March 31, 2008

Treasures, Part II

I wrote a little while back about a series that I had the privilege of recently sharing at our church. Here is part two on the topic of 'Encouragement for a Mother's Heart'.

II Cor. 4: 7-8, 16-18. The Bible says we have this TREASURE (the light of God & the knowledge of Him) in jars of clay. What an encouragement! It also means that we are clay. Destructible and sometimes fragile. In other words, we cannot hold it together all of the time. Hmmm....think about that for a minute.

But, the same chapter later says that this treasure is a power within that is renewing us daily. Not just at salvation, but daily. This treasure is timeless, indestructible, strong and most important...eternal.

So, for us that means we are not to solely depend on what can fail us: our own wisdom, our own strength, even our own 'good' that we do as Mothers. As wonderful as it may be, it is not's CLAY! It may be here today and gone tomorrow because we are human. We have mood swings, bad days and good days. We are not even to focus on our 'light and momentary troubles' (though they hardly ever feel that way do they?). We may be hard pressed, but don't have to be crushed. We may be perplexed, but don't have to feel abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

Because He is renewing us daily! Therefore, we CAN keep moving forward in a confidence---not on us, but on HIM. Our motherhood is not dependent on whether or not we can do it all, have it all together, or play the part correctly. It's about His power at work within this jar of clay. That's what gets the job done & keeps us moving forward.

He is also transforming us. However, I'm not sure that we are to focus on the transformation needed. Be aware of it, but don't be consumed by it. Otherwise we are striving and not dependent on God. FOCUS on the treasure! Focus on HIM! And, He will bring about the transformation we need as Mothers. HE will work on us---our job is to keep focus on Him.

So have you lost focus dear mothers? Feeling hard pressed or perplexed? Focus on the treasure--and let Him renew you & transform you.


Yeah!!...the kitchen cleaning got done (I had some help). The rest of the house will probably not get premium attention likes this, but that's okay. It's the kitchen that was driving me crazy.

Anyway, during it all, I thought of some chores that I do NOT enjoy:

1. laundry. all of it. don't know why, I just don't.

2. running short errands. not necessarily a house cleaning thing, but a chore to me.

3. dusting. because it seems pointless; so this is delegated to one of my children. :o)

4. and cleaning mirrors. I always seem to leave streaks!

March 28, 2008

The Week in Review

Hello all,

We've been working this week at catching up some on academics since being sick for a long time earlier this month had us off track. Now that we're definitely healthy, Mom has instituted BOOK camp (very similar to boot camp!).
I (Janelle) finished my Math curriculum this week and am taking a break before starting the next one. I've improved quite a bit in my accuracy and in following directions! Before, I usually just jumped in and started my work without giving much thought to what they were actually asking me to do {hehe}. Seriously not okay with my mother. I've read several books in the last two weeks and also worked through lots of reading comprehension & thinking skills exercises in my language curriculum. Yesterday I wrote a Spring acrostic poem. Want to hear it? Of course you do:
Beautiful things sitting on trees
Unravel a story to no one told
Dipped into beauty, they hold a
Secret we will soon see.
Alongside of academics I've had rehearsals this week for the show I'm in at a local theatre. Opening weekend is coming up! I'm nervous, excited and ready all at the same time. Oh, and achievement testing is on Monday...but who wants to talk about that?
Alright, I (Jordyn) have been busy as well. Mom and I are working on basic phonics and reading now that my interest has resurfaced. I'm really enjoying my Word Whammer and also a reading site that Mommy found to reinforce what we learning. I finished Psalm 27 and am starting on Psalm 8. Of course, Mom reads to me daily. Other than that I keep myself occupied with building things, which I LOVE to do! Blocks, Legos, K'Nex, Lincoln logs or items around the house such as straws, plastic cups & masking tape and such are all tools for me to use. Oh, and I work on writing skills, which is not my favorite at all so I don't have much to say there.
Why am I left at the end?? I (King Josiah) would rather be first next time. I've been up to...well, let me just show you what I've been doing:

Who spilled those Cheerios on the floor?

Oh yeah.......ME!! Guess I better go and help clean up.

Jackie will post her own senior update in a while so stay tuned!


March 26, 2008

It's Out of the Bag

or actually out of the file folder where it's been for a year.

It's my Spring Cleaning list. Believe it or not, I actually don't mind cleaning and though there is not a huge fanfare around the event, I don't mind the work of clearing out cabinets, wiping down walls, etc...yep, there is some joy in it for me.

So if I'm feeling better tomorrow and the next day, tackling the kitchen is the first priority. Here's the cleaning that would be nice to have done:
  • windowsills and windows
  • light fixture above the table
  • top, outside & inside of fridge
  • wipe down outside of cabinets, all chairs & sides of table/table legs
  • baseboards
  • wipe down walls (Mr. Clean sponges make this a cinch!)
  • vacuum curtains & then wall corners for cobwebs
  • tidy up inside of cabinets (these have already been decluttered)
  • inside of stove (already done since it's new!)
  • vacuum & wash carpets, put out to dry
Wow. I'm a little tired just writing it down. But usually once I get started, I'm fine.

Anyone else doing some spring cleaning?


A Chocolate Treat

Ummm, I'm not even a chocolate eater. However, the rest of the family is and yesterday I decided to try out a new recipe. Then I gave in to the temptation to taste a wee little bit...ooooh, deliciously yummy. Try these super-fudgy brownies from Martha Stewart; we did half milk chocolate and half semisweet and also added 1/2 tsp of vanilla.


Psalm 27

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Early in their lives, we chose a few scriptures for each of our children that we felt would be a life verse or vision for them. For Jordyn, the verses come from Psalm 27; here she is reciting what we chose and proclaimed over her life before she was born. If you missed her memorization of Psalm 100, click here.

March 24, 2008

Rosetta Stone Giveaway!!

For others who read besides grandparents :o), go and enter in the contest to win a FREE Rosetta Stone Homeschool Version 3 Language Program!

Here are details:

Rosetta Stone has been the #1 foreign language curriculum among homeschoolers for a while -- next week they are unleashing a brand new curriculum, and you can WIN the *all new* Rosetta Stone Homeschool Version 3… FOR FREE!
This is a $219 program (and believe me it's worth every penny!) and the winner gets to pick from any of these 14 languages: Spanish (Spain or Latin America), English (American or British), Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Irish, Hebrew, or Russian.
This will also include a headset with microphone, and students will participate in lifelike conversations and actually produce language to advance through the program. Rosetta Stone still incorporates listening, reading and writing as well, in addition to speaking. Many homeschoolers requested grammar and vocabulary exercises, and with Rosetta Stone Homeschool Version 3, they're included! For parents, the new Parent Administrative Tools are integrated into the program and allow parents to easily enroll students in any of 12 predetermined lesson plans, monitor student progress, and view and print reports.

To win this most excellent program -- in the language of your choice -- copy these (blue) paragraphs and post it in (or as) your next blog post -- then to enter the contest, go to the original contest page HERE: and leave a comment with the link showing where you blogged about it. And please make sure the link works to get back to the original contest page when you post it. And good luck! The winner will be picked randomly on March 26, and will be notified thru the link they left to their blog pg. And if you have more than one blog, you can post them and enter those separately for more chances to win. Yay for free stuff!

March 22, 2008

Easter Reflections

Oh Lord, I still cannot fathom or understand the breadth and width of your sacrifice.

When my mind tries to grasp the infinite measure of your love, I am captivated by this one thought: it's impossible to fully understand.

So I simply believe that it's true. That you, the Holy and Blameless One, because of such a great love came here among us and lived in the finite constraints of human flesh and emotions.

And died and rose again. For His glory. For humanity.

Thank you, my friend. Thank You.


Thank You!

Thanks Nana and Grandad for the Easter treats! We really like Beatrix Potter's books and characters, so the animals will be fun to use when retelling the stories. And of course, the candy was a good idea too!


Egyptian Masks

Instructions here. Warning: our mother decided after this project that she did not enjoy paper mache. We, on the other hand, relished it from start to finish.


March 20, 2008

For the Everyday

I'm expressing gratitude for:

34. the arrival of Spring! welcome, welcome!
35. newness, freshness in the great outdoors surrounding our home
36. tiptoes of little feet trying to sneak into my room in the early morning
37. a fresh-brewed cup of my current favorite, rooibus tea
38. books galore to delve into
39. encouraging conversation with a homeschool veteran of 20+ years
40. little ears, little hearts turned towards the Savior as we learn
41. anticipating remembering His sacrifice, this weekend and beyond


March 19, 2008

Treasures, Part I

A few weeks ago, I led a group of mothers in our local congregation through a short 3-week series entitled
"Encouragement for a Mother's Heart". While there is much to be said on the topic, for us the focus each week was on the word 'treasure' and various significant scriptures for life application. Thought I would record some of what was shared and offer it to Mamas out there in blog world.

"For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." Matthew 6:21

So many times our mother's heart is filled with the thoughts of what we need to do...the organizing, the managing, the daily tasks and the running here and there. Other times we have concerns, questions and doubts that crowd our hearts and minds. Or we think too much on what needs improvement in our lives or the lives of our children. What is the primary beat of your mother's heart right about now?

It's not that these things necessarily go away or even need to. As Moms we have much to do! And often times we are prompted to be concerned about an area that would have probably slipped our minds. That's all normal and good; and we cannot brush off our responsibilities or be lazy in our approach. It's when the tasks or questions so fill our heart that there is not room for the precious, the uplifting or the treasures that we miss out on having a heart full of joy.

In your mother's heart, are you storing up treasure? Not solely of the faces, the events or the words of the ones in your care...but of what is right in your journey of motherhood? Hmmm....self-focused or prideful you may ask?

"Finally MOTHERS (okay, the NIV says 'brothers'), whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things." Phillipians 4:8 (emphasis added)

So as you recognize areas of weakness in you as a mother, also store up thoughts of when there was a confidence about what you were doing. Or how about pausing to think on {gulp!} things gone well? How you might have failed, but didn't. Not necessarily to drive away the doubt, but to store up treasure of God's faithfulness to us so that our hearts can be in the right place. I'm not trying to promote an attitude of thinking we've arrived or that we or our children are in need of no improvement! However, it's humanity's default mode I believe to condemn ourselves. Perhaps that is the reason why we needed the command to think otherwise?

Pause this week and think on the excellent and admirable parts of the motherhood journey you're currently experiencing. And then, give Him praise for it.

March 15, 2008

Just Sneeking In...

I was waiting until after the weekend to post again (that's my usual), but wanted to sneek in and say that a long-anticipated book is here! My copy of Passionate Housewives came in yesterday and yes, I've already begun reading. So far, so very, very good!

Also, I'm going to a retreat in April and need to read Becoming the Woman of His Dreams before then. It's not unusual for me to have several books going at the same time. But, I think it's time to focus on these two for now. Scroll down my sidebar for links to both books.

Alright, I must run....see you on Monday, maybe Tuesday. Savor each moment of the weekend.

March 14, 2008


Wow, it has been quite a week of partying and visiting different blogs! I'm glad to have participated and had the opportunity to 'meet' a variety of women from many locations. I've bookmarked a few of course. Crafty moms, homeschoolers, pastor's wives, super informational blogs, simple blogs, funny stories, difficult situations....and so many different points of view and perspectives! It's been fun.

I'll be back on this blog Monday, so enjoy the weekend everyone!

March 13, 2008

Arts and Crafts

We've been enjoying some great arts and craft projects around here. But, before the pictures come, we'll pass on a few sites that have been wonderful for getting the creative juices flowing!

Elementary Art lesson plans

DLTK's various sites: this is the main site, but look on the right hand side for links to other sites. Bible craft projects and free coloring pages included.

KinderArt: you name it, they have it. sculpture, printmaking, mosaics, multicultural, etc. loads of info and links here.

Those are some good places to get started. We'll post some pictures soon!

March 10, 2008

Party Time!!

Ultimate Blog Party 2008

It's Party Time over at Five Minutes for Moms! And our Mama is joining on in, so I guess that means we are too. Well, we are her four kiddos and you can read some about our activities and homeschooling adventures here at this site. Sometimes Mom will post creative ideas or notes & thoughts on various curriculum, books, etc. But, mostly it's just a place to record the stuff that's going on and to keep grandparents and family up to date! Because, that's important.

Let us know you've visited and happy party!

March 8, 2008

Party Time!

Ultimate Blog Party 2008

I decided to go ahead and participate in the Big Blog Party over at 5 Minutes for Moms. Why not...who doesn't like a party?

I'm Daniele--wife and mother attempting to a simple life here in the north. We have four children, three of which are home educated. At another site, I blog and keep relatives and friends updated about all of their happenings. Feel free to stop over there too!

This blog is new and just a place to try and bring some structure to a bit of the 'randomness' of my thoughts and activities. I enjoy several hobbies and interests, but mainly I get thrilled about the idea of trying out an idea. {sigh} Anyway, you'll find a variety of topics discussed here as I experience, a bit of sewing, writing, what I'm reading, papercrafting or scrapbooking, Scripture study, general home life, relationships, etc. It's like an online thrift store or flea market, so keep coming back!

My favorite prizes to win would be:

#74 my top pick! paper goodies, baker's twine & such from Pink Paper Peppermints

#122 Scrapbooking supplies from Amy

#129 a $15 gift cert to Amazon from Mommy Cracked

Numbers 24, 39, and 60 would be really cool too.

For now, I'll leave you with a bit of party dessert:


March 7, 2008

Sweet Moments...


Josiah's First Delivery

Hello everybody! Josiah here to talk about my very first delivery from the local flower shop. But, I didn't get flowers....I got FRUIT! This inspired me to begin eating fruit again, much to Mommy's delight. I even took a bite out of each apple while no one was looking; I needed to see which one tasted the best.

The card read "Sorry to hear that you are sick. Hope these fruits make you feel better. Share some with your sisters. Love Grandad and Nana."
Thank you Nana and Grandad!


100 Days!

Well, plus a few more...about two weeks ago, I (Jordyn) celebrated the finishing of my number line to the 100th day of school! We celebrated with several activities including counting out 100 legos to build something and filling a hundred board with Fruity Cheerios. My brother happily ate while I worked.

Mommy asked me what I would buy with $100.00 and I answered: "If I had 100.00, I would have it. Then I would buy 15 plates. Then I would put the rest of the money in my purse to keep." Sounds like a good plan, right?

Then Mommy asked if I could have 100 of anything, what would I like. I answered: "I would like 100 cards so I could write to Nana and Grandad and Mimi and Popi."


Psalm 97

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Get your NIV out and follow along! She did a wonderful job. The assignment was to do a dramatic reading of a Psalm that spoke of the power, glory and majesty of our God.

March 6, 2008

Only Thou, Oh Lord....

"...are a shield around me; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head. To the Lord I cry aloud, and he answers me from his holy hill." Psalm 3:3-4

This has been a meaningful scripture this week and I've meditated on it quite a bit as the days have progressed. Listen to it in song from one of my favorite choirs of all time.

30. that He truly is my shield and that I have nothing to fear

31. new words, phrases and sayings from my two-yr old...too cute

32. anticipation of a new book; can't wait to start reading (it's motivation to finish some other books)

33. a peaceful nap this afternoon; quick, but peaceful

Recipe Swap

See this site for a great selection of's swap time!

Our family really likes this recipe:

Easy Enchiladas

12 corn or flour tortillas
4 boneless chicken breasts, cooked
one can cream of chicken
one can cream of mushroom
1 cup sour cream
1-2 small cans chopped green chilis
topping: 1 cup sour cream, 1 cup moz. cheese

Oven at 350 degrees

Cut up chicken into chunks (I shread ours with a fork) and mix with cream of chicken & mushroom, sour cream and chilis. Lightly spread oil on bottom and sides of a glass baking dish (9x13 usually). Begin layering with 4 tortillas and then the filling. Repeat. End with the last 4 tortillas on top. For the topping, spread the one cup of sour cream on torillas and then sprinkle moz. cheese. Cover with foil and bake 45 minutes. Serves 6.

I'll usually serve this with a side of black beans sauteed in some oil and minced garlic.


March 3, 2008

New Recipes

swap blogpost

Join in on the fun and contribute to a recipe swap this Thursday. All details here at this blog. I'm still thinking on which one I'll submit.

I've been in a bit of a cooking slump lately, mainly a grocery shopping slump! It's time for Spring and farmer's markets and roadside stands, which our area is very famous for. Until then I'll just plod along. Here is an excellent and delish pizza dish we enjoyed recently.

Deluxe Turkey Club Pizza

1 can refrig. pizza crust
1/4 cup mayo
1 tsp lemon zest (I have substituted lemon juice in a pinch)
1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
1 Tbsp thinly sliced fresh basil (yep, I've used dried)
4 oz. deli turkey breast, cut into 1 inch strips
6 strips bacon, cooked & crumbled
2 small plum tomatoes
1/2 cup shredded swiss cheese

Preheat oven to 425. Unroll dough and place on 13 inch pan; bake 10-12 minutes until light brown. Combine mayo & zest in small bowl; spread over crust. Top w/monterey jack cheese, basil, turkey, bacon and tomatoes. Sprinkle swiss cheese on top. Bake 7-9 minutes or until crust is golden brown.


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The girls finally had enough good weather to pull out the goodies from the garage! Come on Spring!
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