A Lot Horrible…and A Little Good…

I am sitting with a warm cup of coffee and listening to Christmas music as my boys build wooden blocks on the floor.

Yes, I know it’s bit early for Christmas music…but I just can’t help myself.

I know that some are saddened that the hot weather has passed, but I have to say that I absolutely love this time of year.

The chill in the air, the coziness I feel in a warm sweater and baking seems so much more appropriate than in the summer.

I think warm fresh bread tastes better in the Fall and Winter.

Yesterday my five-year old son was asking to try a sip of my warm decaf-coffee. I humored him and waited for the response I’d get after he tried it.

He looked very thoughtful for a moment and said…“Well mommy…It’s a lot horrible…and a little good”. He got me thinking, as often my boys do with light bulb moments that remind me check in with my personal thought life.

It reminded me that far to often I allow one negative thing in my twenty-four hour days to dictate how my whole day is viewed.

The day can be going beautifully and there can be a terrible smudge that appears…a child misbehaving..an argument between brothers…so many good things can occur in a day….but then my positive view the day becomes destroyed. Just one minute is all it takes. Homeschooling has been a tremendous blessing, but there are those moments when you wish the school bus would come pick them all up. ( In a moment of frustration.)

Do you ever have this happen? Frustration attempts to take hold of your day…plowing through even  the most positive of days. Just that one event or moment takes charge of your attitude toward the rest of your day.

I have in fact been working on this in my heart and my head. Praying God would make me aware of my attitude and how I view the very breath He gave me…each second…not to neglect joy that He provides in my life, even when ugliness occurs.

So my goal this week is to make a habit of happiness.

When the things that make my day dark occur…I want to get through them and come out the other side still thankful and appreciative of the day, regardless of its bumps and pot holes that attempt to flatten my tires and take me off my path.

Be encouraged in moments like these.We can pass through the dark clouds and return to the bright day of sunshine first with the help and strength of the Lord, and our willingness to be aware and be prepared..to be proactive about the outcome of our attitude.

A Full Plate…

A rush of excitement…the joy of
service…the pleasure of creativity…the satisfaction of a completed task…a job well done…I so enjoy these feelings and stirs of emotion that I receive when a opportunity arrises that I

may use my gifts for the Lord . Although fulfillment comes from these times, I find myself realizing I’m overcommiting myself beyond my capability or calendar.

As a Stay at home Mother and Homeschooling parent it is easy to over commit very quickly. It seems that since I am at home most of the time that it should be possible to do many other things. My heart jumps for joy when I get the chance to help out in a creative fashion, or offer my time in some helpful way. I find myself creating projects for myself to do when really the time isn’t available, I just desire to do them. Unfortunately, that’s when the truly important areas of focus start to blur and I discover I’m not super woman. It isn’t possible or practical to pile on more projects or commitments than humanly possible. Not only that, my home and family suffer when my heart isn’t beating in their direction and my brain waves are all over the map.

What I have come to realize in the past few weeks is the my life had become similar to a buffet line…

A large plate…so many wonderful food choices…so hard to choose….so I end up filling my plate completely and half way through eating my meal I discover the challenge is far more than I can conquer. My eyes were far larger than my stomach…

As it goes with my life…I see a chance to do something…too many somethings…And what comes with that is that everything gets half done…and possibly with an exhausted and frustrated attitude…

What kind of lesson am I teaching my boys if I can’t handle my daily schedule and those extras I add into it? I want them to learn how to make good choices and base those choices on what is being done for the Lord, and not what is for self.

Do you ever find yourself running back and forth between commitments on fast forward.

It’s difficult for one’s heart to find an established place in a life that is full of filler … things..activity and motion that provide nothing more than busyness and a tiresome mind.
Take time to weed the garden of your mind. Establish what you can and can’t do…and abide by the guidelines which you have prepared for decision making. Boundaries are healthy in life as a whole.

Pray that the Lord will make clear what he has created you to do and that He will make known the tasks that He has called you to.

Rest in the thought that your plate can be cleaned completely if need be…there are those times that a clean empty plate may be necessary.

I’m looking forward to spending time in the areas I’ve been called to and wait on the Lord’s direction so that I know where to follow Him with each step I take.

No more over flowing and impossible to finish plate for me. If it’s what the Lord commands of me, it won’t be impossible. If it’s not His plan for me, it won’t be on my plate. I pray He will teach me to commit only to what He wants for me and this life He’s created.

Chicken ‘n’ Dumplings Anyone?

This is my revised version of the “Cracker Barrel Chicken ‘n’ Dumplings recipe:

We have fallen in love with this meal and I tend to make it on days such as this….

cold and snowy ones…I thought I’d share some comfort food with you…

The Soup

  • 4 chicken breasts, because I prefer white meat or a 3-6 lb frying chicken or rotisserie
  •  (whichever you prefer)
  • 2 quarts water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper (I use coarse ground and double it)
  • 2- 32oz of chicken broth

The Dumplings

My boys love to pour the wheat berries into the mill…

nice fresh flour…it makes food taste so good…

2 cups freshly milled hard white flour (or all-purpose)

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

3 tbsp butter

Directions:

*I boil my chicken breast first than cut it into pieces.

*Add  2 containers (32 oz) of chicken broth to the
2 quarts of water that was used to boil the chicken
*Bring the broth to a boil and add pepper.
*In the meantime,combine the flour, baking soda,
and salt in a mixing bowl. Cut in the shortening.
*Add the buttermilk, stirring with a fork until moistened.
Mix well till dough comes together in a ball formation.
*Lay the dough out on a floured surface.
 Sometimes I add a little extra flour to the dough if it feels too sticky.
Knead the dough 4 to 5 times ,
 lay out dough so it’s about 1/2 inch thick and then cut into squares
 (some people like to pinch of pieces instead, but I like the texture
and size better when their cut).
Reduce the heat to medium-low,drop in and cook for about 8 to 10 minutes,
 stirring occasionally.
I recommend adding a little more salt and pepper after the dumplings are done.
Just do a quick taste test and see if it’s needed.
~Just a little note…some days I like to double my dumpling recipe…
I love dumplings…
so somedays I want more…I did today…I’m a carboholic,
what can I say….
*After around 10 minutes turn off pot,
give about 10 minutes to cool before serving…
then Enjoy!
My kitchen is a mess, but I am looking forward to dinner…
I hope you are too! It’s totally worth it!
 

Homespun…And Happy…

I am so excited to share with you something I accomplished this week.I have desperately wanted to learn how to quilt. Finally I did, and here it is! I wanted to show it to you. I am so happy with my new home made homespun rag quilt.

In the past few months there came about a opportunity in our homeschool co-op for mothers to also participate in an elective offered to the high school girls. Another homeschooling mother (a precious friend of mine, you know who you are), also took the class.

It was a fantastic chance to do something I’ve always wanted and I am so thankful for that the opportunity arose for me to be challenged in that way.

Here is a link to instructions on how to make a rag quilt.

http://www.joann.com/homespun-ragged-quilt/xprd367540/?_requestid=718060

I hope you take advantage

of any chance you get to may something with your hands.

It is so rewarding to stand back and see the outcome of your hard work.

Is there anything you’ve always wanted to learn to make?

What is it? I hope that you get the chance to learn something new.

It’s so exciting!

Prepare a Warm Welcome…

Before guests come, the floor is vacuumed, house dusted, the bathrooms cleaned, and the random household items and piles laying about are picked up and removed from sight. I love to prepare for special guests to come to our home. I want it to be a nice experience.

As I think on this I am reminded of something often forgotten.

Our families.

Do we keep our homes prepared nicely for our children to enjoy? Fresh clean sheets to sleep on?

An orderly home with low visible mess?

Do we put as much effort in our home for our families as we do for those special guests?

Are we teaching our children through our actions the importance of taking care of what we have, being a good steward daily of the things we’ve been blessed with?

Do we get excited about the moment our  husbands walk through the door at the end of a

very long day?

Will he feel welcomed into a warm environment?

Are things picked up?

Do they walk into a comfortable and clean home?
I ask you these questions because I ask them of myself.

Why is it so important to prepare and give our greatest for others when the ones we love the most

get the crumbs?

I feel it is so important to show our family that we love and appreciate them with gifts of service.

Letting them know that they are worth it.

Are your families getting your leftovers? Are you trying to give to others in service (which is fantastic), but leaving your family in the dust? Let’s not forget that the everyday things in our lives matter more than we know.

Happy Housekeeping!

Today I wanted to share something for one of my new favorite blogs!

The Ministry of the Time Warp Wife! http://www.time-warp-wife.blogspot.com/

Darlene Schacht has gone above and beyond the call of duty as a blogger!
Her site is informative, interesting and Spiritually uplifting.
I love her Bible studies as well as her encouragement about child rearing and house cleaning.

Here is her housekeeping schedule that I personally have printed out and place on my refrigerator.
It has been very helpful to me as I attempt to balance a very busy life of Homeschooling, Home Care and so much more.

Go to her website and you too can print out this schedule if you would like!

http://time-warp-wife.blogspot.com/2010/09/home-maintenance-schedule.html

Happy Housekeeping Friends!