in her Sunday School Class was organizing meals and she would send me a link. She mentioned something about a website I could sign up on....hmm...wonder what that's all about I thought. The email came yesterday and this is just too cool to keep under my hat!! Take Them A Meal has this whole bringing a meal thing all figured out and and presented in a very user friendly way that simplifies the process and eliminates the need for many phone calls, second guessing your choices and all the concerns that are pretty much normal fare when getting a meal together for anyone in need. You pick a day from the calendar and sign up for what you are bringing. The address, contact info, directions, likes/dislikes, food allergies, restrictions and general preferences are right there for you to help you decide the best meal to share. What I really love about this site is that you can identify what they have been fed before and after your slot so they are not sprouting feathers from chicken dish after chicken dish. There is even an option to send a meal to those who are not local. There are menu suggestions, transportation tips and even recipes. I think this is a truly inspired idea!! I only wish I had known about it sooner - but rest assured if you need meals and you are in my sphere of influence I will hook you up!!!
I have not yet signed up for the basketball mom meal because it is too far out at this point for me to plan now, but I will and I will report back on how the whole thing play out.
I was equally pleased to notice a button on the site for a sister type site called Perfect Potluck - again, another fantastic idea!! Makes me want to plan a gathering just to try it out and see how it functions first hand....any takers?? Shall we plan some food and fellowship?

I have to end this by asking - has anyone used either of these sites? If so please share what your experiences have been....I am certainly not wishing anyone sick, but will be pleased to have this tool in my toolbox when it is needed!!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Building Faith

I have not fallen off the face of the earth dear ones ;-) I just wanted to take a minute today to encourage you.....

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Snowy South

We have had more snow here in North Alabama since Christmas Day than we have had combined since I moved here from Toronto in December of 1994. It almost has me feeling Canadian again ;-) The snow we had on Christmas Day was beautiful, big fluffy flakes that started falling about 6:30am while we were opening gifts. It made the day magical. It was Wonderboy's very first white Christmas and although the snow was short lived and not ideal for snow play it was a big treat to us!

We went to bed last night with snow falling and the forecasters predicting anywhere from 6"-10" depending on who you listened to......I don't know about where you live , but here in the Tennessee Valley, I believe it has to be one of the only places in the world that the meteorologists can be continually wrong and remain employed. I was sceptical to say the least! When we got up this morning there was a thick blanket of beautiful white fluffy snow everywhere - no grass, no road, nothing but pretty white stuff all around!! I went out and filled our bird feeder and have been delighted all day today by the steady stream of visitors that we have had. I was thrilled when I sat down in the study at the front of the house with a cup of white peony tea (oh sooo good) to look out the window and see a big fat saucy Blue Jay in the birch tree in our yard and then as I was watching him jump from branch to branch a red headed woodpecker happened by for a spell - they both looked gorgeous against the backdrop of fresh snow.
The street came to life a little while later, schools were closed and most people concluded that getting out on the roads was not a good idea (except for The Principal - but I won't go there....yet), not to mention The Governors of not only Alabama, but also Tennessee, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina and South Carolina declared state wide emergencies (did I mention that The Principal did not think staying home meant him and he went to work? Guess what? The only other guy in his office that was there walked!! Imagine that - I expect the rest of them decided to listen to The Governor and stay off the roads huh??). Most of Huntsville was closed today - no mail, no banking, however according to an anonymous source who had to drive past Wal-Mart to come home greed is alive and well in snowbound Huntsville - there were cars in the parking lot!
Kids and parents and grandparents were out on our street walking and throwing snowballs, in front yards building snowmen, chatting with neighbors where the sidewalks were buried. We have had an all day parade of four-wheelers, one even pulling a young lady about 10 years old on an inner tube who looked to be having the time of her life!
When The Principal came in from work around lunchtime and shovelled the neighbors driveway .....they are in their 70's - he really is a good guy even if he did think the road rules didn't apply to him ;-)Once the work was done it was time for some family fun. WonderBoy has never made a "Real Official Make Your Canadian Mama Proud" snowman. It took a little patient instruction on how to roll the snowball, don't include the dried up grass, try and get it rounded and before you know it - voila! A snowman in the yard!! It was fun - this is the good stuff, the good memories of childhood.....remember?? Turns out the snowman was not enough I had to heat the soup up for lunch 3 times before the 'structure' was completed enough for my budding architect to come in and eat. He was beet red from head to toe and grinning like a mule eating briers - a good day here in the snowy south!!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Hope Lights the Way

I want to share a word with you, a plain and simple four letter word......there are countless four letter words in the English language, very few evoke the power and healing that this one does. Every year for the last 3 or 4 years now God has given me a single word just prior to the change of the calendar which He speaks to my heart as what He has for me in the year ahead. My 'God Word' for 2011 is Hope. Merriam-Webster's Online dictionary defines hope this cherish a desire with anticipation; trust; to desire with expectation of obtainment; to expect with confidence. There is most assuredly plenty resting on those four plain and simple little letters wouldn't you agree?
I would be most honored if you will consider joining me as I share my journey into Hope with you in the year that lays ahead. I plan this year to dig a little deeper than I have in past years and really focus my heart and mind on all that God offers when He whispers these things to me. At this point in the process I have no idea what this will look like, other than I will explore the scriptures as they relate to and speak of hope and see where that takes me, because as we both know - it will take me somewhere.
I have a new NJKV that I am reading through, I have purposed to read through various translations one at a time, so although it is likely that most of what I share will come from NJKV, I will also explore what the other translations have to say and offer in regards to hope. There are an abundance of study materials available today, but I have to be honest and tell you that I am a little intimidated/overwhelmed by them. I don't have a clue what a good place to start is so I am going to forged forward without much of a plan other than to listen and dig, listen and dig - perhaps that in itself is a plan after all ;-)
I would love (another wonderful plain and simple four letter word) it if you would share your thoughts and reactions. If you prefer not to leave a comment I invite you to email me anytime! It really is my heart's desire for this humble little blog to be a place of encouragement and exchange, it may be my blog, but it is not for me......ultimately it is for Him and those He draws here.
The scripture on the mug picture above reads........
And his name will be the hope of all the world.
Matthew 12:21 (NIV)
It seems so obvious to those of us who know, love and serve Him, that He is our only real hope. The sad truth is that more of the world lives in darkness than in His light. As Followers of Christ we are called to share His light and let it shine into the darkness. Where there is light darkness must flee.
There is a worship song that I love that comes to mind as I think about shining His light into darkness and being filled with His hope.......Praise Him today because you know Him, because He is The Light and The Way and because He is the source of Hope in your life!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Oranges Poranges.......

Happy New Year Dear Ones!!

We have been out of town and are getting settled back into our groove - I should have all my laundry caught up by sunset today (can I get an hallelujah?!). We spent a wonderful time of fellowship and refreshing in Buchanan, MI at a family camp retreat event called Resolution hosted by Life Action Ministries. What made our time there even more special was that WonderBoy and I were able to meet 2 of our pen pals in person!! We were so blessed to be able to spend time, share meals and fellowship with our friends - so much so that it was a very teary goodbye! It is so wonderful how God knits our hearts together in friendship - our families share a new bond and for that I am so grateful.

So.... we are home and working toward getting organized and on track for 2011. I LOVE a New Year and all the promise it holds. The Principal and I have been having some wonderful conversations over the past few days - 20 hours of driving time over 3 days makes that very possible! There are many things I will share with you as they unfold, but for now let me just say that I am so excited and anticipating all the amazing things that God has for our family for 2011!

Today what I really wanted to share with you was a fun and easy peasy craft/gift giving idea. It is frugal and natural to boot! It is orange season - we just purchased a 40 lb. box of organic Texas oranges that are so sweet and delicious we are going through them pretty rapidly. I was very pleased by an email this morning that our buying club is trying to put together a second order - count us in - all that wonderful fresh organic vitamin C is a great way to keep our family healthy and ward off the winter bugs that are rampant (if you are local and are interested let me know I would be happy to order a box on your behalf - email me for pricing and details).

On to the craft......the Principal scored another bulls eye in his Christmas gift giving with the latest Homestead Blessings DVD - The Art of Crafting. If you are not familiar with The West Ladies and their wonderful ministry Homestead Blessings I am thrilled to be the first to send you to their site and introduce you to them - you will love them - I promise. Their DVDs are a treasure trove!! Last night we watched the Art of Crafting and I was thrilled with the segment about making your own potpourri - I have at least 4 gallon sized freezer bags in the garage filled with dehydrated apple peels, cores, peach pits and orange slices that I had dehydrated for that very purpose - making potpourri...... once I figured out how. I am now one step closer ;-) I will do a separate 'how to' post when I do actually make the potpourri but for now you can get started and prepare along with me - get some oranges, eat them, enjoy them, build your family's health and save the peels!! You can do this one of 2 ways - slice the oranges in rings or quarter them, after you have eaten all their yummy goodness twist your peels and set them in something pretty, add a candle or some pine cones to jazz it up and let air dry. They look great, they smell great and once they are dry they will be beautiful in a wonderfully fragrant potpourri made by your very own hands! This would make great hostess or thank you gifts......for now get twisting sister........I have to be honest and tell you - this kind of thing makes me almost a little too happy ;-)

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