Week 4: Recap
Last week--Peace and War--was a full week for our household. I was definitely in a "fight" to keep things peaceful around here. My youngest daughter woke up Monday morning with a headache, fever, etc., etc. (I'll spare you the details!). Then, on Tuesday, my oldest daughter had surgery (which had been rescheduled from October).  I was getting over a cold that I wouldn't wish on anyone! Lack of sleep, trying to keep house, medication doses around the clock, trying to keep the male-folk from getting sick--yeah, I was at war! But praise be to the Most High God, we kept our sanity and a measure of peace.

We enjoyed Christmas morning together, Husband and I, along with our 3 wonderful blessings. Husband led us in prayer and each of us took time to give thanks to God about whatever was on our hearts in that moment. {Thank God for the gift of Jesus Christ!} We opened our presents and giggled in surprise. We went out for breakfast (this just might be a new tradition for us!!) and then we spent the rest of the morning with Husband's family at his parents' house. Later, we spent as much phone time as we could with my parents and my brother across the miles (a bad Internet connection thwarted our Skype plans!!).  

Moving on to the final week's challenge. . . Get Out and Evaluate!!!
Go outside (yes I know, with the frigid temps, this is a challenge all by itself!), but go outside and try to enjoy the winter nature. While there, consider reading the following passages [Matthew 27 and 28]. Also begin to reflect on the past year and think about changes we can make for the new year. (If your weather is anything like mine, you'll probably have to move this activity inside after a while!!)

Truth be told, I'm not one for huge goals, "resolutions," and drastic changes simply because it's a new year. I believe that the God we serve can work a change in our hearts no matter what time of year it is. However, my mother suggested that people are more aware of things that need to be changed when a new year is approaching.

With that being said, Courtney @ WomenLivingWell (the host of this challenge) has a great list of items to reflect on. I think that we, as wives and mothers, would do well to reflect on these things now, and often in our lives.
  1. Your Walk with God
  2. Your Marriage
  3. Your Children (if applicable)
  4. Your Health
  5. Your Spiritual Gifts
Please visit her blog HERE for the suggestions she makes in each of these areas. I really think it is useful and practical, as I will certainly evaluate these things.

Finally, what will your theme word be for 2011?
After looking over your evaluation, is there a common thread? Is there a thought or theme that you keep returning to? What word best summarizes your goals in these areas? Peace? Prayer? Praise? Thankfulness? Gentleness? Submission? Humility? Quietness? I haven't yet had my "out-door, winter evaluation time," but from glancing at this list, I'm thinking my theme word might be consistency.

I do hope, Ladies, that the challenge for peace during the month of December has been a blessing to you. 
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

{This post is linked HERE at WomenLivingWell}
Enjoy figuring this out, courtesy of Husband!

Five friends (an engineer, a lawyer, a doctor, a teacher and a philosopher) get together at, of all things, an ethics symposium. This is humorous because four out of five of them do nothing but lie. Lawyers have always been the butt of jokes about their truthfulness, but engineers, teachers, philosophers, and doctors? What's this world coming to?

From the following statements, can you figure out who is telling the truth and what each person really does?

Mike: "John never lies. As his doctor, I should know."

Ralph: "No, John always lies. I taught him math in high school and he even lied about that."

Bill: "How could John lie? He never lies."

John: "That's right. I'm not a lawyer. I'm a doctor."

Susie: "I'm the only doctor here. Are you that embarrassed at being a philosopher, Mike, or are you just playing one of your philosophical games?

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Task #1: Find out who's telling the truth.
It's Ralph. How do we know it's Ralph?
What we know is that 4 out of 5 people are lying.
Mike and Bill both state that John never lies.
Since only one person is telling the truth, that means both Mike and Bill are lying.
Now we know that Ralph is telling the truth (Ralph states the opposite of Mike and Bill).

Task #2: Find out each person's occupation.
This is a process of elimination.
Start with Ralph; he's a teacher (taught John in high school).
Next is John; he said he wasn't a lawyer; John is the lawyer.
Mike is not a doctor, based on his statement. He's also not a philosopher, based on Susie's statement. Mike is the engineer.
Susie is the philosopher based on her statement (plus, Mike is the engineer).
That leaves Bill as the doctor.

Thou Shall Not Lie

by on Monday, December 27, 2010
Enjoy figuring this out, courtesy of Husband ! Five friends (an engineer, a lawyer, a doctor, a teacher and a philosopher) get together at...
This is the recipe for my Mommy's Banana Nut Bread that I promised so long ago. (Yes, I got her permission first before posting this--thanks Mom!!) I make this bread just about every month. It is simple and delicious and makes the house smell tasty. Usually, I make it without the nuts, and it's still just as good.
     
    
    Bananas begging once again
    to become banana bread!
    
Ingredients:
3 ripe bananas
1 C sugar
1/2 C butter
1 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp water
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 C flour
2 eggs
1 C chopped walnuts



Directions:
Mash bananas and sugar together and let stand for 15 minutes.
Add in the butter. Dissolve the baking soda in the water, then add to the banana mixture.
In a separate bowl, sift dry ingredients together, then add to banana mixture.
Add the eggs and nutmeat. Stir just enough to mix.
Pour into a greased loaf pan and let stand for 15 minutes.
Bake at 325 degrees for about 1 hour and 10 minutes (or until toothpick comes out clean).


Just baked last night!

You can enjoy a slice for breakfast with your favorite tea. . . or as a snack with a little eggnog (no worries--alcohol-free!)
{Thanks to Husband for picking up such yummy eggnog the other day!}
Let me know if you ever give this a try. . .or if you have other recipes for bread you'd like to share!!!
 

 
{This post is linked HERE at RaisingHomemakers}

Mom's Banana Nut Bread

by on Monday, December 27, 2010
This is the recipe for my Mommy's Banana Nut Bread that I promised so long ago. (Yes, I got her permission first before posting this--t...
I wish you a Merry Christmas today.

May the joy of our Lord and Savior's birth warm your hearts.

I hope you carry the joy of the Lord into the New Year and share it with others.

Thank God for His Son Jesus Christ, born to take away the sins of the world.

Joy to the world!! The Lord is come!!

Merry Christmas everyone. I hope your day was special and filled with cheer.

Love,
Stacie

Merry Christmas!

by on Saturday, December 25, 2010
I wish you a Merry Christmas today. May the joy of our Lord and Savior's birth warm your hearts. I hope you carry the joy of ...
Week 3: Recap
During week 3, we were to pick a night to go to bed very early, in order to be well-rested for the next day's tasks. Unfortunately, the reason I was able to complete this task was because I was sick last week. Fever. Aches. Chills. Hot flashes. Sore throat. Ear pain. Weakness. I was down for the count, my friends. Praise God it didn't last long--whatever it was, it was fast-moving! Thank God for Healing!

Moving on to this week's challenge. . . Peace and War!!!!

The task for this week is to find a quiet moment to reflect on the "Reason for the season." Get something warm to drink and sit by the fire, a lit Christmas tree, or by candlelight, and reflect on the Lord. Spend time in prayer, worship, or song during this moment. This task is meant to produce a still moment in our lives so that we can be at peace with our Peace-giver.

Here we are, just a few more days away from the "BIG" day. Our society is pressuring us to spend more, to find the perfect gift, to host the ultimate party and so on. Hustle and bustle--commercializing such a Holy time. It is almost as if we are "at war" over our peace. Actually, we are at war because satan's desire is to take the most Holiest of occasions and send us into a frenzy and a state of fretfulness over things that have nothing to do with Christmas.

If we're stressed out and short-tempered because our Christmas isn't what we want it to be, or what our culture says it should be, then we are missing the Reason for the season, just as satan would want. Instead of being miserable and hurried, let's slow down and remember why Christ came to earth and the peace He has been in our lives. Be aware of those moments when we're trying to make Christmas be something it isn't, be aware of those moments when we begin to lose sight of why we're celebrating.

Preparation is key, Ladies. Let's prepare our hearts to receive His peace this week. As the Christmas song says: Let every heart prepare Him room! Keep reading the Word this week, continue to have some quiet time with the Prince of Peace. Prepare for this "war" by filling your heart with Jesus this week and watch how peaceful Christmas will be!

"Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." -John 14:27


MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! 
{This post is linked HERE at WomenLivingWell}
Yesterday, Husband's family came by for some Christmas cheer. What a fun time, had by all--all 12 of us that is!! It was such a joy! Nothing elaborate, nothing fancy, just plain old fun! Here's what we did. . .

MENU:
  • Party Meatballs
  • Hot Dogs
  • Chicken Strips
  • Mozzarella Cheese Sticks
  • Green Beans
  • Feta Pasta Salad
  • Grilled Chicken Salad
  • Baked Beans
  • Potato Chips
  • Little Smokies
  • Cheese-n-Cracker Tray
We chose this menu because it was very informal, making it easy for people to grab-and-go and eat as they pleased. It was also very convenient for the children to serve themselves.


My daughter T.M.
as "Rudolph" LOL!

GAMES:
  • White Elephant Gift Exchange
  • Gift Wrapping Contest
  • Act Out Christmas Carols
  • What's in the Bag?


Husband and I supplied the "gifts" used for the White Elephant and Gift Wrapping games, which were all inexpensive items (dollar store!!). However, each gift was fun or very useful for the home. The extra-hilarious part about the Gift Wrapping Contest was that each gift was irregularly shaped, like a pack of hangers for example!!! Each guest took their gifts home with them. What we enjoyed the most was that the youngest to the oldest could play each game in some capacity. It was a family gathering.

The kids ran around and played, we all laughed and danced (Motown Christmas music in the background!), ate and laughed and laughed some more. It was a great evening. . .just wishing my parents and brother back home could have been here (in case you're reading. . .I miss you guys!)

Merry Christmas!!!!

{This post is linked HERE at GardenOfLearning
and also HERE at RaisingHomemakers}

Christmas Gathering

by on Sunday, December 19, 2010
Yesterday, Husband's family came by for some Christmas cheer. What a fun time, had by all--all 12 of us that is!! It was such a joy! ...
Week 2: Recap
Lighting my candle and playing lovely Christmas music each day, helps add to the peace around here. Week 2 was not without its challenges--very busy schedules (all 3 kids have swim practice), colds and runny noses (poor babies!), some tough conversations with Husband (all is well, but hey, it's been the reality!), self-reflection, and the like. However, I did make my bubble bath appointment and it was truly a relaxing time. I read the Word and had some quiet time with the Lord. I think that is something that I will begin to do once or twice a month.


Moving on to this week's challenge. . . Rest for the Weary!!!


The task for this week is to go to bed very, very EARLY! Get nice and cozy, snug and warm. And before you fall asleep, take a few moments to read the following verses: Isaiah 7:14, Micah 5:2, Jeremiah 23:5, and Isaiah 53. This task is meant to provide adequate rest to face a full day. Without proper rest, we are cranky, easily frustrated, and have difficulty meeting the needs of those in our lives (trust me, I'm a witness!!). This is a bad situation and the only thing it produces is a lack of peace.


During this Christmas season, we should ask ourselves, are the things we're doing bringing peace to our homes and joy in our hearts? Or are we making sure everything is "just so," never stopping to have a moment to enjoy ourselves or our Lord during this special time?


Let's remember the peace we have in Jesus, which is unlike the world's misconception: just one more gift, one more bow, one more strand of lights, one more party, more, more, more. . .more is never enough. . . but Jesus is. Jesus said, "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." -John 14:27


May going to bed early remind us to rest, not just physically, but always in our Lord.

"Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." -Matthew 11:28, 29 
{This post is linked HERE at WomenLivingWell
and HERE at RaisingHomemakers}
Take a look at the words of this song. . .

"Now behold the Lamb.
The precious Lamb of God.
Born into sin
That I may live again.

The precious Lamb of God!
Holy is the Lamb.
The precious Lamb of God.
Why You loved me so
Lord, I shall never know.
The precious Lamb of God!"


I hear this song often during Christmastime and it reminds me of how great the love of God is. He loved you and me so much that He decided to come, intentionally, on purpose--to be born of flesh, into a world of sin to SAVE us.

All the while, knowing full well that He would be the Lamb, the Sacrifice, the Payment for OUR sins. Not His own, for He is perfect, but for OUR sins.


How selfless, how amazing, how precious, how holy!! What love God has for you and me!!


The power of such love humbles me, for we are so unworthy; we deserve much worse. But He came so that we could live again!! May we forever remember how great His love is.


"He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
In this was manifested the love of God toward us,
because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world,
that we might live through Him.
Herein is love, not that we loved God,
but that He loved us, and sent His Son
to be the propitiation for our sins."
-1 John 4:8-10

Please listen to the song below and be reminded of our Precious Lamb.
Enjoy!

Now Behold the Lamb

by on Wednesday, December 08, 2010
Take a look at the words of this song. . . "Now behold the Lamb. The precious Lamb of God. Born into sin That I may live again...
Week 1: Recap
Last week, was slow going, as I was a bit under the weather.
However, I lit my candle each day and prayed for peace in my home. I will continue to do this each day for the rest of the month--it works for me. I also posted my Scripture for the month (I Peter 5:7) as a reminder during stressful moments.

I did a little bit of Christmas shopping and I must say that it was quite enjoyable and quite peaceful, without the hectic, shopping you-have-to-buy-everything-you-see-because-it's-Christmas feeling. I took my time, stayed within budget, bought intentionally not frivolously, and went home when I began to feel tired.


Moving on to this week's challenge. . .Bibles and Bubbles!!!!

The task for the week is to schedule one evening to relax in a nice, warm bubble bath!! This task is meant to SLOW US DOWN (as we all know too well the brisk 5-7 minute shower, that isn't always garaunteed)! As wives and mothers, there is always some glorious task that needs to be done and we have our schedules and routines and to-do lists swirling around in our heads. These things tend to be magnified during the Christmas season.


But, every now and then, we need a quiet, peaceful, relaxing moment. Not so we can be lazy or "eat the bread of idleness," but so that we can hear from God, so that we can be renewed and re-energized from on High. It is such an honor to care for my Husband, my children and my home, so I must do well to care for myself and keep my mind, body and spirit healthy. Rest is part of that equation!!! SO.......


This will be no ordinary bubble bath--here's what you'll need:
  • Privacy--no interruptions; let your husband know your intent and put the kiddo's to bed. No phone calls, either!
  • Hot water with lots and lots of bubbles (maybe some scented ones)!
  • Soft music and maybe a candle.
  • Hand towel, rolled up, to be used as a pillow.
  • Something cool to drink.
  • The Bible: read Matthew 1-2 and Luke 1-2 about the birth of Jesus.
Spend some quiet time, alone, one-on-one with our Heavenly Father, giving yourself 25-30 minutes of peace. He is the ultimate Peace Giver.

{This post is linked HERE at WomenLivingWell
and HERE at RaisingHomemakers}


"Of the greatness of His government and peace there will be no end. . ." -Isaiah 9:7




A quick snap shot before Husband
adds another piece of firewood.
I am thankful for this warm and cozy fire in our old wood-burning stove.

When we first moved here, we were unsure of how to operate it and keep a nice fire going. (City folks, right?! LOL)
We even considered having it removed, freeing up space in the living room, calling it "dangerous" because of our small children.

Well . . .

We were blessed with lots of free firewood a few years ago. (Not to mention that huge tree branch that fell a couple of weeks back.)
Husband can light it and keep the fire roaring! It really warms our home. (Thanks, Husband.)
My children know to stay away from the stove, just as they do in the kitchen.
We are doing just fine with the space we have.

The old, wood-burning stove. . .
I am thankful for it, especially on a cold night like tonight.

Wood-burning Stove

by on Sunday, December 05, 2010
 A quick snap shot before Husband adds another piece of firewood.  I am thankful for this warm and cozy  fire in our old wood-bu...
Here are some tongue twisters our family had fun with!

From the youngest to the oldest, we all gave them a try.

See how much fun (and how many laughs) you'll have
saying these phrases 3 times, as fast as you can!


BLACK BUG'S BLOOD

RED BULB, BLUE BULB

FRESHLY FRIED FAT FLYING FISH

Our family enjoyed these and had fun laughing at our flubs!
What good tongue twisters do you know?

Friday Night Fun

by on Friday, December 03, 2010
Here are some tongue twisters our family had fun with! From the youngest to the oldest, we all gave them a try. See how much fun (and how...
I saw this idea today at Garden of Learning and I thought it would be a great idea for my kids! (See pics below.)

Okay, here's the deal. Every December my children ask me "How many more days 'til Christmas, Mommy?"As a matter of fact, my 5 year old told me on Monday that she thought Christmas was on Tuesday! LOL 

In order to keep questions at a minimum, I usually make up a countdown to Christmas by drawing a well-intended Christmas tree on a piece of paper. I tack it onto the front door and each day, I attach the number of days left. . .
There it is--our make-shift countdown to  Christmas.

I know, pretty pitiful, right?

Well this year, we're doing something different!

I made a paper chain of 25 "links" in red, green and white. Each chain has a Scripture on it relating to the birth of Jesus. As we count down to Christmas, each day we will remove a link 
and read the Scripture aloud. This will help me reinforce to the kiddos Who this day is really all about. I told my kids about it and they were pretty excited!!


You can visit Garden of Learning for a list of Scriptures to use for your chain.

You'll need construction paper,
scissors, glue, ruler, a pen.
 




 
Cut the paper into 2 inch strips.
I numbered mine for my kids' sake,
but this isn't necessary.
 


Write a Scripture on the other side.
Alternatively, you could just
write where the verse is found and
read it from the Bible each day.
  

Glue the "links" together to form the chain.
Happy crafting and Merry Christmas!!!   
{This post is linked HERE at RaisingHomakers.com}
Hey there Ladies!! I just wanted to tell you about the Holiday Bliss link up. Once again, this month-long event is hosted by Brenda at Garden of Learning.


The challenge will be to post each day about something your family is doing to celebrate the Christmas Holiday season. I love Christmas and all the joy it brings. I love this time of reflection about the birth of our Lord and the amazing miracles that surrounded His birth.

Although I will not be participating in the challenge this time around, I definitely will be checking the link ups regularly. There is much this wife and mom can learn from other women about the traditions they use each year to celebrate this Holy occasion.

If you feel "blissful" and want to participate, by all means head over HERE to get started.
Enjoy!

Holiday Bliss

by on Wednesday, December 01, 2010
Hey there Ladies!! I just wanted to tell you about the Holiday Bliss link up. Once again, this month-long event is hosted by Brenda at ...
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