Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Uniting Church and Home

READ IT! Words cannot do it justice.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Perfect Little Garden

First plant five rows of peas:
Piety, Prudence, Prayer, Purity, Praise.

Next, plant five rows of squash:
Squash Idleness, Squash Gossip, Squash Unkindness,
Squash Self-indulgence, Squash Pride.

Then, plant five rows of lettuce:
Let-us-be humble, Let-us-be faithful, Let-us-be unselfish,
Let-us-be loving, Let-us-be sanctified.

And to make all things count for something good and worthwhile, no garden is complete without turnips:
Turn-up for church services, Turn-up to go the second mile,
Turn-up with a cheerful smile, Turn-up with a willing mind.

I thought this was so great. Again, from one of Carrie Benders books, A Golden Sunbeam.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Gotta read it!

I am reading the best books by Carrie Bender. I had never heard of her before and just stumbled onto her at the library. I LOVE THEM!! She has several series so I can’t praise all of them since this has been my first introduction to her. Right now I am reading the Miriam’s Journal series. God truly led me to this series for a varitey of reasons. I love how God works that way. It just so happened to be the only series by Carrie Bender that our local library has right now and they have the entire series - God's hand. It is such a reflection of a mother’s heart and something I so needed right now - God's hand. You just have to read them! Listen to this quote:

“A baby is a small person that makes love stronger, days shorter, nights longer, the bankroll smaller, the home happier, clothes shabbier, the past forgotten, the future worth living for.”

How true! Okay, so run out to your local library and pick one up. Local ladies I have already returned the first 2 for you.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Online Bible Study

Hello Ladies out there. I would love to invite you to come and join our online Bible study at We know how busy life can be and how hard it is to carve out time with other Christian ladies for a Bible study so that is why I came up with the idea for an online Bible study. We have been testing it out for a little while and now I would love for others to come join me! Right now we are working through Pam Forster’s The Virtuous Woman. It is a short study on Proverbs 31 for mothers and daughters but is a great study for any woman to work through whether you have a daughter or not. My daughter is a little young for the study so I am working on it myself first. I am going it alone right now and would love others to join in. You don’t even have to have the book just jump on and read the post, walk through the Bible references, and tell us how the Lord is speaking to you. I love the Word of God and I know other ladies out there do too so come join us.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Back in the saddle

So, last week we officially started back to school. We were going to go straight through summer but ended up taking a 3 week break. Wow!!! We should not have done that. As one who only has young ones, so I cannot attest to older children, I can tell you they forget amazingly fast! At least I learned this lesson early on. Note to self: DO NOT take a break in the summer!!! I already have a struggling reader as it is and all the guilt that a home school mom has with that. You know, the helpful people who say “well, if she were in REAL school she would read better” yeah sure whatever! Or even comparing myself to other home school moms whose children read at 4 (you know who you are and you KNOW I love you) while mine still struggles at 7. Since I cannot win with myself, or a few other “well meaning people” for that matter, I think I am going to give myself a little break, pray to the One who told me to do this in the first place (by the way, the best thing I have ever done – even if I am having a bad day), and get over myself. I’ve got little ones to teach for God’s glory!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Adoption Fundraiser

My friends have two adoption fundraisers going on right now. One is for T-shirts fund

The other one is a Satin Hands Fundraiser. Go to my website (see above) and if you want the proceeds to go to the Hixon adoption just put Hixon in the comment field at checkout.

Let's bring little Hai Hai home.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

My Garden Journey

Who would have ever thought that I would enjoy gardening? I killed every flower I ever purchased. I tried to grow a little herb garden in some pots on my front porch and they never produced. So when my lovely husband said, “I know I have made all these raised beds but I am just not going to have the time to keep it up so if we want a garden this year you are going to have to plant it, weed it, and pick it,” it struck fear in my little heart.

Then came doubting, "I don’t handle heat; I can’t grow anything," you know the usual stuff satan throws at us. Well, I didn’t handle the heat well and it may have taken me longer than usual to plant it, weed it, and pick it but I DID IT!!!!! And in the process every time I weeded God spoke to me about pulling out the weeds that were choking my relationship with Him and every time it rained I thanked God for providing for our garden instead of simply ignoring the blessings of rain. It was an amazing experience and I am excited about finally beginning our little homestead.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A smack in the face from the Lord

I just had to share with others my devotional this morning. It really just smacked me right in the face.

The apostle Paul cautioned us against being too quick to approve ourselves or condemn others, saying, "I care very little if I am judged by you... indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me" (1 Corinthians 4:3-4, NIV).

We must be careful about being overly self-introspective, and about being too quick to criticize others. As fallen creatures, we're capable of wounding ourselves and others with misguided judgments.

Yes, be discerning about right and wrong, and be willing to properly admonish someone when the Spirit leads; but remember there's only One who can actually read the heart. How much better to say with the psalmist, "Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."

The best of (us) are too apt to judge rashly, and harshly, and unjustly; but (God's) judgment is always according to truth.
Matthew Henry

Friday, June 25, 2010

Letter writing campaign for Birmingham Firefighters opposing the proposed pay cut

Some important key points to take into consideration when writing your letters is below. Some of it is technical but I want you to be educated and informed before writing your letters. This is information gathered by the Local Union representative for the City of Birmingham Firefighters. I ask that you pray about these letters and please be respectful in your letters. We simply want to point out to these individuals that you are not dealing with a typical employee who works a 9 to 5 job and that is all the city’s leadership has ever dealt with. We need to educate them and direct them in the way that they should go, not berate them. I want to quote something from a book I am reading about the foundation of America. “Corrupt personal and business practices which once would have erupted into major scandals, today seem scarcely scandalous. But where once we would have been up in arms, speaking out, writing letters, and voting, now we just shake our heads and counted it as another sign of the times.” We have a voice! Please use yours, whether it be for this issue or another wrongful deed.

I have read where people are telling firefighters to quit complaining since they chose the profession. All I have to say to that is, aren’t we glad we have men willing to put their lives on the line for us everyday.

“In the meeting Mayor Bell said that Judge Smith had instructed the City to do certain things as it pertains to JCPB, one of which was to fix our (fire fighters) pay. Anyhow, the Mayor said he must "fix" our salary, but did not have to go to court until September, and would not adjust our salary until then. The formula so to speak for what they are using is the Birmingham Public Safety "Fire Fighter" schedule that is on the JCPB web site. They are taking the hourly rate and multiplying it by 2600 hours (108 shifts) to get your salary. All they have done in reality is to take the grade 17 annual salaries divided by 2600 hours, and made that our hourly rate. A police officer would have a higher hourly rate because of working 2080 hours a year. This would put us in line with police officers annually. It is apparent that the Council will act tomorrow and it may have 3 furlough days in it. That is 3 - 8 hour days, not 3 - 24 hour shifts. Just some quick figuring while at the Budget session is that a FF will stand to lose approximately 11% from what they are currently making. But that is before these other pay cuts instituted by the Mayor come into effect (which could mean up to a 28% pay cut.)”

“This fight over our pay has been a very tricky one. No other fire department I have been able to find pays their fire fighters by the hour. We are asking to be paid for every hour we work, using the portion of FLSA that is on our side to secure our pension monies that have been wrongfully withheld, and fighting to keep from getting such a large pay cut across the board.”

Here are the addresses you need for your letter writing and I would ask that you write each one of the following individuals. You can always make one letter and simply change the addresses and names before sending.

Mayor William Bell
City Hall
710 North 20th Street
Birmingham, AL 35203
fax 254-2926

C. Lynwood Smith, Jr.
United State District Court
Northern District of Alabama
Hugo Black United States Courthouse
1729 5th Avenue North
Birmingham, AL 35203
b'ham 716-2962

Alabama GovernorBob Riley (R)
State Capitol
600 Dexter Avenue
Montgomery, AL 36130

Alabama SenatorsJeff Sessions (R)
335 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Richard Shelby (R)
110 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Alabama Representatives
Spencer Bachus (R)
1900 International Park Dr.
Suite 107
Birmingham, AL 35243

Artur Davis (D)
2 20th Street North
Suite #1130
Birmingham, AL 35203

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A child

I love children! I love to watch them learn. I love to watch them play. And for a while I have been struggling with wanting more children but, as of right now, the Lord has not revealed that as His plan for our family. As I was talking with a friend the other day, God revealed something to me. I was simply looking at it all wrong. I, naturally, thought having more children would mean bearing more or adopting more but what the Lord showed me is that I can be a part of a child’s life even when those things are not part of His will right now. I could sponsor a child and our family could become a part of that child’s life. We could make an impact spiritually and financially even though we might never meet this child or get to hold this child. So, I challenge those of you who may not be able to have a child or who might be struggling through the adoption system or for those of us who are patiently waiting for the Lord to change a heart to pray and ask God if this might be His leading for you as well. If that is His leading I would be glad to recommend a ministry that will help you become a part of a child’s life too.

Friday, June 18, 2010

My husband

What a Man, What a Mighty Good Man – that is his ring tone because it is the best description of him (for you who don’t know it is a song from the ‘80’s that a Christian woman should probably not have on her phone but I have always loved that statement in the song and that is the only statement you hear from the song.) He is such a good man and I am so very blessed that God put us together. I have watched him grow into a strong Christian man and have seen how that transformation totally changed our family in the best way imaginable. People who “knew us when” would never have imagined we would be living the kind of life we are living now. We both could have taken very different paths but I am so glad God is gracious. I was smitten the first time I saw him and so very thankful to God that He put a covering of protection over us and our relationship for so many years of terrible outside influences. I had a pretty good idea that he would be a good father while we were dating by just watching him with his nieces and nephews but I could never have imagined just “how good” a father he would become. He knew that in his strength he could not be the kind of father that he knew his little girl needed (if you have never heard his testimony you should really ask him) but he knew with God’s strength he would be able to. So this Father’s Day I just wanted to salute a really great dad and husband for that matter!

Friday, May 28, 2010

My Dad

I have been blessed with many things in my life but above all I have been blessed with wonderful parents. Being an only child, in my case, really drew me closer to my parents. I have been devastated by the loss of my mom and I remember my dad saying, “It’s just us now – we gotta stick together.” Well, together we have stuck. We talk at least twice a day, every day and weather permitting we see each other every Sunday. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful father who instilled in me a love for the Lord and brought me up in the church but most importantly led by example. It is really impossible to teach your children how to do things “the right way” if they don’t see it lived out in your life as a parent. I was so blessed to have seen in my father “the right way.” He taught me to care about your actions. I never wanted to see “disappointment” in my father’s eyes (even though I am sure I disappointed him at times because I was disappointed in myself.) He taught me how to throw a football and catch like Joey Jones (for all of those who are not Alabama fans you will just have to look that one up.) He always told me “I could do it” and “you look pretty” every morning when I got ready for school or work. He gave me a love for country because he served his country. So this Memorial Day and this Father’s Day I salute the best Dad in the World, My Father – Thanks Dad!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

New Parenting Resources

I am so excited about two new resources I have found recently. I am sure some of you have probably known about these for a long time but I have only recently stumbled upon it. I am so glad that I did. It has literally changed our daily routine at our house and has just given me a renewed confidence in what God has called me to do with my children. The resources are from and they are by Rick and Marilyn Boyer. I am sharing especially today because they have a coupon through May 27th. Check it out for yourself on their website. There are two that are my favorites.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Home is the basis for human society

I have begun a new study that was recommended by a friend and I came upon this passage at the very beginning of the book. It totally floored me how accurate the description was of our America today.

"Five Basic Reasons Why Great Civilizations Withered and Died (taken from The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon – 1788)

1. The undermining of the dignity and sanctity of the home, which is the basis for human society.
2. Higher and higher taxes; the spending of public money for free bread and circuses for the populace.
3. The made craze for pleasure; sports becoming every year more brutal, more immoral.
4. The building of great armaments when the real enemy was within – the decay of individual responsibility.
5. The decay of religion; faith fading into mere form, losing touch with life, losing power to guide the people."

Uh oh! We are there people.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Become Amish?

As some of my friends know, I have, as of late, been immersing myself in Amish and Mennonite culture. I have been fascinated and have felt drawn to these lifestyles for a number of reasons. Who wouldn’t want an entire community that loved and supported you in your faith? Who wouldn’t want a strong work ethic among the young people, as well as the adults? Who wouldn’t want to know the “skills” that are becoming obsolete? Who wouldn’t want a rock solid faith that withstands the test of time and consequences? Who wouldn’t want to “stand out” for Christ? For me other than the not having electricity for my air conditioner – I do live in Alabama you know – and giving up my clothes, accessories, and make-up I would say where do I sign to become a Mennonite : ) So, I started reading an awesome book the other day called Amish Peace by Suzanne Woods Fisher. I highly recommend this book for everyone, whether you care about the Amish lifestyle or not. At the very beginning of the book she totally “hooked” me when she quoted an “Uncle Amos” article about becoming Amish. I thought it worthy to pass it along:

Become Amish?
“If you admire our faith, strengthen yours. If you admire our sense of commitment, deepen yours. If you admire our community spirit, build your own. If you admire the simple life, cut back. If you admire deep character and enduring values, live them yourself.”

Wow! That says it all. I think I will work on becoming Amish in my heart and maybe leave the rest alone for now ; - )

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Girl I Used to Be

The Girl
I Used To Be

by Rowena K. Lewis

She came tonight as I sat alone, the girl I used to be.

And she gazed at me with her earnest eye, and questioned reproachfully:

Have you forgotten the many plans and hopes that I had for you?

The great career, the splendid fame, all the wonderful things to do?

Where is the mansion of stately height, with all of its gardens rare?

The silken robes that I dreamed for you, and the jewels in your hair?

And as she spoke, I was very sad, for I wanted her pleased with me.

This slender girl from the shadowy past, the girl that I used to be.

So gently rising, I took her hand, and guided her up the stair

Where peacefully sleeping, my babies lay, innocent, sweet, and fair.

And I told her that these are my only gems, and precious they are to me;

That silken robe is my motherhood, of costly simplicity.

And my mansion of stately height is love, and the only career I know

Is serving each day in these sheltered walls, for the dear ones who come and go.

And as I spoke to my shadowy guest, she smiled through her tears at me.

And I saw that the woman that I am now, pleased the girl that I used to be.

Monday, March 29, 2010

How to get the most from your wardrobe

I know, sounds like a funny topic for the blog but you would be amazed at how many comments I get a week about something relating to clothes. Like, I can never find anything good where do you shop? Think about the questions we ask someone when we see them in something we like. Where did you get it and my typical answer is the thrift store but we will get to that later. So, as I was cleaning out my closet this past week getting ready for spring I started taking notes and here is the result of that “note taking” session.

- If you will go through your closet at least twice a year, spring and fall, you will be able to make the most of your wardrobe. You will be shocked at how many clothes you end up having (when you thought you didn’t have anything to wear) if you will take the plunge and do this. It might take a while the first time you do it but it gets easier every year.
- Be sure as you are going through your closet (especially if this is the first time doing this) not to throw everything out. Yes, I said don’t throw everything out the FIRST time. Here is what you want to do:
- I got this first idea as I was doing my daughter’s closet one year. As I was “matching up” her outfits (tops and bottoms) and hanging them together I realized, “why don’t I do that?” How much time would I save every morning if all I had to do was go to my closet and pick out an entire outfit with ease all because it was hanging together (top and bottom?) Well, I can tell you it saves A LOT of time and wasted energy by doing this.
- Okay, so now you are asking how do I match outfits? Ladies, I know you know how to do this. It is not hard – don’t make it rocket science. Start simple, like colors with like colors. Also, if you have more than one shirt that matches a skirt hang all three together. Different tops can create a totally different look and nobody will notice that you wear that “same old skirt” every week. (If you have 5 tops that match the same skirt this is when you start weeding them out. Save the best, release the rest.)
- Key point here ladies, if you like an article of clothing that you have had forever you don’t necessarily have to throw it out (unless it is worn completely out – in that case put it out of its misery and toss it.) Instead, see if you can “update it.” Updating can be as easy as putting a “modern” top with it if it is a skirt or skirt if it is a top. And by “modern” I am talking about the purchase of a new article of clothing at this point not going with the latest “trend” (trust me there is a difference.) Another way to update an item is changing buttons out – but you don’t have to be that ambitious if you don’t want to.
- Next point, as you are going through your closet start a list of items you might need. This saves you money in the long run when you go shopping. For example, I love this skirt but don’t have the right color top. If you can, just write down the color top you need and the style of the top you need (example: tan fitted T-shirt.) You want to be sure and put descriptive terms like “fitted” or dressy so that you don’t end up with literally a tan T-shirt that would best be put to work in the garden. If you question whether or not you will get the right color bring the item with you. I have brought many a bag into my favorite thrift store with clothes to match inside it. I simply go to the front and tell the ladies what I am doing that way I am not tackled by security (this could make for an unpleasant shopping experience.)

Okay now where and how to shop:
- Please get the idea out of your head that you have to spend a lot of money to look good. Not the case. I do not put a lot of money into my clothes. I would rather spend my money on good skin care (but that is a completely different blog topic.) You can get some GREAT clothes at a good thrift store (good because there are some junky ones.) And anything else you need you can get at local stores but ONLY if they are on sale. You want to walk in those stores and go straight to the discount racks. Don’t look at the regular price racks unless you have a coupon or something. I MEAN IT! DON’T DO IT!
- So now that we have where we shop, how do we shop? Well, think of it as walking into a fabric store not a clothing store. Even if you don’t know all the top designers names you can tell by the feel of the fabric whether it is cheaply made or not.
- Also, scan the racks for colors that you like. You don’t have to go through items piece by piece. I only go piece by piece when it comes to books (again a completely different blog topic.) “Scan” over the rack (meaning walk down the isle) and search for colors you like. When you see “your” color that’s when we feel of the fabric. Good fabric, good designer (if you know it), get it! Now I know some of you are saying what about price – IT’S THE THRIFT STORE JUST GET IT!

Okay, I will leave it at that for now because I know some of your heads might be reeling with this information (LOL) but I may possibly be back for a part II segment.

Happy Spring Cleaning!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

To Train Up a Child

I get this great magazine called Keepers at Home. It has really great articles, recipes, etc. and the Spring issue had an article about training your children. It also had the most amazing exert from a book called Prayers and Peanut Butter by Barbara Classen.

- “Would a child learn the value of obedience, if he never disobeyed and learned the result of it? These are opportunities to teach.”
- “We parents can never teach our children so perfectly that they will never disobey, tell lies, or get angry. If we can see these situations as opportunities to teach and not results of our failings, these times will be less frustrating.”
- “God has given us children to mold and shape, not to make us feel like failures.”

Wow!! Haven’t read the book but you can bet I am going to get it! If anyone wants to go in for a bulk order to save shipping e-mail me : )

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Charlotte Mason

Okay, I have been in Charlotte Mason mode big time the past two weeks (with no end in sight – but that is actually a good thing.) I am organizing a Charlotte Mason home school get-a-way for moms and I am so excited about it. A night away at a bed and breakfast, major girl friend time to chat, eat, chat, and eat some more. I have viewed the seminar DVD’s, read, and then read some more, then gathered more information, and read a lot more (you get the picture.) I am so hoping that all the moms will get something out of this weekend. I love the Charlotte Mason method and sometimes I get a little overly excited about it so I am trying to reign myself in.

Anyway, if you want to check out the Charlotte Mason method for yourself go jump on the internet and take a look. I personally LOVE this website it has a lot of freebies and it is just a REALLY great website. So far I have not ordered anything from that website that I have not enjoyed. I also love all of Karen Andreola’s books on Charlotte Mason styles of learning but my favorites are A Charlotte Mason Companion: Personal Reflections on the Gentle Art of Learning (don’t you just love that title – the gentle art of learning) as well as Pocketful of Pinecones: Nature Study With the Gentle Art of Learning : A Story for Mother Culture and the sequel, so to speak, Lessons at Blackberry Inn: Adventures with the Gentle Art of Learning.

Monday, February 8, 2010


I have been in some pain for the past few days. This pain scares me because of what I strongly believe it is and it may be, basically just the fear of the unknown (what will happen next, where will that lead me?) But I take courage in the fact that God is always in control and no matter what the cause of my pain it will somehow be used for His Glory.

I opend up my e-mails today to find this devotional waiting on me:

"And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away." Revelation 21:4

"How would you define pain? Since 1968, the most widely used definition of pain in clinical settings is the one set forth by pain researcher Margo McCaffery: Pain is 'whatever the experiencing person says it is, existing whenever and wherever the person says it does.' In other words, no one can tell another person that they are not in pain. Pain is as unique as the individuals who profess to experience it."

"Think about any pain you may be experiencing now--relational pain, physical pain, emotional pain, spiritual pain. Regardless of the kind of pain you are experiencing now it will "soon" be over."

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Happy Anniversary!

Home school anniversary that is. . .

It is hard to believe that it has been a year today that we started home schooling. I feel like we have been doing this forever (and not in the bad sense of forever.) I cannot remember a time when I couldn’t choose what my children learned. I cannot remember a time when we didn’t have to rush off somewhere everyday or be in a constant hurry. I cannot remember a time when I didn’t get to spend quality time with them everyday and not just “sometimes” or fit it in between homework and bath time. I know home schooling is not for everyone but I would be lying if I said I wish that was not the case. Not because I want to “recruit” people into it or because I want them to do what I am doing as far as curriculum. One of the blessings is that we get to choose the right curriculum for EACH child not just the masses.

But I wish for everyone the simple pleasure of being with your children everyday, all day. I wish I could calm others reservations about home schooling by telling them that I too was one of the people that said “I could never home school”, or “I do not want to isolate my children from others”. I have never been as joyous as I am now because of God led me to home school. I have found that all my fears and reservations were unfounded. I love public school moms and home school moms alike and I hope we ALL celebrate in the privilege of being a MOM!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


I am so excited about the Bible study I just started about self-control. I was convicted after having read numerous books on child training with no results. Well, how could I see any results when I had not been trained myself? I was asking my children to do things that I was unwilling to do. Be patient! Stop yelling! Pay attention! Don’t interrupt people when they are speaking! Focus! Ouch, talk about a heavy load of conviction.

I am praying God will do a mighty work in me through His Word.