Tuesday, December 21, 2010

He died a poor man...

Last week I finished a book about George Muller, often remembered for running orphanages by faith. He didn't have a regular source of income for the 2000+ orphans that lived in the 5 orphanage homes. It was his desire to show people that God really can supply all of your needs. I venture to say that he succeeded.

There was more than one occasion when they didn't know where the next meal would come from, George would pray and the Lord would ALWAYS provide food. I'm talking about for hundreds of kids here, not a small family that can gather together a meal from the pantry.

After I finished the book I did a little more on-line research about him. I came across a non-Christian website that states: George Muller died a poor man. I can't help but think on that saying. It runs through my head multiple times a day.

I read his life's story. I can't think of a man who died richer.  His life makes this Scripture real: "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it." He lost his life for the sake of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the end he found it. He found true peace, joy and happiness. He found favor with God AND man. He found fulfillment in providing for the means of countless souls.

He was not a poor man. He stored up his treasures in heaven and is now reaping the benefit.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Notes from the Meeting

Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. I Corinthians 1:10
There are four things that we should judge as Christians:
  • Ourselves. At least every week we should be examining ourselves. I Corinthians 11: 28-31
  • Things which are excellent. We should pray for spiritual discernment for the Lord's will in our lives. Knowing what is the good and best things for us. Phil. 1:10; I Cor. 2:12-15
  • Doctrine. How can we believe everything we hear? We need to search the scriptures daily, confirming or rectifying all that we hear. Acts 17:11, I Cor. 14:29
  • Unconfessed sin in the local church. This is important for the health of any church. I Cor. 5
There are four things that we should not judge as Christians:
  • A person's motives. That's a tough one! I Cor. 4:1-5
  • Physical appearances. Man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart. I Sam. 16:7, John 7:24 and I Cor. 8:8
  • Another man's liberty. Romans 14:4-12 clearly defines this principle. Sometimes we feel very convicted about things in our own lives. If that's the case, then we should hold to that conviction, but we shouldn't hold others to that same feeling. See also I Cor. 10:29
  • Anothers actions when we're doing the same thing. Think about the well known verse: Judge not, lest you yourself be judged. Matthew 7:1-5 goes into a little more detail. If we notice the speck in our neighbor's eye, but neglect the plank in our own, then maybe we should go back to the beginning: judging ourselves.
The most interesting thing I found was that there really is only one instance (in this given message) where we're to judge other people. Most of the judging is inward and refraining from inappropriate judging of others. And that is the "same judgment" we're supposed to have with the local believers. There is definitely a lot for me to ponder.

Disclaimer: I get the ideas for this during my time at church meetings on Sunday. I am not writing everything exactly as I heard it. Some of my own thoughts may be thrown in. (A special thank you to the sharer) May you be encouraged in your walk as I am in mine. :)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Saturday Stumbles

Saturday is almost over, but I'm sneaking in to post some neat finds from this week.

For other links be sure to check out It's Come 2 This.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

bubble painting

Yesterday we had some friends over. We had fun and did a craft! Have you ever heard of bubble painting? Me neither, not until a week or so ago. You should read the instructions yourself, because I had the hardest time getting the right proportions. I think my cups were too big (8 oz, not 16!).

Tabitha finally figured out the trick to getting a nice looking circle on the paper. Mind you, by this point she was about the only child still interested in doing the craft. She held the paper over the cup and blew at the same time.

I tried to insist on the adults being the only bubble blowers, but the kids insisted. We only had two kids accidentally suck the straw, instead of blow. I think that's when most of the kids decided to play instead.

The final product. Isn't it the most exciting thing you've ever seen?

Today, after school, kind of right around dinner time, Tabitha decided to make her three sheets of paper into bookmarks.

The fun didn't stop there, though. Next she insisted on sitting outside, with a table. You know what's coming next, don't you?

"Bookmarks for sale!" Tabitha was a little discouraged at first, because nobody was stopping. But after 15 minutes she made $2.00.

I had to convince her to come back in the house, because we needed to eat that dinner I spoke of earlier. She was a little worried that while she was at school tomorrow she may miss some sales. "Mom, can I stay home from school tomorrow so I can sell bookmarks?"

Monday, September 13, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Can you believe we're in the middle of September already?! Just a few short weeks until October hits us. Time is gliding swiftly by...

I feel tired so I tried to make a simple menu this week.

Breakfasts will be smoothies, cereal, pancakes and muffins or something to that effect.

Lunches will be various types of sandwiches and a leftover meal or two.


Frozen pizza - told you I was going for simple!

Black beans and rice

Maybe an easy gumbo if I can come across a decent looking recipe

Philly cheesesteaks- good ole frozen food section

Grilled cheese sandwiches with Trader Joe's Butternut Squash Soup. I wanted to do something fancier than a regular grilled cheese, so I searched and found The Grill Cheese Academy. I plan on making the Flatiron (#6).

And leftovers

For other Menu Plan ideas check out "I'm an Organizing Junkie".

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Goodbye Brother Garnes

Today we attended a funeral. "Garnes, who drinks only water." He was mocked by classmates many years ago. I wonder how many of those classmates lived to be 98.

Brother Garnes was the first African-American to become a plastic surgeon in the US. Imagine achieving that! Yet most of all, he was known for being a great Bible teacher with his actions living up to his preaching. He married Enoch and I almost 8 years ago. At the funeral we met a man that he married 35 years ago. I wonder how many couples he brought together.

Several years ago he and Tabitha had the following conversation:
Tabitha: Brother Garnes, how old are you?
Garnes: How old do you think I am?
Tabitha: One MILLION years old
Garnes (smiling): Not yet.

He hasn't reached a million yet, but now that he's with our Lord, he will.

This morning in the car, Tabitha said, "I'll always remember him saying, 'It's THE Book, not A book. THE Book' "

Seth also had a memorable thought. I'm not sure what to think of it or why everything in the world is so unjust, but I'll let you make of it what you will: "It's no fair everyone else gets to die, except me."

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Friendly reminder

My son came home from school today and without having a second thought he threw his school bag on the table. Apparently I need to have a talk with him. In the meantime I thought I'd have a talk with you.

In years past I've heard the importance of remembering the germs on our purses. One thing that I'm always careful about are public restrooms. I don't put my purse on the floor in them. I hang it on the provided handle. If there isn't one, I just hang it on the side of the door itself.

When you come home don't put your purse on the kitchen counter. (Do you see how disgusting public restrooms and kitchen counters look together?) Remember even if the bathroom floors are avoided we still tend to put them on floors in general.

That brings me to my next point. Our children aren't usually as careful with their belongings. Their backpacks are thrown who knows where and they are then put on our eating spots. Germs, germs, germs and more germs. Remember our hidden friends when it comes to our bag carriers.

And in other totally unrelated news: Did you know that Cockroach brains could be rich stores of new antibiotics?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Why I love my student planner

Continuing with the back to school theme, I thought I would share a little about my favorite tool. Your average Student planner. I'll dive in with my reasons. :)

1. Its portable. You can technically take it with you when you go to the doctors, but just being able to sit at the computer and jot in important dates is better than standing in the kitchen. It is also nice to have when you travel so you can have your schedule with you or write down the things you did.

2. Design that fits your year. There are so many styles and designs that you won't get bored from year to year. This year I went with a pattern that reminds me of Indian styles.

3. Week at a glace. This is probably my favorite and most helpful reason. Sometime during my current week, I will take a few seconds to peek at the upcoming weeks to see if there is anything significant coming up. The weekly time frame is perfect for the perspective that fits me.

4. Plenty of daily space. I'm not a business executive with tons of meetings. I don't homeschool my children, therefore needing daily curriculum information isn't necessary. So, the 6 or so lines per day gives me enough room to write all kinds of stuff. I will often write addresses of events, things I need to bring to pot lucks and other pertinent info.

5. The pocket is just right. There's a pocket in the back that works for me! I usually hold the library receipt there, so I know what books we owe them. Other times I'll put a paper that I need to bring to some event. It's always where I need it.

6. Small enough to keep. I am a memory keeper! This is a great size for me. I can keep all of my old ones for memories. :)

7. Great for remembering. No, this picture isn't an announcement of any sort (although that would be kind of cool). But it is nice to be able and look back to days gone by. If Tabitha wants to know when she lost her first tooth, I can just look it up!
8. It goes along with the school year. Being a student planner and all... When the kids school year begins I take the school calender and plug in all the dates. Sports, dance classes, singing, they all fit perfectly and all at once.

For other Works for me Wednesday tips visit We are THAT Family.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Mom's Visit

My mom visited us for a couple of weeks. The kids love spending time with her. We didn't have any fancy adventures while she was here, but we did enjoy each others company.

She loved spotting the two deer that often glean from our back yard. These two siblings used to come with their mother, but I haven't seen her in a few months.

They kind of trust us. Even when we're outside they just look, but continue eating. Aren't they cute?

One day we went on a walk just for Patricia. The other two had started school, so we made sure she had something special just for her. (Ian was there, but he stayed in his stroller)

Here are the two Patricia's enjoy some time along the walk.

While she was here I did lots of baking. Everyone enjoyed that!

The kids even got to play in dirt. Ian is the first one who has done this and the others have followed suit. I try to prevent it, but they never listen to me!

Ian even got to taste it. Yuck! It didn't take him long to learn that.

And of course, the kids got off to school during her time here.

Bye mom! Come back soon!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Quick and Easy Breakfasts

With the start of school, quick breakfasts are more than welcome. In our own family we undergo the typical morning rush. For several years I served mostly cereal. My kids got tired of it. As a matter of fact, this morning I served them cereal and they moaned. I honestly tell you that I haven't served them cereal in over a week, so they have no excuse. Crazy kids, what are you going to do. :)

So, without further ado, I will give you some ideas. If you plan ahead you can serve your kiddos something different every day of the week!

  • Frozen waffles or pancakes - if you have time you can make your own, but I prefer buying them.
  • Toast with toppings - some ideas: cream cheese, peanut butter, jam, gouda cheese, nutella, plain butter. Here is a special treat that my Dutch friend taught me: butter with chocolate sprinkles (it is most delish, but ssshhh. We don't want the kids asking for that all the time.)
  • Muffins. You can make these the night before so they're ready for your morning. Here is a banana muffin recipe I have recently fallen in love with. 
  • Mini bagels with cream cheese
  • Scrambled eggs or hard boiled eggs you've boiled the night before
  • Parfaits. I love these. First place fruit (fresh or thawed frozen) on the bottom of a bowl. I like berries the best. Cover with your favorite yogurt. Top with your favorite not-too-sweet cereal or granola.
  • Instant oatmeal if you're into that kind of thing. :) Try to add fruits or nuts.
  • English muffins topped with pasta sauce and cheese then toasted.  Mini pizzas. They'll love it. :)
I hope this gives you some pointers. Please let me know if you have any others. 

Take a few minutes to check out my other back to school posts if you haven't done so already. ~Michelle

Monday, August 30, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

The kids completed their first week of school already. Now we're back to the routine of things.

Our menu last week went well. I think out of everything we ate, my favorite thing was the smoothie. It was a strawberry banana pineapple smoothie that I found at Cooks.com. It made quite a bit, but it was all finished within minutes.

On the menu for this week:

Breakfasts: cereal, smoothies, muffins, scrambled eggs, mini bagels and frozen waffles

Lunches: grilled cheese, pb and j, tuna sandwiches, lunch meat sandwiches, leftovers and mac and cheese



Black eyed peas, rice and some veggies

Jen's frozen beef enchiladas

chicken thighs, chili cheddar pasta and green beans

eggplant parm

main dish tuna salad


For more menu planning ideas make sure to check out I'm an organizing junkie's weekly feature: Menu Plan Monday.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Lunch Packing Ideas

It's Sunday night and I just finished making a batch of Marbles Cookies. With the kids back in school I find this the perfect evening of the week to make a batch of cookies.

When they are cool enough I put two at a time into baggies. (I usually prefer plastic wrap, but mine is giving me issues lately!) For this week I made 12 little packages. That's enough for 5 school lunches for two kids and 2 husband lunches.

I keep them all together in one handy place, so they're easy to put together when I need them.
It's also easy to do this with pretzels or veggie sticks. Whole fruits can be put aside. Canned fruits, yogurt or applesauce can be put into containers if you don't buy the individual cups. When your morning flurry of activity begins, the lunches are put together so much more easily with these short cuts on hand.

I am no where near being an organized person. Planning ahead and keeping up with things before they occur does not come naturally to me. However, I can assure you that simple short cuts such as this one will save you lots of time and stress in the end.

Take a few minutes to check out my other back to school posts if you haven't done so already. ~Michelle

Thank you Mrs. Fields for this recipe. :)
Marbles Cookies
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup salted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz) sour cream
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (6 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 300° F.

In medium bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Combine sugars with electric mixer at medium speed. Add butter and beat until batter is grainy. Add egg, sour cream and vanilla. Beat until fully combined. Add the flour mix. Blend at low speed until just combined. Do not overmix!

Melt chocolate chips in double broiler or microwave according to package directions.

Cool chocolate for a few minutes then pour over cookie batter. Using a wooden spoon, lightly fold melted chocolate into the dough. Do not mix chocolate completely into the dough as you are trying to create a marble effect.

Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls, 2 inches apart, onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 20-22 minutes. Do not brown. Quickly transfer cookies to a cool surface.

Notes from the Meeting

Then came the word of the LORD unto Jeremiah, saying, Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me? Jeremiah 32:26, 27

Nothing is too hard for The Lord. Not even allowing a way for sinful humans to enter a sinless heaven. The Lord God of heaven, Jesus Christ Himself, came to earth. He allowed us to hang Him on the cross in order to take the punishment for our less than perfect actions away. He freely offers this gift of eternal life to everyone. However, like all gifts, it must be accepted. As painful and difficult as it was for the Lord to die in our place, it was not too hard. Is it too hard for us to accept this wonderful gift? Just something to think about.

For those of us who are true believers, the Lord has only a few simple commands in the New Testament. One of them is "Do this in remembrance of Me" Luke 22:19. Do we take the time to remember Him who remembered us?

Disclaimer: I get the ideas for this during my time at church meetings on Sunday. I am not writing everything exactly as I heard it. Some of my own thoughts may be thrown in. (A special thank you to the sharer) May you be encouraged in your walk as I am in mine. :)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Space saving desk

Tabitha is happy to be using her desk for the first time this year. I bought all the supplies for it last school year, but only got around to putting things together the week before school started this year. (Seth also has one that is baseball themed.)

One of the supplies from her hanging pencil pouch along with an animated expression:

The cork board thingies for future use:

This was simple enough to make. If you're strapped for money or space this is a good answer.  I keep mine folded and off in a corner. The kids like that they can have their own privacy and all the supplies they could possibly need for their homework.

I read about this in Family Fun magazine. They always have lots of fun ideas.

Take a few minutes to check out my other back to school posts if you haven't done so already. ~Michelle

  • one tri-fold poster board cut in half
  • small cork board and thumbtacks
  • plastic hook
  • magnet friendly ruler and magnets
  • extra strong double sided tape
  • pencil pouch filled with student's needs
  • paper decorations (cut outs from magazines, children's art, memorabilia from a day trip, etc)
  • decoupage glue, paint brush and bowl
Attach ruler and cork boards in desired locations with double sided tape. Apply plastic hook making sure to leave enough room for the pencil pouch to hang.

Have your pictures ready to go. Paint the decoupage glue in the area for your first picture, place picture on top, then paint liberally with more glue, making sure it all looks even. Continue doing this until you are content with the outcome.

Set the poster board aside for 4 hours or so, laying it flat so everything dries nicely. Now you can hang your full pencil pouch. Place magnets on ruler and push thumbtacks into the cork board.

Time: 30-40 minutes or work. 5 hours til usable.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Here we go again

Today was Seth's first day of Kindergarten. He was excited, although he shows it differently than Tabitha. He's just not as giddy.

All morning Tabitha was giving him tips about school.  "You can't scream like that in school, Seth." "You have gym in kindergarten, but they call it PE."  "You get to take your own books out of the library EVERY WEEK." "Don't hit anyone or yell at them or you'll have to go to the principal's office." There was no end of advice.

I could not get him to stand still for pictures, so I had to accept his funky dance moves.

He's got some rhythm, like I haven't seen among the other kids.

Spiderman backpack:

Happy face.

Cluster of acorns. Our backyard is full of them.

And they're off. Patricia is always running.

We had the whole family with us today. Hi Enoch and Ian! (No pictures of the photographer, please and thank you. :)   )

Now he's at school and has on his stoic look that must run in the family.

There's his teacher. Seth gets his own locker... how fun!

I'll end with Ian our future ball player. He puts a smile on my face. He's wearing a baseball outfit. He insisted on the baseball cap and he cries when he doesn't have a ball in his hand.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

School binder

I am a BIG collector of memories. I think, in part, its because I have such a bad memory. Storing things away helps me remember them when I look at them. For my children, who I know will forget much of their early years, I feel like I have to store their memories for them.

For a couple of years now I have stored "special" school papers in a big closed folder type thingy. One for each child per year kind of thing. I think that system works ok, but the folder can get ripped if it's handled too much and the contents can get all out of sorts, so I am trying something new this year.

Behold, The Memory Binder:

Da, da, da, dun:

Inside I store all sorts of things (obviously). Today I'll be demonstrating Tabitha's Kindergarten binder.

When you open it up I have her class picture in a page protector. Easy to see and not so easy to bend or smudge. Well, I suppose with kids it will still be easy to destroy, but hopefully it won't be too bad.

Enoch saw this picture hanging in the school office and asked if he could have it when they were done. They said yes! I glued the glasses she's wearing in the picture on top. (Tabitha is the one with her head turned in the yellow shirt and overall dress)

I like to keep at least one copy of papers that she does regularly.

This is a certificate she earned during the year.

Larger art work gets folded in thirds and hole punched in.

Some pieces were too small to be punched or I just wanted to keep them whole. For those, I glued them onto construction paper and added them to the book.

Right now they are sitting on my book shelf, but they'll eventually make their way to a more secure storage location. Assuming I do this until about 5th grade for the four kids I should have about 24 binders. YIKES!

Do you have any good memory storage ideas I should know about???

For other tips, check out Works for me Wednesday at We are THAT family.

Take a few minutes to check out my other back to school posts if you haven't done so already. ~Michelle