Wednesday, April 14, 2010

May Be My Last Post for Awhile

We are moving--finally! We are to move into our new house this Saturday. We close with the lawyer's office on Friday and have rented a moving truck for Saturday. As excited as I am, we will not be continuing to have internet service until I get a feel for our new budget and know about what we are spending on things like electric and water. Maybe eventually, will will sign up for internet again, but not for a while. I'll probably have my mom or someone put up photos of the new baby, when he comes, and perhaps even do an article by proxy, but there won't be much new stuff happening here for awhile.
If I have time, I may post once more before Friday, but only if I have time, and I have a lot to do tomorrow.
Good bye all for now!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Wouldn't It Be Refreshing?

I think it would be refreshing if we as a nation were to vote some people into different offices that were NOT lawyers, politicians, or rich celebrities. Could you all imagine if the President had been a plumber?? Or a construction worker?? Or (gasp) a farmer? And he and his sweet family of three or four children in the White House, with his wife, who isn't a high powered attorney or business executive, but simply a mother?? A family who has been poor. A family who has had to put things back on the store shelves because they couldn't afford it(and don't charge it). A family who isn't in debt up to their eyeballs.
Other officials in the government who refuse to take the government pension plan, but after their term in office go back to being a plumber, a construction worker, or farmer...who drive their own vehicles to work (not taxpayer funded BMWs), and stay in econo-lodge hotels, and rent little four cylinder cars when they have to travel on public expense, not ones who stay in pent-house suites, and use political party money or public moneys to fund lavish dinners, and ammoral entertainments.
Could you imagine a president who eats dinner with his family that his wife cooked? And clothes that his wife washed and ironed??(bought from JCPenny and not Armani??).
I really think that so many of our elected officials are just not in touch with reality. They have these Harvard law degrees, and then work for firms that make huge sums of money, and then have images to keep up etc. I think that over the years these kinds of people in our government offices have made it so hard and so intimidating to run for office that unless you are rich or have a Harvard law degree, you don't want to run, because they have made the process so confusing to understand. The average good guy with common sense and limited money and resources has no chance.
I still think it would be refreshing.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Weeds Sprout By Default

We all know the familiar parable of the sower. It teaches good things about the condition of our hearts and whether or not we are willing to receive the seed that God casts into our lives. We must decide whether we are hard ground, shallow stony ground, or if we are good soil.
It is easy for me, however, to forget that a plowed, prepared field isn't existing in a vacuum. That the soil of our lives, of my life, won't sit there and wait in pristine condition for me to make up my mind. As a family, we are particular about not letting harmful information into our household. We don't have cable, at this point, we don't even own a tv. We limit our magazine consumption to things like World and Focus on the Family.
However, even though guarding our minds and hearts from evil or contiminating ideas or images is a good thing, it's not enough. The human nature that still exists in these fallen bodies of ours is plenty evil enough to encourage the growth of weeds in our lives. We don't have to encourage things like selfishness, vanity, greed, jealousy etc to grow. They will grow by default. In gardening or farming, what is the only way to keep weeds from overtaking the garden?? To plow and harrow the soil thoroughly, and quickly get the good seed in the ground for germination. Then, to cultivate and pluck out the weeds while the fruitful plants are getting a foothold. Only then can the gardener be less vigilant in his destruction of weeds--after the good seed is rooted and grounded in the good soil. And even then, It is wise to spend a little time regularly looking for weeds that sneak up when we aren't looking--or for weeds that perhaps took over a section that was thinly seeded.
It can be very easy for me to let days go by without ensuring that the good seed of God's Word is being planted in both my life and the lives of my children. It is easy to think that the vigilance we take in guarding our home from bad influence is enough--especially when times are busy, chaotic, or stressful. But weeds grow by default. If no care is taken to plant and cultivate the good seed, weeds inevitably take over. The good soil will not lay there waiting forever in pristine planting condition. We cannot take our grand ole time deciding that later is a good time to start planting. If we don't plant, we'll need to plow all over again before too long.

Monday, April 5, 2010

A Thought On Our Government

The only thought I have to express at this moment about the individuals who have been elected to represent us in our government, is this:

Would anyone else like to see all of them removed from Washington??

Friday, April 2, 2010

Meal Times

I haven't been terribly inspired with any particular topics to post about lately, but today, my mom and I talked a little about table manners and teaching children to eat like civilized people at the table. For all my faults as a mother, this is one area, where hubby and I are pretty strict, and our children, I think, have benefitted from it. It is so distracting to try to eat with small children when they are up and down out of their chairs, play with their food, chatter incessantly, or are unnecessarily demanding, and so on.
We enforce some basic rules. We don't allow playing at the table, and we define playing pretty strictly. We have begun instructing our boys to sit at the table with their hands under the table, folded, and having our 21 month old at the table with us has helped our older two, because they have the "job" of teaching him, so they set the example for him.
Next, no getting down from the table without permission or a good reason. This means if you leave your chair for any reason other than going to the bathroom, or have need like a tissue(cause you sneezed), you are dismissed from the meal. It doesn't matter if you have only taken three bites, or if you haven't been served yet. You get down for a superficial reason, and you are done.
My dear husband has also set a great example for my boys about being thankful for the meal. He always thanks me for cooking, tells me it's good(even if I think it could be improved) and the boys follow suit. I have even had my picky eater choking over something he didn't want to eat say,"thank you for this food, mommy."
We also don't allow much for fussiness. I don't cook for my children's tastes. I just cook. They adjust. If I like onions or zucchini, I put them in. The only thing I don't tend to put in is spicy seasoning(the hot kind). We used to make them see an offending food again, but our picky one is so stubborn, he would get down from the table and go three full meals seeing the same thing over and over. By the next morning, he was so sick from not eating he would frequently heave anything he did eat(even if it was something else). So we now make him sit there til it's gone--and he has sat four or five hours taking one bit every twenty minutes. He also doesn't get anything that the rest of us are having(a snack..).
We also insist on booster seats, until they can comfortably reach the table. I think this saves on a lot of messes and spilled drinks. It doesn't matter if they don't want to sit in the booster seat. Until we gauge they can manage in a plain chair, they will. If they refuse, they don't have to eat. Simple as that.
Believe me, it can be very difficult to enforce these rules consistently, and sometimes you feel like an ogre doing so, but eventually, when they see you mean it, they stop pushing the boundaries and begin to toe the line.
We do extend grace to them, in that we don't punish for spilling a drink(as long as they weren't playing), we allow small portions for a dish they don't care for, and let them choose certain things, like ketchup on eggs(yuck!), and butter or gravy on their potatoes. We also try to enforce these rules in a calm manner and tone of voice. They know we mean business, but we try not to get worked up over it.
Overall, I am quite happy with the manners my children display at the family table. They mostly eat everything we put before them, they are polite and considerate, and mostly thankful for what they receive. It's uphill work at times, but soooo worth it!! For more ideas on this topic, Kelly Crawford at had a great article on the importance of table ettiquette in training children(older post--few weeks ago).