Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Josiah's First Fish

Whew! Seems like it has been getting busy around here with fun, fun and more fun! Josiah was begging to go fishing the other day, so we finally took our little rowboat out to the local lake. Josiah caught his first fish all by himself! He was so excited!

He stole my fishing hat, LOL!

Hailey was his lovely assistant.

We let the fish trail behind the boat to keep them fresh while we fished and Hailey couldn't get enough of watching and touching them.
The beautiful lake.

We tease Michael that he is our human trolling motor. He's awesome!

Hailey standing proud with the catch of the day. Josiah managed to catch 3 fish, while the rest of us caught nothin'. He wanted to stay until we caught 4 fish (one for each of us), but had to go home. 
For Father's Day, Michael wanted to take the family out to the local children's ATV park to test the Odyssey and dirt bike before we took them out of town to ride. Glad we did, because we found a few kinks that needed to be worked out. The frame broke on the Odyssey, but Michael was able to weld it up when we got home. We rode around the track a few times with Josiah, then we let him go. He did really well and didn't run into anything or anybody. It is a challenging track for kids and we were happy with how safely he was driving it. He had a great time!

Michael on the dirt bike he rebuilt. He loves this bike! I got to take it for a spin, too. It has some pep to it and you can do a wheelie very easily, so you gotta be careful. Glad we were able to do something fun for Father's Day that we could all enjoy as a family.

Now back to the garden!

God Bless,
Jackie

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Homeschooling With Purpose



Here is a cute video of my son playing his "guitar" (really a cookie cooling rack) to the song "God is Watching over You". He learned the song in AWANA last year and loves it. While my son is far from perfect, I'm so delighted to see him continuing to move towards the things of the Lord. 

After reading this awesome post at Tina's blog, "A Delightful Inheritance", I was inspired to ask my son if he wanted to do a brainstorming session with me. I wanted to find out what he would like to learn more about during the next homeschooling year and emphasize those things, in and around the reading, writing and arithmetic. Tina's older daughter suggested in her post, to asked the child to pray for God's guidance before we started the brainstorming session about what he thought God's purposes might be for his life, and how he could move forward, knowing what they are.

Here was Josiah's list:

*Creation Science:
-Sea Life
-Fibonacci numbers  ( he learned about them from the Jonathon Park audio CD adventure set)

* Gun Safety

*Bible
- It isn't enough for me to read it chapter by chapter. He wants to read it with me, taking turns reading the verses.
-Scripture memorization: 
He wants to memorize the Book of James with me. At first he didn't think he was capable, just like I didn't. But I told him the story of how my friend challenged my faulty thinking when I told her I couldn't do it. She told me I was right, I couldn't do it, but the Holy Spirit living in me could. She said I needed to ask for the Holy Spirit's help and because we know hiding God's Word in our heart IS His will, He would help me memorize the Book of James. I've memorize 25 verses so far with the help of the Holy Spirit! Josiah got excited and we started working on it that day. It is so important to memorize scripture because we never know when we may be without our bible and really need the lifeline of the Word!

Josiah and I can clash quite often because of our very similar personalities, but slowly I'm learning what makes him tick and how to help direct all that passion. I have to lean on God's wisdom and guidance every day. When I don't, I always fall flat on my face, which can be quite often some weeks! I'm so grateful his heart is sensitive to the things of Lord, even though he is a sinner just like me. 

I have to keep remembering he is on the assembly line. God is adding things to him daily as he slowly gains the knowledge and skills to be the person God wants him to be. I have to remind myself often not to expect him to be perfect. He wasn't born perfect, therefore my job isn't to keep him perfect. My job is to teach him to walk in the ways of Jesus and show him as best I can, through how I deal with MY imperfections, the reason he needs the help of Jesus. I'm grateful he understands this better than I did at his age! He sees my shortcomings, and at times, my hypocrisy.  The best thing I can do is keep apologizing when I mess up and show him I am forgiven, then keep going. Even though I sin, I can still walk in victory, with my head held high, without shame and condemnation when I bring my sins to the feet of Jesus. Showing our confidence in who we are in Christ speaks volumes to our children!

I can hardly wait to see how God is going to use all this passion exuding from Josiah. I know He will do great things through Josiah's strengths as well as his weaknesses. It is such a fun age. I love seeing his personality and preferences developing. I love seeing glimpses of who he will become. 

"God, keep me from being a stumbling block to my son! Keep giving me your wisdom as I raise him with your purposes in mind. Let me NEVER lose sight of that! In Your Mighty Name, Amen!" 

God Bless,
Jackie

Friday, June 15, 2012

Antique French Fry Cutter

I found this antique French Fry Cutter at a yard sale the other day. At first, it took a minute for me to figure out what it was.  It was so cheap, I just had to buy it, and I've been having fun with it every since!

Not only have I made French fries coated in garlic, onion and Cajun sea salt fried in coconut oil, but these potatoes are fun in a breakfast hash, too. 

I'm trying to be really careful about what I buy at yard sales this summer, so we don't have move any more things than necessary when the house sells. Speaking of the house, we haven't had many showings yet, but hope it will pick up by the end of the summer. It is all in God's timing! 

God Bless,
Jackie

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Miracle Friends

This is my friend and bridesmaid, Amy. We don't get to see each other often, in fact, it had been eight years since we last visited in person. So much has happened in those years. A year and a half ago, they found out their only son (just turning seven years old at the time) had cancer. Even though I hadn't met Mason, I had such an overwhelming desire to pray him and his family through their terrible situation. My children joined in. Thousands of people around the world, including many of you, prayed for this young man and he is currently a walking miracle. God is so good!

It was so neat that our children were finally able to meet the boy they had been praying for and see how God had healed him. It was like the redhead club! Seems like there is always an instant connection when it comes to redheads, LOL. Even though Mason is still struggling with nerve damage to his foot, it isn't stopping him from riding his bike, playing ball and wrestling. His attitude is amazing! We can all learn from not only Mason, but his awesome parents, too, who have endured so much uncertainty.

By the end of the visit, I think both boys were lamenting the fact that they lived so far away. We had a lovely dinner and a wonderful visit. We will continue to pray Mason stays cancer free and God will completely heal the nerve damage in his leg/foot. Thanks again to all of you who have prayed for this young man all last year. I wanted to show you how great he is doing!

God Bless,
Jackie

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Odyssey

My BIL, had this Odyssey stored at my in-laws for quite some time and Michael asked him if we could use if he got it fixed up. Well for very little money, Michael, being the handy guy that is, got it going and the tires fixed and all that pretty quickly. We thought it would be safer than a four wheeler as Josiah is getting old enough to drive his own off-road vehicle. I love the idea of a seat belt, roll cage of of course a helmet! Plus, the engine is only 6 hp, so he can't get going too fast. We drove it around the backyard so much that we finally had to stop because it was making a track, LOL.  Hailey, our speed demon, just yells, "Faster, faster!"   

Here is Hailey, with Michael's welding helmet on, pretending like she is fixing the steering linkage. 

I wish I would have taken a video of this so you could hear her welding noises. It was too cute! Love her red hair sticking out from the back of the helmet. Michael just thought it was the bomb. Hailey loves helping her dad way more than her brother. I think it is great! Not only does it provide bonding time for them, but she'll know basic mechanical skills when she gets on her own someday. I'm so grateful for a husband who is such a great teacher!

God Bless,
Jackie

Friday, June 8, 2012

Just 1 Click Away - The Importance of An Internet Filter



I found this poignant video on Josh McDowell's website http://www.just1clickaway.org/ after our family has recently had a brush with internet pornography. My sister's family has been torn apart by it and I have other friends whose families are on the brink of divorce because of it. Warning! This video is not for small children to view, but absolutely appropriate for adults.  

As parents, we can no longer afford to have our heads buried in the sand because of this secret issue. Christians need to start confessing one to another regarding their use of this filth. It starts with being honest about our sins and temptations, whether you are a pastor or a layperson. Whether you are a child or an adult. Whether you are a man or woman. Satan is using pornography to try to render the Church ineffective. Are we simply going to stand by and watch this happen because it seems too great a battle to fight or we are simply too embarrassed to talk about how it has effected us? Our God is so much bigger than that! We can trample on the face of Satan when we start being honest with one another and then take steps to protect ourselves and our loved ones. 

You can think you have self control over this issue, but that will bite you in the end. We need to be swallowing our pride and asking for accountability from one another, no matter how strong you might think you are. That is what the Church is for! Lets render Satan ineffective and let God begin to do the work through us that He destined for us to do as He was knitting us together in our mother's wombs. Wake up Church! If this issue hasn't already effected you, I can promise you it will in the future. You will be touched by it, whether it be in your own family or your close friends. How are you going to prepare and protect yourself and your loved ones? 

1. Pray God will reveal anything that has already happened or is happening. Again, go to Josh McDowell's website for signs of addiction and resources that bring hope.

2. Make yourself accountable to someone who is not your spouse. Seek that safe person out!

3. Get an internet filter (we use Safe Eyes)

4. For more info on ways you can protect your family you can visit my sister's blog and read her post about "18 Ways You Can Be Proactive About Protecting Your Child From Porn"

My passion for this issue is growing! I'm praying revival for the Church that is predicted to happen after the huge "falling away". That revival will be yet another sign that Jesus is close to returning for His people. 

"Come, Lord Jesus! Please come quickly and rescue Your people from our own self-destruction as well as the destruction imposed upon us by others! Send us the revival You promised us in Your Word. Let us not just be hearers of the Word but doers!

In Your Mighty and Sovereign Name,
Amen!"

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Cowboy Caviar Recipe


I'm not a big salsa fan, but I loved this! It was like a really hearty salsa but it can be used for on so many things. This recipe made quite a bit. The first day I simply served it with tortilla chips. For breakfast the next day, I served it on top of scrambled eggs with cheese. The next day I had enough leftovers to make taco salads. The kids loved it, too and it was super easy to make.

Cowboy Caviar Recipe:
2 cups black-eyed peas (I used pre-cooked beans from my freezer, thawed of course, can use canned)
2 cups black beans
2 cups sweet corn (canned or I preferred thawed out frozen corn)
4 Roma tomatoes, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 avacados, chopped
2/3 c sliced green onions
2/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
3 to 4 Tbl red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp hot sauce (more if you want it spicier)
1 1/2 tsp olive oil
1/8 tsp black pepper
2 tsp sea salt (or to taste)

In medium bowl combine all ingredients and mix well. Serve with tortilla chips if you'd like. Yummy to eat by itself or on a salad.

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