Friday, December 19, 2008

Do everything without complaining

Yesterday I was listening to a message on the radio. As a side note, the preacher touched on complaining. He said that people who complain are people who do not understand the sovereignty of God. He used Joseph in the OT as an example. His brothers sold him into slavery and while in Egypt he spent years in prison after being wrongfully accused. Yet, he is never seen taking revenge nor complaining about his circumstances.

I've been contemplating the preacher's view of the sovereignty of God. Ultimately, God knows what's happening in our lives and why. He knows that ALL things work together for the good to them that love God. I really needed to hear this. I'm always trying to teach the kids not to complain, since they whine at the drop of a hat (Seth literally would!).

Yet, I wonder how different their attitudes would be if I were a better example. I try to imagine myself not rolling my eyes every time the kids call my name, because they want something. What would it be like if I didn't yell at them when a drink was spilled? Couldn't I just graciously accept the spilled drink instead of complaining through my upset attitude? Even discipline would be so different. Usually I get so frustrated when they disobey. I frequently remind them that they "never obey". That doesn't seem like a complaint free behavior. Oh, and housework... I can't help but hang that one over their heads. Complaining about the mountain of laundry and sinkful of dishes, the toys all over the place and my inability to keep up with it all comes through on a regular basis. Imagine if I could just grasp the concept of the sovereignty of God during those daily moments. I guess I have a lot to learn!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Does this look like the face of a scientist to you?
A mad scientist perhaps, but a scientist (in the making) none the less. Ever since Tabitha's science fair, Seth has been talking about projects quite frequently. I didn't realize how thoughtful his little mind can be until one day...

I was exhausted and I needed to sleep. I dozed off on the couch knowing full well that Seth was making a mess. He kept talking about his project and I knew there was water involved. When I woke up I asked him to clean up his mess. I was in no mood to find out more about his project.
The next day, however, I remembered and so I asked him what exactly he did the day before. He brought me the white piece of chalk and told me that this piece was the only one that didn't change color. His experiment: he kept filling up a little play teacup with water then individually dipped each piece of chalk in. He noted whether the water changed color or if the chalk changed color. All of them did, except for the white piece and I believe all of them made bubbles. After each "test" Patricia (I suppose she was the lab assistant) graciously dumped the cup of water on the table.
I must say that I was quite impressed with his science abilities. Science is not one of Tabitha's strong points, so it's nice to start seeing areas that Seth is better at.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Having four kids ages five and under sounds like a lot.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Tabitha's first word

Yesterday something finally clicked with Tabitha in her endeavor to read. I have tried over and over to teach her to sound out words. Well, the concept sunk in at long last. She was able to totally sound out a word without any help from me. I chuckle at the word she chose: smack.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Pilgrims and Indians

The following conversation took place during lunch yesterday:

Me: So, Tabitha, at school did you learn about pilgrims?
Tabitha: Yes.
Me: And who else?
Tabitha: Indians! 
Me: Ahh. And are these Indians from India?
Tabitha: Yes.

This was followed by a half an hour dissertation from mommy that included, but is not limited to: how the peach people killed a lot of the native Americans and made them move; why Mexicans are tan, but Cubans are not; and why the land sections, called reserves, don't have to follow all the laws of America. The kids kept asking, "then what happened?!" I'm glad they love to learn, but I know most of this goes right over their heads.

"You are all one in Christ Jesus." Galatians 3:28

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Picture post

Not a very good picture, I realize, but it was our first snow. It snowed for about a half an hour and about 30 minutes later it melted.

My big eyed Patricia.

Tabitha with her "sea turtles" science fair project. 

Seth trying to do an angry face. No, he never really could make one. Patricia loves to give us her angry face. She'll say, "Seth, Seth" (all smiles) until he looks, then she gives him the angry face. I couldn't get her on camera, because she insisted on saying, "cheese". But have no fear (or maybe you should), because the last picture, we have Tabitha demonstrating to Patricia how she should give an angry face.

What do you think? Are you running the other way? Seconds before and after she was laughing.

Monday, November 10, 2008

My thoughts

"The city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof." Revelation 21:23

This verse speaks of heaven. Imagine how bright heaven will be and the only light will be from the Lamb, Jesus Christ Himself. I think of this passage sometimes on sunny days. I am convinced that the Lord gives us plenty of symbols in our day to day lives to try and understand heavenly concepts.

Daytime is like heaven. The sun is so bright you can't even look at it without damaging your eyes. So, if daytime is like heaven, then what is nighttime like? Well, when we see the moon, it's not actually light from the moon, rather it is reflecting the sun's light. I imagine nighttime to be earth, which is dark with sin. The moon is Christ's presence on earth. Sometimes it's more visible than others (full moon verses crescent moon). An amazing thing for me to ponder is the stars. Jesus Christ, speaking to His disciples, said, "you are the light of the world." Imagine how dark the night sky would be without stars? 

Well, I think the Bible gives us a glimpse of what it will be like. One day Christ Jesus will come back to the earth and bring all believers with Him back to heaven, more commonly referred to as the rapture. Many, many Christians look forward to that day. So, according to my thought process, it will be like nighttime without the moon or stars. Listen to these verses in Amos: " 'Behold, the days come,' says the Lord God, 'that I will send a famine on the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord. They shall wander from sea to sea and from north to east; they shall run to and fro, seeking the Word of the Lord, but shall not find it.' " Chapter 8 verse 11, 12

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Nasi Goreng

This week, for Happy to be at Home's Scrumptious Sunday Swap I wanted to do a main dish.

First let me give a little background on the Nasi Goreng that our family has grown to love. I was first introduced to this dish through my best friend, Hanneke. She is a Dutch immigrant to Canada. Apparently, at some point in history, the Dutch had colonized Indonesia. In the process they learned some of their foods. Hanneke's mom makes this dish with a spice packet. I was disappointed to find that they don't sell the spice packet in US grocery stores. It made my day to find the recipe in my "More with Less" cookbook. It is just as good as I remember. 

Ok, enough talking, here is the recipe:

Cook 2 cups of rice according to their package directions.

Saute 2 large onions until golden brown in 3 tbs vegetable oil.

Add and saute for one minute:
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp lemon grass (specialty spice)
1 1/4 tsp salt
Tabasco or crushed red pepper to taste

Meanwhile brown a pound of ground meat.

Add cooked rice and sauteed meat to spice mixture. Saute over low heat, stirring occasionally, to blend flavors (about 10 minutes).
Beat with a fork:
3 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
dash pepper
You can fry the egg in a separate pan in several thin layers, turning each layer once and rolling each as you take it from the skillet. Cut into strips and add to rice mix. However, I tend to not want to dirty another dish, so I add the eggs directly to the rice and mix well over low heat until it's cooked through.


"Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels. Hebrews 13:2

Thursday, November 6, 2008

True citizenship

"I can't wait to meet Obama and McCain!" That's what the kids were saying as we walked to the voting location. I chuckled to myself as I tried explaining to them that we will probably NEVER meet them. Their innocence got me thinking about the truth of that. Even if by some slim chance, I get to meet the president one day, I will probably not be known very well by him.

YET, I am a part of a kingdom and the King not only knows my name, but He knows me more intimately than I know myself. The Bible says that if you are a Christian, your citizenship is in heaven. The Lord Jesus is referred to as the King of glory four times in Psalm 24. It has given me such joy over the past couple of days to realize how important I am to my King. 

While on earth, I will obey those who have the rule over me and realize that the king's heart is in the hand of the Lord. But I am looking forward to the day when I will not be "just a citizen" of a kingdom, but an integral part of it.

"Who is the King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle." Psalm 24:8

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Something all his own

Today, Seth had his first ice skating lesson. He's in an 8 week course. Seth reacted in an unexpected way, which I'll touch on later.

The kids were only on the ice for about 10 minutes. They came on the ice sitting down and had to try to stand up. Seth is here in his red coat. He stared at this girl, whose name happens to be Michelle, most of the time. She cried the whole time she was out there. I think Seth was confused, maybe wanted to help her, but didn't know exactly what he could do.
He fell a couple of times, but he didn't get discouraged by it.
At the end, when everyone was getting off of the ice Seth stood there and waited. As soon as they got him off the rink he kept saying to us, "but I didn't get to skate." Poor kid, I tried explaining to him that he has to learn how to stand first and the skating will eventually come.
Seth's unexpected response came on our way to the car. Tabitha kept saying how much she wanted to learn. Enoch even said he'd like to take a few lessons. Seth became quite adamant that no one else was going to learn ice skating. In the car, Tabitha kept going on with how she was going to learn. Seth even got angry and shouted "NO!" at her. Later I asked him if his baby brother will be allowed to learn when he's old enough. Seth smiled ever so slightly and shook his head yes. I realized that he just wanted to have his own little thing without his sister getting involved. 

Tabitha does have her own little thing. Sure, she may not practice as much as she should, but she'll eventually get there. She is in an Irish dance class. I insist that she stays with it throughout this year and then next year she can decide if she wants to do something different. Whenever she goes, she enjoys herself, but throughout the week she tends to lose interest.

"Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity." Ephesians 6:24

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A mom's perspective

At night when I'm putting the kids to bed, I usually tell them a Bible story. Last night's story was the wedding at Cana. I realized how my take on the account has changed over the years. For those of you who don't know this passage, it tells of the Lord Jesus' first miracle. He was at a wedding and He changed water into wine.

Well, when I was explaining things to the kids my emphasis was a little different. I really focused on the servants who were obedient without questioning the Lord about anything. First the Lord asked them to fill the waterpots with water. They didn't ask why or complain, they just filled the waterpots. And when I say they filled the waterpots, that's not an exaggeration, they filled it to the brims.

Next the Lord Jesus asked them to take some of that same drink and serve it to the governor of the wedding. Can you imagine? They knew that it was only water in the pots, yet they obeyed. They didn't resist even though they could've had severe consequences from the "master of the wedding" as I referred to him as. 

I ended by telling them how the governor thought this was the best wine. Not only did the Lord change the water into wine, but it was better wine than normal.

Obedience was what I wanted to stress to my children. I wanted them to realize how important it is to obey at times without questioning. After they quieted down I was thinking the story over and realizing how much I could learn from that same lesson. How often do I obey without kicking and screaming? I often find myself complaining about doing what I know needs to be done. I sure am glad I have kids to teach me these things. :)

Monday, October 20, 2008

No school today!

Tabitha has already missed her fair share of school considering how early on in the year we are. However, today I didn't even think twice about keeping her home. She really only started getting symptoms yesterday, but they came in quite rapidly. Tabitha maintained a high fever beginning in the evening and lasting through the night. Her cough was a little more labored than normal and she just wasn't herself. Even her breathing seemed to be a bit difficult while she was sleeping.

The doctor listened to her lungs for quite a while and couldn't hear anything out of the normal. She said her heart rate was faster than normal and her breathing was a little on the quicker side, so she ordered her to get a chest X-ray anyway. I'm glad she did, because it turns out that she does have a small bout of pneumonia. 

A bit of info on the illness: it's an inflammation of the lungs. Tabitha's happened to be on her lower right lung. It can be either a bacterial or viral infection or even from a physical injury among other things. Its generally treated with antibiotics. There is usually always coughing and high fever, which are the most tell tale signs. An X-ray is often the sure way for diagnosis. Pneumonia can occur at any age is needs immediate medical attention. There is a vaccine available, but I have never tried that method of prevention.
info obtained from Wikipedia
Thanks for letting me ramble!

"O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for His mercy endures forever." Psalm 136:26

Saturday, October 18, 2008

bird watching walk

This morning I went for a two hour walk near my house with the Audobon Society. The funny part about it was that before I left the house I checked my blog reads on reader. There I read my sister-in-law's experience with bird watching. My experiences are also very limited.

On the walk a kind older couple lent me a pair of binoculars. I couldn't believe the difference they made. The above picture was taken with my 200 mm lens and still it's hard to capture a good shot. But the binoculars allowed you to see the birds like they were right in front of your eyes. They move quickly and often, so keeping up with them is a bit difficult. 

I must say that I enjoyed the walk more than I thought I would. It was relaxing and beautiful. Also, being able to see some of the birds with bird watchers who could tell me what I was looking at or hearing was enlightening. 

I'm sure I'll never be an avid bird watcher, as I'm not really an avid anything, but I think I'll appreciate the little fliers a smidge more.
The moon forgot to go to bed this morning!

"Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped." Psalm 124:7

Friday, October 17, 2008

Corn Maze

The kids and I went to a little fall festival, which includes a corn maze. Last year we went with our neighbors. I think it's fun to look back and see how things have changed in one year.
The kids enjoyed it, as did I. This is one big corn maze. It takes a while to get through. I was tired by the end. :) So was Patricia, so she had me hold her. She was so cute. Whenever there was a little stump in the road, she tried to sit on it. 
When you get out of the corn maze they have different things for the kids to do. They had a blast throwing the hay around. We didn't take the time to go see the goats or cows, but we definitely saw and experienced enough.
Before we headed home we took a hay ride to the pumpkin patch. There weren't many little ones to pick from, but we all went away happy. I'm glad this is becoming an annual trip for us.
"As snow in summer, and as rain in harvest, so honor is not seemly for a fool." Proverbs 26:1

Sunday, October 12, 2008

6 years, 3 1/2 kids later...

Some friends invited us over for lunch today. We had a good time of fellowship and the kids all played nicely. Today is also our 6 year anniversary. The family was kind enough to watch our kids for a couple of hours, while Enoch and I went on a walk around a lake. Enoch and I had a wonderful time. I think it's been about 6 years since we've gone on a stroll! 

Thank you Mike, Cindy and kids. It means a lot to us.
"His merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the Lord endures forever. Praise ye the the Lord." Psalm 117:2

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Princess Party

This afternoon, the girls and I went to a princess birthday party. For reasons, which I'm sure don't need explaining, Seth was not invited, even though he is the closest in age to Emma. 

I snuck Patricia into the party, though she wasn't formally invited. I don't think anybody minded. She was sleepy the whole time, so she wasn't in the best of moods.

Here is the birthday girl herself. She is celebrating four years. This girl is a natural born princess.
Tabitha stops at the end of the runway for a pose. She really enjoyed her time there.

Seth, though he didn't make it to the girl's event, had an event all his own. As I type, he and Enoch are enjoying a Capitals hockey game. Last I checked the Caps were down by one. 

"For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by Him and for Him." Colossians 1:16

Thursday, October 9, 2008

19 weeks and growing!

The first three months of pregnancy I barely gained a pound. Well, today I went in for my 19 week check up and within the past month I put on 8 pounds! The baby is finally starting to show him/herself. I've felt tiny movements off and on, which is exciting. All in all, things have been very uneventful. I am so very thankful for uneventful pregnancies!

"I will praise Thee for I am fearfully and wonderfully made." Psalm 139:14

Monday, October 6, 2008

Today's kitchen creations

The coloring is off on the food. It has more orange/red in it.

For supper tonight I served Andhra Chicken Fry. Usually I feel overwhelmed when I read Indian recipes. They tend to take a lot of time and many ingredients that I don't typically carry. This one, on the other hand, is quite manageable. I did cut down on the pepper and the chili powder, because I wanted my kids to eat it. The pepper seems to be the main seasoning in this dish, so for us adults it was yummy, but seemed to be lacking that little something. This was my second time making this particular recipe, so I'm sure it was the pepper.

A couple of things that may be helpful: to make garlic-ginger paste, take equal amounts of garlic and skinned ginger. Blend them with a tiny bit of water or oil. Also, 200 grams of chicken is actually a pretty small amount. From what I can tell it's just under half a pound. So, you may need to triple the measurements. Don't be afraid to do it, either. Indian foods use much more seasoning than what we're used to using. I ended up using two good sized onions for our "little" family. 

Patricia is enjoying her dinner!

This afternoon I also had the privilege of baking these pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. They are pretty yummy if I do say so myself. The batter was more liquidy than I'm used to having muffin batters be, but the end result is great. The only thing I changed was using cinnamon instead of pumpkin pie spice, because that's what I had available. I'm looking forward to tomorrow's breakfast! 

"To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever." Romans 16:27

Sunday, October 5, 2008

New camera!!!

Enoch got me a new camera for my birthday. What a sweetheart he is to me. It's a Nikon D40. I'm looking forward to learning lots more!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Precious moments

Tabitha and Seth had an accident tonight. Seth wasn't exactly looking where he was running then crash, bam, BOOM, Tabitha is shrieking. Seth also got hurt, he hit his head on her mouth. She did have some blood coming from her lip and it took a while to quiet her down (we were out in public, so we tried to do this as quickly as possible).

Shortly afterwards Tabitha asked if she could give thanks for our supper. Instead of just giving her usual spiel, she also added, "and I'm sorry that I got mad at Seth for bumping into me." The eating commenced. About five minutes later, Seth turns to Tabitha and tells her in all sincerity that he was sorry he bumped into her.

I didn't praise the kids for their actions, but I tell you, it warmed my heart so much. It really is a wonderful feeling to see your children making correct decisions. 

"Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6

Thursday, September 4, 2008

First Day of School

Well, now that she is five, she goes off to school. Actually, she went last week, but I'm a little late. Has anyone else been noticing my trend of lateness lately? She went in for one day and then we flew to Seattle, WA for a week, thus she missed four days.

Tabitha LOVES school. She really thinks its ok to enjoy being away from me. I don't know what's wrong with her! Truthfully, we are also happy with her school. It's right across the street from our house and they have a wonderful program. When she first got home we asked her how it was and she said, "I don't remember." We didn't pressure her, because we knew the details would come later.

Can you believe they get their own lockers in kindergarten? I know she doesn't look thrilled in any of these pictures. She's a little nervous, but that quickly dissipates after the camera is gone. She loves bringing in a packed lunch. She corrected me today. She said it's not called a lunch box, it's a lunch bag. I apologized for being so old school.

My favorite part of her description of her day was when she told me with much excitement, that they had recess. She was practically jumping up and down to tell me. Then she says, "What is recess, anyway?"

Ya gotta love that kid. Welcome to the real world, Tabitha.

"Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful, but his delight is in the law of the Lord and in His law he meditates day and night." Psalm 1: 1,2

Friday, August 8, 2008

Happy Birthday, Tabitha!

Well, with Tabitha I'm only a few days late to wish her a happy birthday. My big girl turned five on Tuesday. I think Tabitha is about as adult like as a five-year-old can come. She knows just about everything. Asks questions in every new situation and retains all the information. You give her an explanation and then the new thing totally makes sense. She'll then turn to Seth and explain to him why touching a frog is not a good idea, because you may get diseases from it.

She has always been a happy girl. Her giggle is just like a little girl's giggle should be - almost fake, but real enough to make you smile. She loves to spend time with people. Her most favorite activity is making up plays, as she calls it. You each get a "character" (stuffed animal) and act out an adventure. Lots of times she will tell you the plot before you begin.

Tabitha has a heart of gold. She always wants to help out where ever we go. She cares for those around her. The other week when she found out that the salesman was Indian, she asked him if he bowed to a different god. She went on and on about it, as I tried to discreetly tell her to stop. Since then she has been learning that there are gentler ways to telling others about Jesus. Sometimes she'll whisper to me and ask if it is an appropriate time to tell someone.
The oldest of three (almost four) and still very much a child. She loves to frolic around and play on her bike. The three of them play a lot together and also do their fair share of fighting. Tabitha tries her hardest to obey, but she still needs to be corrected on occasion. She is a sweetheart and we love her so very much. She makes a great friend and a wonderful daughter. 

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Official Announcement

Enoch and I are happy to announce the addition of a new family member. He/she should be arriving around the first week in March, although our children usually come late, so it may be some time after that. I've been getting over my queasiness, which is a nice relief. All of the kids are excited. Even Patricia says, "baby" as she points to my belly. I'm sure she doesn't know what she's saying, but that's ok.

"Whoever trusts in the LORD, happy is he." Proverbs 16:20b

Monday, July 28, 2008

Pics of the three crazy ones

Seth is testing my dad's bike.

This is in North Carolina. I failed to post an entry yet, but a few weeks back the kids and I visited some family down there. Tabitha enjoyed playing with her cousin's play house.

Patricia loved having her friend, Julia visit. She followed her all around and kept poking her eyes and pinching her cheeks.