Friday, December 26, 2008

New Year's Eve Prayer Box

I really thought that this was a beautiful idea! I am going to try to implement this with my family this year.

Jill Novak has many wonderful ideas. You can check out here blog here. I am going to include here what she shares about the Prayer Box:

We have some fun traditions that we celebrate on New Year's Eve. We usually buy all kinds of finger foods and make a holiday smorgasbord like my mother prepared every Christmas Eve when I was a child. After we eat, we gather in the living room to act out a play. This is really fun because we run around the house looking for the right props and costumes that we need. All of this is done at the last minute, but the memories of our spontaneous plays are precious.

Later in the evening, we roll up the living room rug and haul out the old Magnavox record player (it’s the only thing that plays 78’s). We dance to all kinds of celebratory music: square dances, John Philip Sousa marches, the Best of Dixieland Band, the original Sons of the Pioneers, and whatever else tickles our fancy.

Finally around 11:00p.m., I bring out a special prayer box wrapped in gold paper and tied with a simple bow. We all settle down with pen and paper and write out our prayers for the following year. After we’re done writing, we place our prayers in the box, to be left unopened until the following New Year’s Eve. Then we read the prayers that we wrote on the previous New Year’s Eve. It’s a very moving time as we see how faithfully God has answered our requests. It's amazing to see His hand and how He fulfils the desires of our hearts. No, He doesn't answer every prayer in the way we think He will, but we have seen Him answer the majority of them in ways that are always better.

Every year we stand in awe of how the Lord has arranged circumstances or delivered somebody from a habit they were trying to break. It’s also interesting to see how we parents have to work with The Lord to make some of our children’s prayers come true (I know what Anna’s are because I write her prayers down).

If you're looking for a way to teach your children about the power of prayer, and a way to impress upon them how personal and loving their heavenly Father is, I encourage you to start the New Year’s Eve prayer box tradition. It really takes the burden off of having expectations and goals that we have to fulfill for the New Year and puts them in the heavenly court where God can work miracles. It just takes a little faith to wait on Him. But remember, the prayers cannot be read for a whole year… and you’re not allowed to peek!

Fixed That Link

I think that I added a dead link to the last post, but it is fixed now! Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

There's been a lot of talk lately about having a regular tea time each day. I can't quite handle that, but the idea does appeal to me since I am a "people person" and enjoy just visiting and sharing with friends and family.

Anyway, I found this wonderful post with an astounding number of ideas for a special "teatime" and thought that I ought to share it. You can find it here if you are interested!


Merry Christmas to Everyone!!

I hope the Lord showers you all with the beautiful blessing of His presence because that is the best present of all!

Love, Robin

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Tarragon Chicken & Thrifty Fun

Here's a little recipe that I thought looked easy and yummy! Enjoy!

Tarragon Chicken


  • 2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine or vermouth
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh tarragon or 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream


In a large skillet, melt butter in oil over medium high heat. Add chicken breast and cook; turning once, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes a side. Remove and set aside.

Add wine to the pan. Bring to a boil, scraping up brown bits from bottom of pan with a wooded spoon. Stir in mustard, tarragon, salt and pepper to taste. Whisk in cream and boil until mixture thickens slightly about 3 minutes.

Return chicken to skillet; turn in sauce to coat, and simmer for 5-10 minutes, until chicken is tender. Remove chicken to a serving dish, and spoon sauce over all the chicken.

Source: A friend, Maureen

By Raymonde from North Bay, Ontario

I got it from a website called Thrifty Fun. Check it out for a million tips on saving money

Friday, December 19, 2008

If My Happiness Depends on the Conduct of Others, I Will Never Be Happy

I guess my title really says it all, but my husband and I have been reflecting on this statement for quite a while now.

Needless to say, we are not there.

People will continue to behave in irritating, irrational, hurtful or just plain thoughtless ways.

When I become irritated, irrational, hurt or just plain astonished by this behavior what I am beginning to see is that the places in my heart that I thought had been transformed by the Holy Spirit are really just chinked and patched with self-righteousness.

So when those chinked and patched places have stress placed on them holes begin to appear and I am left bleeding and astounded and surprised...

"Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."

"Whatever is lovely...think on these things."

"...sharing in His sufferings..."

How quickly I forget!

I am not a china doll to be wrapped in cotton batting and handled carefully.

I am an empty, cracked vessel to be used and spent by the Lord.

Please transform me, Lord, so that this bad patch job will truly be replaced with You.

Then it may hurt, (You were hurt), but joy will abound!

Once In a Lifetime Soup

Hello Everyone,
Just thought I would share my idea for Once in a Lifetime Soup. I don't really enjoy a leftover day. It is more fun to use different bits from leftovers in the frig to make a creative soup that has no real recipe.

I usually start with some broth, add my leftovers (bits of meat, vegetables, rice or other grain, beans) and then add something fresh to the pot. Perhaps some fresh chopped spinach or frozen peas or corn. One of my husband's favorites is sweet potato!

Then comes the creative part! I add unusual, but handy spices to the mix. I have added cinnamon, cloves, curry, cayenne, ginger, creole seasoning, and even coconut!

When I serve this, I always tell my family that they are getting a "once in a lifetime" soup that can never be repeated. They love it! It has really made eating ordinary leftovers into an adventure.
Hope you can use this!


Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Time to Die

This was written by my wonderful, expressive, sixteen year old, Adam.

Chester went where all guinea pigs go, this afternoon.

He took his squeaks with him, too.

His perky ways and outspoken complaints used to fill the halls as we rushed to fulfill his desires. Soft brown fur accompanied his strong will. Able to endure the harshest rides in the car, able to look straight into the face of our dog, Millie, and still voice his opinions in a high-pitched manner, Chester exceeded all the small, furry creatures that ever dwelled with us (especially the rabbits).

He would squeak when he wished for water. I would take the bottle to fill it, and he would squeak louder, as if it were an emergency. I would clean his cage, letting him loose in the back yard, and as he tasted the sweetness of freedom, he would elude all captors by dashing into the thorny rose bushes, as we would helplessly give up the chase, not daring to fare the thorns.

He was prestigiously stout, ever eating. A sight for all to see— which proves that we will miss our little, brown friend. We loved our little Chester.

Vivé le la cobaye! (French)
Long live the guinea pig!

We really will miss you, Chester!

I Gave Myself

It was Christmas, and the Liberian Christans had been asked this year, instead of receiving gifts, to help carry the gospel to others. As in many mission fields, they brought , not money, but produce. Presently, the great plates were piled high with offerings of rice, cocoa, bananas, palm nuts, pineapple, and cassava.

There was a moment's pause . . .

Slowly a twelve-year-old boy walked forward and solemnly placed his feet in one of the plates.

Afterward, when the missionary questioned him, the boy said, "We are very poor. I did not have anything else to give . . . so I gave myself."

This is from Ann Dunagan's blog.

I thought it was wonderful. Don't you want to be just like that little boy? I do, but I've got a long way to go...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Free Curriculum

Another Merry CHRISTmas to you!

Do you want your children to be more Missions-Minded? I do!

This is a full year unit study for multiple ages written by a wonderful homeschool mom of seven, Ann Dunagan. When you see this, you will be sooooo excited!

On Giving

You know, I was just reading a little article on giving.

The author wondered what it would be like to have enough money to give gifts to others and whether or not they would find themselves wanting a pat on the back for having done so.


You know, we all have enough to give gifts to others.

They don't have to be physical gifts.

They can be gifts of time or actions or prayer.

Do we want a proverbial pat on the back for those? Do we have to tell everyone how we spend out time or what we did for someone or what we have been praying about?

If we have to have recognition for organizing the Christmas play or the Sunday School party don't we already know the answer to this question?

Giving a gift has nothing to do with money. It has everything to do with the heart.

Help me, help us, Lord, to give like You!

How Inept Can I Get? or How Much Compassion Do I Give?

I sent messages to a couple of people about how to improve my blog and to be honest, I can't even begin to understand what they are telling me!

I had no idea of my lack of knowledge!

How embarrassing!

Have I ranted enough?

You know, it makes me think of the Lord. And it makes me think of those without Christ...

How many times do I find myself in utter disbelief at the actions of the world? How many times have a shared a biblical principle with someone and been surprised at that "deer in the headlight" look?

How many times have I had that look?

Lord, forgive me when I forget that You have seen that look a thousand times on your disciples faces.

On my face...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

From Strength to Strength

Is the Lord's timing wonderful or what?

My fibromyalgia has been flaring up and making simple things hard and sometimes all I want to do is cry.

On Sunday, my email devotional by Charles Spurgeon was timely and incredibly true. I think I will just post his words for you.

“They go from strength to strength.”
Psalm 84:7

They go from strength to strength. There are various renderings of
these words, but all of them contain the idea of progress.

Our own good translation of the authorized version is enough for us
this morning. “They go from strength to strength.” That is, they grow
stronger and stronger. Usually, if we are walking, we go from
strength to weakness; we start fresh and in good order for our
journey, but by-and-by the road is rough, and the sun is hot, we sit
down by the wayside, and then again painfully pursue our weary way.
But the Christian pilgrim having obtained fresh supplies of grace, is
as vigorous after years of toilsome travel and struggle as when he
first set out. He may not be quite so elate and buoyant, nor perhaps
quite so hot and hasty in his zeal as he once was, but he is much
stronger in all that constitutes real power, and travels, if more
slowly, far more surely. Some gray-haired veterans have been as firm
in their grasp of truth, and as zealous in diffusing it, as they were
in their younger days; but, alas, it must be confessed it is often
otherwise, for the love of many waxes cold and iniquity abounds, but
this is their own sin and not the fault of the promise which still
holds good: “The youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men
shall utterly fall, but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew
their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall
run and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint.” Fretful
spirits sit down and trouble themselves about the future. “Alas!” say
they, “we go from affliction to affliction.” Very true, O thou of
little faith, but then thou goest from strength to strength also.
Thou shalt never find a bundle of affliction which has not bound up
in the midst of it sufficient grace. God will give the strength of
ripe manhood with the burden allotted to full-grown shoulders.

"How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news."

Thank you Mister Spurgeon for speaking across many years to me for this moment in time.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Another Amazing Freebie!

Check out this blog whether you homeschool or not. All these books are free to download. They are all in the public domain!

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 12, 2008

First the Work, Then the Show

"Let's watch a show, Mama."

"Let's unload the washing machine and get the dryer going, Lydia."

"Okay, first the work, then the show!"

"Yes, first the work, then the show!"

Wow, I just realized something. I want my life here on earth to be the "show". No, this life is about my transformation, my becoming more and more like Jesus everyday.

That takes work!

That is painful!

Oftentimes, I don't respond to the work of transformation as easily as Lydia responded to my command of working and then playing. As a matter of fact, I like the idea of heaven right now, here, on earth!

That isn't the way my Lord plans things. He is doing a work in me. One painful change after another, but...

then comes the show!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

My Name is Cinderella

She has dark hair, Cinderella is traditionally blonde.

She can't carry a tune. Cinderella sings like an angel.

She can't thread a needle. Cinderella can design her own ball gown.

She trips over glass slippers which are too big. Cinderella's slipper fits "just right".

But, when our beautiful, four-year-old, South Korean charmer was asked her name last night she replied confidently,


She whirls around the house in a cloud of cheap netting and ascetate and anyone with vision can see that she is dancing at the ball, more beautiful than all.

Don't you want to be Cinderella?

Don't you want "Prince Charming" to tell you that you are the loveliest girl he's ever seen?

He will.

I can't wait for Lydia to know "Prince Charming", otherwise known as the Lord Jesus. It will be so exciting for her to know that he has been just waiting to put the glass slipper on her beautiful little foot and claim her as his bride.

Thank you Lord that no one, nothing can stop you. Not even the ugly stepmother can interfere with your plans for Lydia. I feel so grateful today for getting to play a small part in your wonderful purposes.

"For I know the plans I have for you,"
declares the LORD,
"plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future."

Jeremiah 29:11

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Restoration House

Town Mouse, Country Mouse

I don't believe that I have shared here how my life goes each week. I'm not just the town mouse or just the country mouse. I am both. At the same the time.

Each week, my husband, three of my four children (one in college), our dog, our guinea pig and usually a guest travel from our town home to our "little house in the woods" in east Texas.

During half of the week, I keep up with our three parents who all have health issues, have church in our home, homeschool our children and assist two others who have just begun the homeschool journey (and it is a journey!) and have a wonderful cathartic healing lunch (counseling session lol) with my dear friend. Check out her blog here.

I then pack (as few belongings as possible) and travel with everyone to the prettiest little place in Texas. Of course, that's just my opinion!!!

What are we doing down there, you might ask?

Well, for the first couple of years, all we have done is build, build, build. We first built a little house that actually looks like a barn. Then my husband acquire some logs from a cabin built in the 1800s and we restored it and have created what we call Restoration House.

We hope that the Lord will use it to restore lives, to allow people to hear His voice, to "be still and know that He is God".

Sometimes, this town mouse/country mouse gets tired of living in two places, but for now I know that this is His will for us. I'm looking forward to see what He will do if only we are willing.

Let me know if restoration is what you are looking for...

Friday, December 5, 2008

Jan Brett

I'm sure everyone out there knows about the wonderful work Jan Brett does writing children's books, but I wondered how many of you ladies know about her lovely and useful website?

Use this link to get a bundle of goodies for all kinds of things.

You won't be sorry you did!

Here I Go...

I am attempting to put an image in my blog. Sure enough, you say, that is nothing, but for me...

Wow! I actually did it! The sky's is limit...


Everyone seems to have a freebie on their website or blog these days. I love a freebie, don't you? Of course, I want to be thought of as a serious blogger...thought provoking, insightful, etc. BUT, things are getting ugly out there and I for one am looking for a bargain. Anyway, silliness aside, I thought that from time to time when I found something free, I would post it for whomever might like to peruse it.

Today, I found some free e-books on various topics from Creative Homemaker that you might enjoy!

When you sign up for their newsletter they send you a page of free downloadable e-books. There are many articles that are free to read and even some to purchase, but I found many useful pieces of information.

Happy Bargain Hunting!