Yes, Ladies, that's right!
No Idle Bread can be found on Facebook.

I love blogging and will continue to do so, as it is something the Lord has impressed upon my heart and it has been a great blessing to me and my family.

But sometimes, all I have is just a quick five minutes and something short I want to say--whether that be something hilarious one of my kids just did, or a sweet word of encouragement to share. That is where Facebook comes in. It will allow me to share bits and pieces in spurts of the happenings around the No Idle Bread household.

So, if you're on Facebook, won't you please consider joining me there, as well?

No Idle Bread and Facebook!

by on Friday, November 30, 2012
Yes, Ladies, that's right! No Idle Bread can be found on Facebook. I love blogging and will continue to do so, as it is something th...
**This a repost from last year on using a Jesse Tree to mark the Advent season.**

This year, the kids and I made a Jesse Tree for the Advent season. I first heard about a Jesse tree HERE at my friend Anne's blog. Last year we found out about the Jesse Tree too late to start on one, but we did enjoy reading THIS BOOK to gain a better understanding.

Here is how we made our Jesse Tree:

Jesse Tree made from brown and green scrap paper.

Over the course of a few weeks, we ripped and cut brown and green pieces of news paper ads. I drew a tree on a poster board and then my children glued those scrap pieces on for bark and leaves. Since purple is the traditional color of the Advent season, I wrote the word "Advent" in purple, in the white background space.

Along the sides of the tree trunk, I wrote the following verse, the basis of the Jesse tree:

"There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse,
And a Branch shall grow out of his roots."
-Isaiah 11:1

So, every morning, my children and I read a Scripture passage, along with a devotional, which explains the significance of the ornament we hang on the tree each day. In essence, the ornaments hung on the Jesse tree tell the story of Jesus, from the beginning (Creation) until His birth. It is a way of showing that the Babe Who takes a way the sins of the world, was always "coming," always on His way. Christmas Day was always approaching because God had an amazing plan for us, through Jesus Christ. The devotional we use can be found HERE.

Jesse Tree with ornaments

I invite you to try using a Jesse Tree for your family as a way to keep the focus of the Christmas season on Christ. Your Jesse Tree can be whatever you decide. Some people hang their Jesse tree ornaments on their Christmas tree. Other people simply get a small branch, stick it in a decorative pot and hang their ornaments from it.

Many ideas, devotionals and printable ornaments can be found online. I found lots and lots of resources HERE at The Blessings Pour Out!

Enjoy and Merry Christmas!

**I know this post is kind of late in the Advent Season. . .I have a GREAT reason! Click HERE, to see why!! :o) :o) :o)**

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Our Jesse Tree

by on Monday, November 26, 2012
**This a repost from last year on using a Jesse Tree to mark the Advent season.** This year, the kids and I made a Jesse Tree for the Adve...
 
My baby boy is making moves these days!
**The pictures shown throughout are ideas/recipies from Pinterest
that I'm using this year to celebrate Thanksgiving.**
 
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My family is excited for Thanksgiving Day. My kids are buzzing about ham and turkey and what things they want to help us cook. It feels great and I am blessed and so thankful to have family to share this holiday with.

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I'm prepping early so I don't tire myself out. Swollen ankles and feet are not a good look, no matter how cute my painted toenails may be. LOL! So, I sat down and wrote out a schedule of things to do each day, from Monday through Thursday so I am not overwhelmed with the cooking. The funny thing is that I'm only cooking for just my own family, but we enjoy the leftovers, so we cook a good amount.
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My oldest daughter (9yrs.) is really wanting to help me cook this year and that is a HUGE help and I'm so glad. We were making cornbread ahead this afternoon for the dressing and I told her how special I felt because she wanted to help. Well, here is this year's menu:

THANKSGIVING DAY DINNER
 
Turkey
Ham
Green Beans
Kale Greens
Dressing
Macaroni and Cheese
Sweet Potatoes
Mashed Potatoes & Gravy
Cranberry Sauce
Biscuits
Cinnamon Bread
Pound Cake
Sweet Potato Pie
Pumpkin Pie
 
My sweet husband will do the turkey and green beans--wonderfully delicious! Everything except the ham, biscuits and cranberry sauce will be made from scratch. (However, I was watching the Pioneer Woman the other day and she made fresh cranberry sauce. It looked so good, so I might try it for Christmas Day.) As a part of our family tradition, half of the pound cake will go to my neighbors across the street. They love it and it helps keeps the pounds gained to a minimum!
 
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I use this recipe for mashed potatoes all of the time,
but I pinned it so I could share the goodness!
 
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I've made this cinnamon bread before, too. YUMMY!
Also, this year we are having a pie taste-off and we'll be trying 2 new recipies!! My kids can't remember the difference between sweet potato pie and pumpkin pie, and let me tell you friends. . . there is a BIG difference (at least I think so.) So, we will make them both, label them pie A and pie B, and then we will take a vote on which one tastes the best. (I'm already voting for sweet potato pie because, well, I'm biased. . . LOL!)
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Sweet Potato Pie
Pumpkin pie
Pumpkin Pie
So, what is on the menu at your house? What are some of your family traditions? I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and that your day is filled with happiness and cheer!
 
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Preparing for Thanksgiving Day

by on Monday, November 19, 2012
**The pictures shown throughout are ideas/recipies from Pinterest t hat I'm using this year to celebrate Thanksgiving.**   My f...

image source
"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."
 
Paul is begging us, people of God, those of us who have trusted Jesus Christ as our Savior, to offer our bodies to God.
How?
First, keep in mind God's mercy. His mercy is Him NOT giving us what our sins deserve.
 
So, keeping that in mind, realizing that we SHOULD BE way worse off than we are, we are to (continually) offer our bodies to Him by doing in the physical what pleases God.

When I was coming up, this just meant no smoking, drugs and alcohol (drunkenness), and no premarital sex. Those things are absolutely important and are certainly applicable, but what else are we doing to our bodies?

What are our eating habits like? What is our exercise routines? What are we adorning ourselves with? How much rest and sleep are we getting? I know we as wives and moms serve our husbands and families, but that is not an excuse to neglect our bodies. Can we make sacrifices in physical areas that are pleasing to God?

Are we doing in the body what will help us in the spiritual? Are we offering our bodies by taking care of them, so that we can do Kingdom work here on earth?

The point is this, it's going to be awfully hard to serve God spiritually if our physical man is on the fritz! Let's take care of our bodies, offering them to God by the very things we do in them, so that He can use us to the fullest!

Growing Home


A Living Sacrifice

by on Tuesday, November 13, 2012
image source "Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, ...
     
In my life this week…
    I've been enjoying "falling back" with the end of Daylight Savings Time. It has helped me to wake up "earlier" and be a bit more productive in the mornings. My baby boy hasn't been too thrilled about it though; he's still adjusting. :)
     
    I'm still a bit perturbed by the election results, particularly in my state. My husband and I voted against a referendum that would legalize same-sex marriage. However, as of January 1, 2013 my state will pass a law that "redefines marriage," allowing same-sex couples to marry. I was in tears the next morning and felt completely broken-hearted for the children. Not just mine, but for the children in general. This type of legislation is an attack on the home, the family, and the God-ordained institution of marriage. It literally brings me to tears to think of the things children will now begin to entertain at an early age because adults have made sin "legal."
     
    My comfort lies in this hope: My God still reigns and prayer changes things.
In our homeschool this week…
     Lot's of work going on. We did a few fun pages about the election process in our country, and watched Schoolhouse Rock. I've been prayerful about how to present other world religions during the course of our history lessons, while still being sure to emphasize that JESUS is the only Way. 
I am inspired by…
    . . . Christians who stand firm in the faith. . . . and by my children's imaginations!
    He says he's a Pharaoh, but one that says
    "yes" to God instead of "no."
    (Some one's been paying attention during Bible history!)
    She says she's a lady named Diamond and
    that she likes to design clothing out of her blankets.
    (I call it her "Mary" look!)
     Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…
 Here's a sweet little story:
We went to the library this week to pick a few weeks worth of history reading materials. After running another errand and finally arriving to the library, I realized that I left my list of books to check out at home. I thought, "There is no way I want to go all the way back home to grab the list and come all the way back to the library. So I thought, "Maybe I can just try really hard to remember them." While we were on the elevator going up to the children's section, my oldest daughter said, "Mommy, I said a prayer to God for you, that He will help you remember what books to get." I was so grateful, because in that little moment of distress, my daughter thought to pray for me. I thanked her, and I agreed with her in faith, that God would do just that.
 
And let me tell you friends, He did. I remembered that our library has copies of The Story of the World (our history spine book) and the accompanying activity book. The activity book lists the various books to read to coincide with each lesson. I grabbed the book off of the shelf, got my older 3 settled with books to read, while the baby and I went around the shelves collecting the exact books we needed. God is good and He answers prayers. I thanked my girl for remembering to pray for me.
 
Here are a couple of pictures of the kids after voting.

The kids showing off their voting stickers. . .

. . .but it took an hour and the boys had had enough!
(Look at how they both are completely uninterested in another picture!)
 
My favorite thing this week was…
     Going grocery shopping. We had a longer stretch between grocery trips this month and the shelves were starting to get bare. I'm thankful to be able to buy food. 
Questions/thoughts I have…
     I'm looking for ways to be sure I balance the learning with the fun. I'm not the most creative person and I don't want to bore the kids. Any suggestions?
Things I’m working on…
     Planning for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I hope to share ideas with you soon!
I’m reading…
     I'm re-reading The Secret Garden with my daughter. (The last time I read it was in the 6th grade and I've forgotten much of it!) I'm looking for some good reads for me, though. What are you reading? 
I’m grateful for…
     God's Word that never fails me or ever changes.
I’m praying for…
    . . .my parents and my brother, our country and its leaders. 
A photo, video, link, or quote to share…
     yep.


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I received what some would say was slightly alarming phone call from my OB doctor yesterday. While the sonogram report from radiology showed our baby's development to be fine and normal, my blood work indicated partial results that could [potentially, maybe, possibly, by chance, if at all] show [perhaps, statistically speaking] an increased risk for complications. She went on to tell me what my options were, none of which could be 100% certain, and none of which could "fix" the potential "problem", if there's even a problem at all. *SIGH* (More like frantic prayers, tears, lots of deep breaths, and more prayers behind the closed door of my laundry room, which is also my "office" for important phone calls, and is also my prayer closet!)
This all came right at the time that we transition from breakfast/Bible study, to nap time for the baby and homeschool for the big kids. Talk about a way to get the day going!!!!!

First, let me just say, my God is awesome and He has since placed a Peace in my heart and my husband's heart that truly goes beyond understanding. It feels so good to be on the same page as my husband. He called me from work and before I could finish telling him everything about the phone call, he was already saying to me what he thought our course of action should be. And guess what? It was EXACTLY what I thought, too. Here's the plan: trust God and be thankful for the children He gives us. Period. End of story.

Anyway, the doctor's phone call got me thinking about times past. Around thirty-ish-something years ago (LOL), when my mom was pregnant with me, there weren't any genetic tests and days and days of lab work. There weren't routine sonograms, and there certainly weren't 3-D sonograms which give you real live color images of your baby in the womb.

I understand that advances in medicine have come a mighty long way, and over all, I am so thankful to God for that. But on the flip side of that coin, I wonder how much worry and anxiety has also come along with the advances in medicine. When my older 3 children were born, most genetic testing was only offered in the 2nd trimester, if you were over the age of 35 or had a particular medical history. Just last year, when I was pregnant with my youngest son, genetic testing was only offered in the 2nd trimester, but was available to all mothers, regardless of age or history. Now, just one year later, genetic testing is offered (and highly recommended) in every trimester to all mothers regardless, of age or medical history.

My response: WOW! Oh, the unnecessary worry that can come from this. Advances in medicine can create a whole host of things to worry about during such a beautiful time in a mother's life. Being pregnant is a miracle that we should enjoy as much as possible.

Last year when I was pregnant, my blood work came back great. I "passed" with flying colors! But, that good ol' sonogram showed otherwise. There were indicators and markers and red flags and alarms about our son. And the doctors wanted repeat tests and repeat images and repeat visits. My husband and I decided against it because what would it change? For us, any "unwelcomed" findings would never make us choose to terminate the pregnancy. So, what does worrying accomplish? Nothing. All things are in God's hands.

And so I wonder about times past, when Granny's would tell a woman if the baby would be a boy or girl by the way the mother was carrying the child. And then everyone would wait to see if she was right! I wonder about times past, when a husband and wife would wait in great expectation to see their child for the first time, without any "pre-pictures" giving clues on whose nose or profile the baby has. I wonder about a time when mom's and dad's would have 2 names picked out because they had no clue (except for Granny's prediction, of course) about what they were having.

It seems that we've gotten away from that time. We live in an instant world: "We need to know right now!" And sometimes the "knowing" can produce worry, which produces a heart that doesn't trust in God. It's taken me 6 pregnancies altogether to stop and really think this through. So, I pray for strength for my family, as we continue to learn to trust in God while await the birth of our precious gift.
 

*Please know that I am NOT judging or condemning any woman or family who feels they should have testing done during pregnancies. After all, I've done it for every single one of mine, in one way or another. These are just the thoughts that are born out of the decisions I've made.*


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