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Did you decide what you don't want to miss?

Did you read all the way to the bottom of the Dec 8th post? (Probably not.) Let me just recap something that I'm finding really important. Think ahead to January 5th or so. Kids are trudging back to school-everyone's getting back into the normal routine- what do you wish you'd done. What gives you that unsatisfied feeling? "It went by so fast we didn't even get to ________!" Fill in the blank... I'm trying to change my to do list to not only reflect "have to's"- which will always be with us- but to put on my to-do list some things that are TRUE PRIORITIES for me and my family!

Of course these things will be different for all of us. Some of mine were making a gingerbread house with the kids- and I wanted to read Little Women to the girls and end the season watching the movie together. These things probably wouldn't be in your top 1 million- but I know you have things, too! So, why not take a moment to decide now what is truly important to you, and decide to get it done first. You can bank on not having time "left" to do these "too-important-to-miss" things!
Now- get off the computer- and GO MAKE SOME MEMORIES!!! :-) unless of course it's midnight and hubby or the kids are asleep- but put it TOP of tomorrow's list at least.
love to you all...
~katherine

PS- In response to SusieQTpie's comment- NO :) This is NOT the gingerbread house we made LOL! Just a good representative "gingerbread house" I found! Ours was an "out of the box" kit! (I'm just cracking up here-) And- Ryan & I were just talking of posting a pic of a gingerbread house that Hope brought home from a church activity tonight made out of small graham crackers- it's half eaten and roof fell off! That would be good humor!

Finger of God

Hi everybody! We watched this video at church tonight. You NEED to watch it! (But only if you are willing to be challenged and stretched beyond where you are currently!) That's about all I can say... See it, pray about it, and go show some love- and pray for some people to be touched with the love of Jesus. I can't think of many more appropriate things for the Advent/Christmas season...
Be Blessed!
~Katherine

Several things...

There have been several things I've wanted to post about this week... but, it's been a little crazy so I've had a hard time sitting down to do it. Now, dog-dead tired, I'm here, ready, willing, and ... well, evidently not able, because I CAN'T REMEMBER ANY of the many things I wanted to share! Well, I suppose that's what I get for passing my neurons out to four other creatures ...

Josiah turned 4 today and is sleeping tonight for the first time in a "big boy bed". I'm feeling a little sentimental about it all... I go most of the year without being a really sentimental gal- but, the older my kids get, the more I find their birthdays bring it out in me. It's a good thing. :)

(time passing at the speed of light- or life!)

So, now that I'm typing, I'm remembering one thing... I was driving home alone (an extremely RARE experience) on Friday from a dr. apt- (everything's great- no need for curiosity or worry!)- and was listening to Greg Laurie on the radio. He grown son passed away in an automobile accident this past summer. When I turned on the radio, I joined them as he's describing when his wife called him asking where there son was- he texts his son, "Where are you? Call me"--- "But," he says, "he couldn't call me, he was in heaven." Well, that's MORE than enough to make the tears start flowing- and a mother is certainly inclined to feel even more sentimental when her darlings aren't IN the car squabbling with each other (effectively ruining any potential sentiment- not that mine would squabble with each other... pastor's children are perfect after all! lol!!!). But, I felt the Lord reminding me of a truth. There is no dress rehearsal in life. THIS IS IT! We have to be the parents/grandparents/spouses/friends we want and need to be now. This is our children's only childhood. Our spouses only marriage (hopefully- or at least their LASTING one!) Thinking of kids though- the issues they grow up with are born NOW- not later when we've figured it all out. It's the time to put selfishness behind- and make the kids, my spouse's needs more important than my own.

Philippians 2:3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

It's not that any of these things is really new news. It's just that in the humdrum of life, the sense of urgency tends to wane. But, what more perfect time than advent, to recommit to being ready- recommit to being present- to recommit to being alive and fully engaged in the lives of those the Lord has place around us, in our homes, our workplaces, our churches, our neighborhoods, etc ? In an email I got- it was suggestd that we make a holiday "hit list" rather than a to-do list. I thought this wise. What things do you not want to get to January 2nd and not have done? Write those things down. Complete this sentence... "I'll feel really let down if I don't __________." Move that up on the list, and move something like... cleaning under the sofa, down. (You don't do that regularly, do you?) Blessings to each of you as you seek to live out your "inspired life"...
~katherine

So, for what ARE you thankful???

While we have a couple days here between Thanksgiving and the onset of Advent... tell me, what ARE you thankful for this year? Leave me (and the community that reads here) a comment telling me what you're thankful for. (You can comment anonymously!)

I've been thinking a lot about those who sacrificed to begin this country- and those who Thanksgiving really commemorates. They had high ideals of a land where they could worship freely, and I think that is INSPIRING! To hold such convictions, that you're willing to risk perilous journey to an unknown land... this is living intentionally- and think with vision for the generations to come! I am thankful for their vision, their courage, their passion, convictions, and many sacrifices. I am thankful for those who came before them- defending their right to live here, work here, worship here, raise their families here, and eventually, govern themselves here. I am thankful for those who have and continue to serve in our military defending these rights. No matter what you think of America- how it's turning out- we must all admit, that the most people immigrate here. It's where people from around the world want to come. There are reasons for that!

So, there are COUNTLESS things to be thankful for each and every day- what things have been on YOUR heart this week? Please, share!

Thanksgiving is on the way...

Psalm 100
A psalm. For giving thanks.

1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.

2 Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.

3 Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.

5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.


What does it look like to be thankful this week? Does it include shouting for joy? Worshiping with gladness and song? Knowing that our LORD is God- and that we are His... Entering HIS gates with thanksgiving and praise- praising His Name? Even in these hard times, we have so much to be thankful for. In fact, if we had nothing else but Him, it would be more than enough, wouldn't it. I'm going to try to remember that and to be thankful, Psalm 100 style, this week as I prepare for Thanksgiving Day and Advent. I hope that you will too...

Love to you all... and Happy Thanksgiving!
~Katherine

Time, time, time

Hello my friends! :) How are you this afternoon?
Grab a cup of tea or java or just a snack and let's chat! I am having a brain-freeze of an afternoon! I KNOW that SHOULD be doing one of about a million things... but I just can't seem to think of what they are (or don't want to?). So, at present, I'm chatting with you! :) What's on your heart lately? Is life getting hectic? How are you doing on your sense of calling? Living out your calling? Where are you at with the Lord? Having good quiet times? What is the Lord teaching you? Have you had ANY quietness with Him for your soul to find rest?

As I ask these questions, I sit in my warm, cozy, bed, at 330 in the afternoon. I'm not ill- in fact, went to the dentist a bit ago- got a good report. Perhaps it was the snow that graced our ground this morning... perhaps it's the hot drink I'd like to be sipping? I'm not sure why I'm just sitting here or what I should be doing, but Josiah and I have played Go Fish and Boggle, Jr (sort of- the game actually ended with him putting the blocks down the legs of his footy jammies turning himself into a human maraca!- yes, he's still in his jammies at 3:30- wish I was, too!) The girls are following the "hide out" principle- you know, if we're quiet and don't make any waves we'll get to keep playing! But, very soon, I'll remember all the things that are practically SCREAMING to be done- and the girls will get back to their unfinished schoolwork, and the boys will play playdoh and I'll go back to being a busy Mom. But, for this last moment, what is the Lord saying to us of His Kingdom? What of His great love? What of His desire to nurture us and have us nurture and give grace to each other???

Encourage someone this afternoon- your child, your spouse, neighbor, a friend on the phone- or all of the above- with God's great love!

Also, if you've got one more minute- I'd like to tell you about a mission we heard about yesterday at PATCH (homeschool co-op). They are the brother and sister-in-law of one of our Moms. I just cried as I watched Video 2008 (Link on the top left). Take a minute. It's worth the few minutes, really! His Mission, Agdao

Now, off to do some school and ... well... almost time to make dinner now. Any suggestions? :)
Love to you all...
~Katherine

Looking to the Holidays...

But first-a little business. If you missed out on the Snapfish photo gifts- you can still get them for 20% off. Better than full-price!

Barak Hussein Obama is America's President-Elect. I will join millions of Christians in praying for him and our country. He is our elected president- and that deserves respect, whether he was my pick or not. I received a great email today about this, and my husband has a blog series going on things to pray for him. The Presidential Prayer Team has a 77-day campaign going- praying for him in this time of transition. Check it out (thanks Marge!)!

Check out the new poll on the right and tell me what you'd do with an hour and a half to yourself. If your choice isn't listed, comment and I'll add it! :)

Also, I had a rough day today. No details... but, would you say a prayer for me? Thank you in advance! On to the real post topic... As for the holidays...

What are you doing NOW to start getting ready for the holidays, if anything?

Comment and let me know (so I can do it, too!)
Blessings,
~Katherine
<><

Inspired by working ahead...

I've been working for a few days on a Christmas postcard and some grandparent gifts. Inspired by a 35% off coupon available at Snapfish through Oct 31st I decided to get a few calendars and small brag books done! (If you do this- don't forget to enter "FALL35" as the coupon code before you finish checking out!) I have just submitted my order and it feels good to know that if I get nothing else done- the grandparents will at least receive these small gifts for Christmas! :) Also, I'm using Vistaprint to print a Christmas postcard which I plan to mail the Monday before Thanksgiving so that as the holidays arrive- that card is already done!!! I used some pictures in the leaves to make the card and am using a "Thanksgiving" theme. (The postcard lets me use postcard stamps to save a little on postage- and the kids can make an assembly line to put address stickers and stamps on them. Elminates a lot of the work for ME!) Since I'm doing all this right before the trip- we'll be able to pack light because we won't have any clean or folded laundry to pack and bring with us! lol! So, get inspired, get something done ahead of time now- and make a little more time for cookie baking, snow angel making, and storytelling when December rolls around!
Blessings~
katherine
<><

Inspired by a FREE cappuccino (or other drink) at Barnes & Noble Cafe!



Really... need I say more?!?!

Have a good one! Enjoy some alone time...

~katherine

(Thanks to Heidi for passing this on to me!)

Poverty...NOT inspiring! What can we do?

Yesterday was "Blog Action Day"- where bloggers are asked to "change the conversation" in lives around the world. The topic for 2008 is poverty. Now you, and I, my friends, are mostly homemakers, parents, carpool drivers, and the like, am I right? But, we influence people within our homes, churches and communities, as well as the future leaders of the world- in society, business, government, and church. As we speak about the poor (or do we acknowledge the existence of mass poverty in our world?)--- how do we speak? With compassion? With responsibility? With action?

I am encouraged today- to incorporate talk of the poor and our responsibility into our lives. There exist differing perspectives on what poverty is. Afterall, most everything is relative. If you live in the US, some would say that no matter how bad off you are, you do not experience poverty. I would argue that anyone who does not have security in knowing their basic needs will be regularly met, is in poverty. (Those not in poverty have no fear--- not even a thought- of whether their basic needs for food and shelter will be met.)

Perhaps you are already doing things that your children are unaware of. We make a SMALL monthly contribution to Feed the Children. However, I don't think our children are aware of this. So, today, I will make them aware. Each year we pack Shoeboxes for Samaritan's Purse- Operation Christmas Child- likely, you do, too! There is a children's book that talks about the shoe boxes- perhpas it, or your own story, would help drive-home the reason for this charitable act. Many ministries close to home and around the world are serving the needs of the poor- historically, most of them have been Christian ministries, however, as of late, the secular world is attuned to the abhorent existence of poverty and have been making their own efforts to raise awareness of and erradicate hunger and poverty. One such is End Poverty 2015. We all need to join together in this work of self-sacrifice and serving others in need. I believe for parents, this begins with teaching our children how blessed they are and to extend the compassion of Jesus to those who are in need. This might begin with small personal sacrifices to benefit someone else.

Even though we in America are experiencing serious financial hardships, we are rich compared to 90% of the world (or so I've read in that email forward...). Let's start changing the conversation in our small corner of the world- and bring compassion to those in need.

What are some small, practical ways you (and your family) can begin to address the issue of poverty in our world?




It's 11 o'clock...


It's 11 pm. By my written goals, I want to be in bed right now. But, by my, "I've been Mommying sick kids all day and finally have some time to just chill out," I want to just waste time until... I'm done! :-)

Part of "Living the Inspired Life" for me is knowing what I WANT life to be and making plans to help it actually become that way. The problem is when everyday life, aka "reality", intersects the ideals in my mind, ya know?

So, I want to go to bed at 11am so I can easily rise at 5:45 or 6 to get started with day in quietness... not 7:30 or 8 after the kids have filled the house with much... joy :) .

Tell me- in what ways are your ideal and your reality at odds? And, how do you cope with it, take it in stride, incorporate it, or make the most of it?

What is True Love?

Since we were just talking about Fireproof and "The Love Dare"- I thought I'd share this snipet from a tribute written for Chicken Soup about my cousin who passed away after 5 long years with ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease). Her name was Judy Fisher.

"Judy had written her own addendum in a shaking penmanship as her hands were beginning to fail her.


'I saw Jesus today. He took me to the
doctor and spoke on my behalf. He
cares for me every day with a smile
and inspiring words. He looks like my
husband but I know he is Jesus.'"



This is true love- not infatuation- not "falling" in love, the kind that so many also fall OUT of, not a selfish love that says "What have you done for me lately?"- but unconditional, selfless love, the kind of love that Jesus gave. Judy's husband John showed her that love as her body slowly failed her. This is the kind of love we need to pray and ask the Lord to fill us with for our spouses, children, and others around us. Thanks to Margaret Prator who penned the tribute for Chicken Soup. Blessings to you all, my friends, as we seek to love- selflessly.


"This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins." 1 John 4:10

Is "The Love Dare" a REAL book?



I wondered this during the movie, "Fireproof". If you haven't seen it, WHAT are you waiting for?!?!?! It is a GREAT date night! Anyway- seems it IS a real book! Check out The Love Dare and consider sharing it with someone who confides marriage struggles with you. Encourage them to see the movie and remind them they cannot expect results- they must simply accept the challenge. In fact- expect bad results for awhile! But, in time... it will change hearts! I may have said this before- but it bears repeating. My husband says in marriage counseling- "The grass isn't greener on the other side. It's greener where you water it!" So, let's be sure we're watering our marriages! Take the "Love Dare" and dive into unselfish giving to your spouse! Very INSPIRING!
Blessings!
~Katherine

Inspired by Faith Sisters "Faith-booking"


If you are a scrapbooker- you need to check out this blog! :) Faith Sisters encourages scrapbookers to scrapbook and pass on their faith- AND their are some really GREAT layouts! As long as we're talking scrapbooking- if you do digital scrapbooking- check out Misty Cato Designs, too. The only thing I don't like about some of it is the one picture on the side of the page with the rest of the 12x12 filled with artsy stuff- if I'm going to take the time to scrapbook- I'm going to be documenting an event and using enough pics to remember the event! :) So, I adapt- but I like a lot of the looks they use! I've been trying to take one night a week for a while before bed to tag photos and do one digital page layout. Two weeks straight--- WOO HOO! :) Hope it lasts! My goal last year was to accumulate pages through the year then have them printed and have the book be a family Christmas present. Didn't happen. Maybe this year?!?! Happy Memory making... and as the Faith Sisters encourage- faith legacy documenting. (Please comment and share with me your fav. scrapbooking inspirations on the net!)
Much love,
~Katherine

Discipling Your Kids


If you are a Christian parent- check out my new blog Discipling Your Kids. I've been thinking about this for a while now. I wanted to have a dedicated place to dialogue about discipling my children and now- I've taken action! Hope you'll join the conversation!
Blessings,
~Katherine

Rachel's Vineyard


I wanted to let you all know of a resource that is available. You know how many women have chosen abortion- even women we might not think. Abortion- contrary to the commonly propogated idea- leaves many pains and scars in a woman's (and man's) life. This is the description of their ministry from their website.

"Rachel's Vineyard is a safe place to renew, rebuild and redeem hearts broken by abortion. Weekend retreats offer you a supportive, confidential and non-judgmental environment where women and men can express, release and reconcile painful post-abortive emotions to begin the process of restoration, renewal and healing."

Chances are good that you know people who've had an abortion- whether they've shared that with you or not. Take the opportunity- maybe during a Bible study or other place where women are gathered- to share the website and ministry that can begin the healing process. Many women feel they cannot be forgiven. Abortion is NOT the unforgiveable sin- though the enemy will always try to make us believe that!

If they can't attend a retreat- Rachel's Vineyard has 2 books available that deal with post-abortive trauma. Pray for women in crisis pregnancies... pray they would find help at a CHRISTIAN Crisis Pregnancy Center. And pray for the many, many, many women, living with the shame, grief, and hopelessness abortion leaves behind when the child is gone.

Therefore, I am now going to allure her;
I will lead her into the desert
and speak tenderly to her.

There I will give her back her vineyards,
and transform her Valley of Troubles
into a Door of Hope
--Hosea 2:16-17

There she will sing with joy
as in days long ago in her youth,
after I had freed her from captivity.

Then you will lie down in peace and safety, unafraid;
And I will bind you to me forever
with chains of righteousness and justice, love and mercy.

I will betroth you to me in faithfulness and love,
and you will really know me then as you never have before.
--Hosea 2:21-22

as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
--Psalm 103:12

Love you all...
Katherine

FIREPROOF!


Well, two posts almost simultaneously! But we just returned from seeing the movie Fireproof. YOU MUST GO SEE IT NOW!!!! :) This is its opening weekend- and we want to show Hollywood with the first weekend that we will go see good Christian films! And this is a FABULOUS Christan movie. I cannot recommend it highly enough! PLEEEEASE go see it! Pretty please!!! I guarantee, you won't be sorry!

Also, you must check out this Fox News.com headlining article about Kirk Cameron's own marriage.

Fireproof- is without a doubt- inspiring! Living the Inspired Life (with the grace of God!),
~Katherine

Inspired by the Ease of Amazon Prime

So... one day after hauling 4 kids around Walmart, an aching back from pushing the three hundred pound cart (there were tons of groceries, but 3 kids in or on the cart and a 4th in a front pack- maybe it just fELt like 300...) and then heaving the bags one by one into the van. I had seen a banner on Amazon.com about groceries. I decided I must look into this alternate way of shopping! Now, after almost a year of using Amazon Prime- I wanted to tell you about it and how it has helped me. First, you may want to know- what is Amazon Prime? It is basically a shipping membership. You pay a standard yearly fee for unlimited 2-day shipping. Specifically the benefits are:
1. Unlimited FREE Two-Day Shipping on millions of Amazon.com items
2. Overnight Shipping upgrades for only $3.99 per item
3. Shopping with no minimum order size
4. Ability to share benefits with up to 4 household members
5. 1 Month Free Trial

I don't know if you shop on amazon.com much- I did and still do. I find it very convenient for... just about everything. Started with books, and used books, then electronics, all gifts- kids and adults, and now I even buy groceries. With Amazon Prime- all your shipping is 2 day- so if I order it this morning, it will be here on Monday morning. And, only once in the entire year has something been a day late! And, if I need something tomorrow- I can pay $3 or 4 and have it here the next day. I used to spend the $25 to get free shipping- but honestly, I spent a lot more money that way than I have with having Amazon Prime- now I don't buy things I don't really need just to make the $25 mark- I buy only what I need, when I need it and I don't worry about the shipping. Now, if Walmart is easy and convenient and you don't mind running over there every time you need something (as it used to be for me)- this may hold no benefit for you. But, if it is not close or convenient as it isn't for me and you do a lot of online shopping- I encourage you to look into it!
It has brought a great ease to my life and has been a huge help! So, I began getting things like a case of GF macaroni and a case of Juicy Juice (100% jice and no sugar added!) concentrate. Now I get diapers dropped off once a month, a case of TP once every 6 months, using their subscription service. These bigger items I don't even have to mess with at the store. Now, I just shop locally for meat and produce and other smaller things. But, I use it for much more than groceries...purchasing gifts, diapers, Bible study books for the group, all delivered day after tomorrow with no more shipping than my yearly fee. So, I shared Mvelopes with you- now, my experience with Amazon Prime. If it would save you time and money- check into it here.

If not- ignore, or tell someone with 4 kids who doesn't like to shop! :)
Love you all!


~Katherine

"I Don't Know Why"

Star of the week is... (drumroll please...) ANYA! :)

Well, Ani says to me this morning- "Mom! I wrote a new song, wanna hear it?" OF COURSE I do! :) and after one hearing I grabbed the camera and made her do it again. So... here it is! (Hope is playing tamborine with me in worship tomorrow- and singing a one line solo tag at the end of a song- so, Anya isn't really the only star of the family! Didn't want anyone to think I'm playing favorites!)



And... they were all playing "church" this afternoon- communion and all- and though fed his lines by Hope, Josiah was the presiding pastor. They made Ryan and I come sit on the "pews", sing, pray, listen to a sermon, and take communion! The candles were "lighted" and "unlighted" at the appropriate times signaling the beginning and end of the service as well! Too Cute! Have a relaxing and worshipful Sabbath tomorrow- Katherine

Jesus- Always Inspiring!!!




Here is a picture of Jesus our daughter, Anya (6 1/2) drew. It inspired me! Praying you're all well!

Tip: Listen while you read! :)

Just a quick note- I put in a bunch of my fav worship music. Unfortunately, it only plays a snipet. (When I figure out how to just have great background music all the time- I will!)- - - but for now, it's SOMETHING! :) Scroll down to the "Fav. Current Worship Music" and click the big arrow in the middle- then continue reading! Enjoy!

Also- have heard some questions about The Shack. I will be doing a written analysis for those who may have questions. It will be a story spoiler I'm sure- so- don't read it until you read the book! You are all totally capable of reading this book and making sound judgments- so don't be scared by others criticisms. Look at the underlying message of the reviewer. Look forward to sharing dialogue together about it!

Last- new slideshow with a few pics from our 10th Anniv trip to Daytona Beach. Ahh... the beach...
Much love ~katherine

I've Wanted to Post for about a month now...


Hello friends!
It's day 2 of the new school year... and I'm finally posting! I have 3 posts I'd like to do, but I'll just roll them into one here. First, get the book The Shack! I read it in Florida and it was really life-changing. My husband and dear friend are both reading it now. I'd love to have more of you to dialogue about it with!


2nd- You must watch Steven Curtis Chapman and his family talk about the loss of their daughter Maria Sue. It moved us for 2 days.


After that, follow this link to get to parts 2 through 6. After watching each part, look to the right under "Related Videos" for the link to the next part. It is SO worth your time!!!


We had a WONDERFUL trip to FL last month to celebrate our 10th anniversary! I HIGHLY recommend it. How good for the soul to spend a few days by the pool or beach listening to laughter, waves, and wonderful praise music on the mp3, reading and journaling, and letting the soul just be. And reconnecting with one's spouse- is priceless. As my husband says, "The grass is not greener on the other side. The grass is greener where you WATER IT!"- don't forget to water your marriage- somehow!!!

I've updated the books I'm reading--- and MAN! Are they good! I've finished most of them now, and am in "Coaching Your Kids...". It's fabulous! We must be discipling our children--- it is the highest calling of EVERY parent!

Last, how are you coming with clarifying your calling? Are you working to make your calendar reflect your calling and your goals? Are you working to put your time where your heart is? I hope so! It's a process... I know! Well, we've finished 2 days of homeschool- and so far so good! It's going well, but I need to use the timer to keep to the time I've allotted. We went a little long today. I pray that wherever you are- and wherever your kids are- you're having a good week getting back to learning- what a privilege it is! I love you all! ~Katherine





Clarify your calling...


Hello out there-
I'm sorry I've been so lax lately- lots of great company and traveling! Amidst it all, during my coaching sessions, I've been clarifying my calling. My calling is to our home as wife, mother, homeschool teacher, and pastor's wife and also to discipleship, first discipling our children, next looking at discipleship at the church and how it can improve.

What are your callings? Does your calendar reflect your callings? I'm learning to see that if my reality doesn't match my philosophy, then one has to change. If I say my calling is to the home but I spend all my time at home working on outside projects then I either need to be realistic and honest that my calling and priority is the outside poject (volunteering, whatever, you fill in the blank) or pare down my commitments so that I really am spending my time focusing on my home.

So, as we clarify our callings, let's use that mission statement (unofficial though it may be) to say NO to things that though they are GREAT things in and of themselves, will rob us of the joy of fulfilling the hope of our calling- and doing it WELL!!!

Blessings as you spend a quiet hour alone in the car with an ice cream cone praying about your calling and what commitments this fall will actually help you fulfill it! I will pray that you and I will hear the voice of the One doing the calling, not the one with all the excuses and justifications... but who else will do it? but what if that program doesn't happen? but, but, but... But, we'll never have this time back with our families. Someday, they will be grown and gone and we can volunteer ALL our time away...

Inspired by Beth Moore!



YEAH!!! I am giving thanks for being amazingly inspired by being with my girlfriends and sitting at the feet of Beth Moore in Minneapolis at Living Proof Live. Check out the schedule and go yourself! Love you girls! Thanks for sharing your weekend with me!


New Blogs on the Blogroll!

Have you checked out the blogroll lately? I've added two new blogs--- my husband's (mypurpleempire.blogspot.com) and our good friend's (thepurplepatriot.blogspot.com). Notice the common theme there of purple- both die-hard vikings fans :). The blogroll on the right side will show the most recent posts on the blogrolls.

We just survived VBS... and are recovering today. More consistent blogging in the near future! Praying you're all well... I have some new books to add the list, too...
Have a great one!
Katherine

Freedom through discipline


Hello out there-
Just a quick note to tell you what's most been inspiring me as of late. It's the crazy paradox of freedom through obedience and discipline. This is a topic I was REALLY into during grad school and the year or two after. But, life has distanced it from me and the Lord has brought it back to light. There are many seeming "paradoxes" in Scripture. Ryan preached on the "Foolishness of God" this morning- and it was a great reminder. "18For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." (1 Cor 1:18) Look it up and read on from there... But, the point is - the world will see obedience and self-discipline and submission to the Lord and His will as shackles, stifling spontaneity and creativity, and bondage. But to those who are the Lord's- it is true life, peace, joy, fulfillment, and true freedom. So, I leave you with that thought as I head to bed. Blessings and joy,
katherine

Technology... Inspiring or exhausting? :)

Good morning! (It's 2:12 am est)
Yes, I should be fast asleep, but I've been working hard to get this new 3 column look so that we could see comments as they come in right on the front page (at least a teaser of the comment). There's one error yet (which I won't point out in case you haven't noticed it already!)--- but I'm satisfied that I accomplished the goal. Also, check out the RSS feed- to the left- if you like to keep up with posts, you can receive them via the feed. You can also get comments the same way with the second button. Ok, my thirty-something mommy brain is ready to turn in (6:30am will come SO quickly). Thank you for keeping up with the inspirations I find in life- and a SPECIAL thanks to those of you who interact with me here!!! :) :) :) You know who you are! And remember- you can comment without registering now- so- it's so much easier than it was in the beginning! :)
Sweet dreams...

Living Inspired by Using Your Gifts!

Hey out there! I just wanted to give a shout about using your gifts- don't you feel INSPIRED when you're using the gifts God has given you?!?! Be it serving, or hospitality, or encouraging- I feel inspired (and spiritually recharged even if I'm physically exhausted) after serving out of a gifting. We had a rehearsal this afternoon in preparing for leading worship at the Thursday healing service. (Trinity is having 7 days of nightly healing services this week!) Though I was totally drained (and my headache came rushing back as soon as we were done) I just felt so alive! So, this is just a reminder that if you get in a rut- get out and serve- use what He's given you. It not only blesses those who receive your gift, it will bless you as well. I hope none of you is thinking "I don't really have any gifts"". 1 Corinthians 7:7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. YOU are part of each one- so don't give me any of that "I don't have any" blah blah blah! If you are truly unsure of your giftings, I'd encourage you to do some research- try out the gifts and see if any of them fits! v. 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. Play your part to the Glory of God- and you (and we) will be blessed!
Good night-

Immaculee was INSPIRING

Since this blog is all about living the "inspired" life... I must quickly write about hearing Immaculee speak tonight. What a powerful, powerful testimony. So honest and real, and so focused on God. Her book is "Left to Tell". I would highly recommend reading it. It was a NY Times bestseller, so I'm sure it's in the libraries. (And if you want to buy it proceeds go to her foundation which helps orphanges and others in Rwanda). The church that sponsored the event had a bathroom built to the same dimensions as the one she hid in- and to stand there and look at it- was so real. Any personal pity party around here has been chased away for awhile. God really can do ANYTHING! Check out her testimony! Blessings! Be inspired! Life is worth living- and it's worth living inspired,
Good night.

Summer Menu So Far... (it's rough)

Why am I doing a menu for the summer? I find my whole life gets slowed down b/c of being unprepared at dinnertime. I procrastinate, look in the fridge, freezer, and pantry, hoping a fully cooked meal with jump out into my arms (ha!)--- so, invariably, dinner is late, clean up is dismal, bedtime is rushed, I'm feeling behind and yuck about it all and unmotivated to get it all cleaned up, I don't have as much "free time" in the evening, stay up late to compensate, consequently don't get up and get started the next morning the way I'd like and SOOOOO... I'm making a menu to help me to have dinner on time and not suffer the aforementioned consequences.

Here's what I'm working with so far...

SUMMER MENU 2008 (these start on Sunday and go through Saturday)
Breakfasts: Gogurt and Breakfast bar, Pancakes, Cereal, Waffles, Oatmeal, Yogurt and Granola, Donuts, muffins, cereal
snacks: Muffins? bagels?, Pineapple-Orange Popsicles, Veggies and Sour Cream Pesto Dip, Fruit and Pina Colada Dip, Ants on a log, Four Cheese Snack Mix, Nuts/Trail Mix
lunches: Salads: Egg, tuna, chicken, Soup/Sandwich (grilled ch?), Mac n Cheese and Hotdogs, Froz. Pizza/Salad, Burritos/Taquitos, Leftovers
dinners: Breakfast for dinner, Mexican! (Quesadillas, nachos, tacos), Salads, Wraps/sandwiches/pitas, Grill Night, Homemade Pizza Night, leftovers?

I have a few specific meals for these dinners, but they pasted as a big, jumbled mess!!! I'm finding all my inspiration online if you need a recipe. This really doesn't take that long- use an excel spreadsheet to keep it easy to read.

Exercising my technology cells...

Hi all! Long-time no post, huh? I've been working hard the last couple days to get that stinkin' slideshow working. Appears that after too much time, I've finally succeeded. Well, summer is upon us! I'm loving it! Crazy, hazy, lazy days of summer... We are rather agenda-free this week. How about you? I've been working on a no-brainer summer menu. I have a breakfast, snack, and lunch that's the same every Sunday, Monday, etc. Then dinner is based on salad, grill, wraps/pitas, Mexican, etc. and changes each week. What are you cookin' up to keep it cool and simple this summer? :) Help me finish my menu!!! (And don't give me pasta- I have the 2 guys that don't eat wheat :)) Bon Appetit!

How Do You Recharge? and school blog-

The previous post was really from last night- but I didn't get it posted. SO- some thoughts from today...

I went to the Walden Diner tonight to do some preparation for summer. From time to time I do this- take my bag full of books, notebooks, whatever- and go to the ice cream stand, Barnes and Noble, Starbucks, etc. and spend a little time reviewing my goals and setting some new ones. I need to get things out of my head and concrete on a page.

What do YOU do to refocus or recharge and keep yourself inspired??? Or do you have "me" time in another way?

Have a blessed, renewed, inspired evening!
Katherine

PS- read a great blog on education called "A One-Room Schoolhouse for the 21st Century"

Back From Texas



Hi friends!


We are back from 8 days in Texas. We had a FABULOUS time catching up with my family there. We went to Dinosaur Valley State Park and the Creation Evidence Museum nearby. We spent a day at my uncle and aunt's new lakehouse and another day with the other side of the family over for brisket(BBQ), 4-part a capella hymns around the piano, and frisbee. Needless to say, a good-time was had by all! We also had the pleasure of going out to a Brazilian Steakhouse with our dear friends- it was QUITE the dining experience. Seriously not for the faint of stomach (or Vegetarian/Vegan- though the salad bar was unparalleled in my life experience thus far).


Now that we're back... Living Beyond Yourself (the next women's Bible study at church) has begun and I have a MILE-LONG list of projects for summer- 3 of which involve writing or organizing curriculum for next year.


Updates- Mary Elizabeth is doing well and is continuing to see some swelling reduction- praise God! So, I'll try to bug them for a photo. Kristen looks good- had a good FL vacation. Didn't specifically "feel" anything at the Revival- but as it isn't about feeling anything, just about what God wants to do, so continue to pray for God's veiled work there. I have another friend who has just been diagnosed with breast cancer- name is Allison- she is also our age and mom of 3 athletic boys. The wife of another friend of Ryan's, Mandy, is doing chemo for leukemia, also our age- so, I don't know what's up- but we need to get ANGRY at cancer and cast this stuff OUT!!!


May I just say that I am feeling INSPIRED?!?! I hope you are too. I had a productive day today and that helps. As you shift gears into summer, what is inspiring you? What are you looking forward to? How are you making your dreams reality?


Off to do some Bible study (which makes some of my dreams reality!),


Katherine


p.s.- in a previous post I told you about Mvelopes- an online budgeting program. It's still very cool, and my first choice, however, they are having a hard time getting through my very small town bank's security. So, if you're looking for something simpler- as I will be doing if they don't fix it SOON- check out http://www.pearbudget.com/.

Immaculee


If you are local... mark you calendar and help spread the word... You will be INSPIRED!!!

Get ready to be inspired...

This is worship leader and singer/songwriter Louie Giglio. What a powerful message... another illustration of God's presence before in with and throughout creation!



Enjoy!
Katherine
PS- will let you know when we hear anymore from our friends in FL! Ryan and Bruce arrived back safe and sound today... had a great trip- got 11 hrs sleep in 3 days...

Mary Elizabeth

Praise God with me and continue to pray for Mary Elizabeth! Her mom, Jessica, sent this today,
"Andy and I noticed her face looked smaller yesterday and today. We’ve been praying over here, our Pastors are in Florida now praying for her and we put her on the prayer lists in Florida etc… we haven’t gone there quite yet but we feel Healing is taking place. Andy made this collage of similar poses of the one I just took of her now. The cysts in her cheek area seems to have come down A LOT!!!"
This is just the sweetest little girl! If you want to learn more about their story you can read more at www.babyraia.com.
Kristen also should be going in the next couple days. I pray that they will not be overwhelmed- their are some shall we say unconventional methods- but God is moving in an amazing way! and we believe he wants to heal these two!
Bless you all this night!
Much love,
Katherine

More on the Revival in Lakeland

Well, my husband, our evangelist, and good friend from WI are all heading to the revival on Wednesday. A little girl from our church is being taken by her parents on Friday. She has a rare and incurable condition where her lymph nodes do not drain. They form cysts under her chin, in her mouth, and her neck. She has to continue having surgeries to have them removed, but they continue to come back. Her name is Mary Elizabeth. Please pray for her and her parents as they go down, believing God CAN heal her of this!!! Also, my friend Kristen whom I wrote about earlier is also going this coming weekend... SO, Lord, we are expecting big things out of our HUGE GOD for whom NOTHING is impossible!!! Check it out at http://www.floridaoutpouring.com/ or
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/great-florida-healing-revival .

Tribute to SAHM

Tribute to moms, part 2- I just couldn't leave this out when I found it! :) Taken from Foxnews.com tonight. Still love you all! ~ Katherine


Study: Stay-at-Home Mom Worth Nearly $117,000 a Year
Thursday, May 08, 2008
BOSTON — If a stay-at-home mom could be compensated in dollars rather than personal satisfaction and unconditional love, she'd rake in a nifty sum of nearly $117,000 a year.
That's according to a pre-Mother's Day study released Thursday by Salary.com, a Waltham, Mass.-based firm that studies workplace compensation.
The eighth annual survey calculated a mom's market value by studying pay levels for 10 job titles with duties that a typical mom performs, ranging from housekeeper and day care center teacher to van driver, psychologist and chief executive officer.
This year, the annual salary for a stay-at-home mom would be $116,805, while a working mom who also juggles an outside job would get $68,405 for her motherly duties.
One stay-at-home mom said the six-figure salary sounds a little low.
"I think a lot of people think we sit and home and have a lot of fun and don't do a lot of work," said Samantha Russell, a Fremont, N.H., mother who left her job as pastry chef to raise two boys, ages 2 and 4. "But they should try cleaning their house with little kids running around and messing it up right after them."

The biggest driver of a mom's theoretical salary is the amount of overtime pay she'd receive for working more than 40 hours a week. The 18,000 moms surveyed about their typical week reported working 94.4 hours — meaning they'd be spending more than half their working hours on overtime. Working moms reported an average 54.6 hour "mom work week" besides the hours they spent at paying jobs. Russell agreed her job as a stay-at-home mom is more than full-time. But she said her "job" brings intangible benefits she wouldn't enjoy in the workplace.
"The rewards aren't monetary, but it's a reward knowing that they're safe and happy," Russell said of her sons. "It's worth it all."

Tribute to Mothers

I received this via email but thought rather than email it to you all... I'd post it! Kudos to you my fellow Moms! You inspire me! :)
katherine <><
Invisible Mother.....


It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?' Obviously not; no one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible. The invisible Mom. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this ? Can you tie this? Can you open this??

Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going, she's going, she's gone!?

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England . Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.' It was a book on the great Cathedrals of Europe . I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: 'To Charlotte , with admiration for the greatness of what you are building hen no one sees.'

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof, No one will ever see it. And the workman replied, 'Because God
sees.'

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride.
I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home.
And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, 'You're gonna love it there.'

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

Great Job, MOM!

Revival!



Hey out there! Have you heard about the revival in Florida? Check it out online...





There are mass healings of every kind and 2 people raised from the dead! God is moving! How exciting! :)

I've had my own little revival with the opportunity to write 2 songs. Yeah! I will post one when I tape it with Ryan.
What are your thoughts and feelings about revival? (and... I changed it so that anyone could post- you shouldn't have to register...)
Have a Spirit-filled day!
Katherine

Using your time


Hello dear friends!
I'm thinking tonight about achieving goals and dreams. Some people really do the things they dream of, while others continue to dream. What separates them? Just the doing.

I was reading (upon recommendation from a fellow homeschooling mother) Susan Wise Bauer's blog. http://www.susanwisebauer.com/blog/ I must say, I was truly inspired. She is living out dreams. Now, it appears to be a LOT of work. And I'd like to know what time she goes to bed- but, it was impressive and inspiring.

On the topic of dreams- my friend Wendy (along with her hubby Paul) will be traveling to Ethiopia next week to pick up their son JT whom they are adopting! Follow their journey at http://journeytojt.blogspot.com/.

On a parallel note to achieving dreams, the topic of boundaries came up in Bible study today. I need to dig out Boundaries by John Townsend and Henry Cloud and reread it. Having clearly defined boundaries means more people win in my life more often. This sounds like a good idea! Here's a link to the book./http://www.amazon.com/Boundaries-When-Take-Control-Your/dp/0310247454/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1209604986&sr=8-1

By the way- I link to all these books and stuff- I don't make any money off that- FYI- I just like recommending resources, plain and simple. However, if you KNOW of a way I can profit from these links... ah, just kidding! :)

How have you drawn boundaries in your life and how does it help you keep everything in place and create a more win-win environment for more people in your life?

A Mother's Legacy

Good Evening!
I have just watched a video online of Kristen (see previous post from a couple days ago) speaking at a MOPS meeting about "A Mother's Legacy". I was so blessed by this presentation! How Kristen can thank God for cancer is really just beyond my comprehension, but I have not walked with Him through that trial. Kristen has, and she thanks God- maybe not for getting to have cancer, but for the many, many blessings He has brought about because of it! You can watch this video here http://uncensored.citadel.org/igtube/MarchMeeting.html .

I was remiss in my previous post to not point you to www.inheritanceofhope.org. This is the website for Kristen and Deric's non-profit organization to reach out to other families who have a terminally ill parent. Her book is available there as well as more information about this much needed ministry- so check it out and see how you can support them!

Love to you all-
katherine

Serve the Lord with gladness...

I had a great experience today practicing a seldom presented skill. I got to practice interpretation of a dream. And as I practiced and then worked with a more gifted and experience interpreter and subsequently shared the interpretation with the dreamer, I was so blessed!!! (And, she was blessed as she received it- which is probably why I felt so blessed!)

All this to say, that it feels really good to be open to serving the Lord in whatever capacity, familiar or unfamiliar, when He has a job and we're available to do it!

If you haven't ever taken Lifekeys or SHAPE (or Network or... ) Check out the book and consider discovering more about the supernatural gifts that are still very much being bestowed upon the church today...
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=lifekeys

http://www.amazon.com/S-H-P-E-Finding-Fulfilling-Purpose/dp/031027009X/ref=pd_bbs_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1209090973&sr=8-3

A charismatic approach to the gifts with good definitions can be found in
http://www.amazon.com/Experiencing-Spirit-Developing-Living-Relationship/dp/0830723617/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1209092159&sr=1-1
This book is my husband's recommendation :)

Serving the Lord in the way He created you is one of the most fulfilling things on this earth... what is your calling and are you finding joy in fulfilling it?

Worship... part of the inspired life!


Good Evening friends!

Just wanted to give you a couple links for inspirational worship music!

first- http://www.worshiptogether.com/ look on the left hand side near the top for the purple button "New Music Jukebox". Great stuff!

Also- there's some good music at SovereignGrace.com (or sovereigngracemusic.org). My personal favorite right now is "O Great God". Find it here... http://www.sovereigngracestore.com/ProductInfo.aspx?productid=M4175-07-51 You can listen to a sample, read the lyrics- and if you like it- buy it for $1 :).

Pray for Kristen




Please Pray
for Kristen!



Dear Friends,
My friend Kristen received discouraging news from her doctor this past week. She has been fighting a rare lung cancer and it is being stubborn and is growing rapidly again- not responding to the horrible chemotherapy she has been doing. Would you please pray for her? Specific things to pray:
  • Direction in next stage of treatment
  • Encouragement and strength
  • Peace of mind and trust in the Lord's good plan
  • Strength for her husband Deric and children
  • of course... complete removal of every cancerous cell from her body!!!
"13Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. 14Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. 16Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. 17Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops." From James 5
This morning the Lord said through Pastor Ray "Trust me". I believe that was for us to cast off our worry and anxiety- and be reminded that God in control. He is working for Kristen, Deric, Ashlea, Luke, and Rebecca's good. We can trust Him with Kristen! Praise You Lord! We pray in faith! Thank you for praying- I know she appreciates it.
Blessings,
Katherine

Staying Focused


My last post was about counting my blessings rather than getting bogged down in silly self-pity or wrong thinking. I'm feeling so much better, personally- and I wonder what YOU do to keep yourself focused on what you want to accomplish- personally, as a parent, whatever. How do you "live the inspired life" and KEEP ON living it?

This image is called "Finding Inspiration"- seemed appropriate :)

Counting My Blessings

Good morning!
After experiencing some discouragement and warfare last night- I feel the Lord called me to "Count my blessings"- literally. There are so many in our world- really everyone- is suffering in some way. I have been so blessed in so many ways and needed to see in black in white what others are dealing with. It doesn't happen often, thankfully, but occasionally I go into a self-pity mode. (Please tell me I'm not the only one!) Not usually over anything big- but just a defeated countenance where I brood over imperfections or struggles. Undoubtedly I have someone in mind who does not struggle with the same things. (I omit in my thinking that they have their own struggles- everyone does!) I am including my basic format and verses so you can copy it (into Word perhaps) and count your own blessings! May you see how fortunate you are- to be a deeply loved child of God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth. (If you don't feel that way- please email me and let me share the best news in the world with you!)

Happy Counting!
Katherine


It’s all in how you look at it...

2 Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits- 3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, 5 who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's. ~Psalm 103:2-5

16From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. 17For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.. ~John 1:16-17


My innumerable
blessings...

Burdens
that others bear...

Faith

Family

Home

Erase these and make them specific to your life- and then contrast what some are going through

Refreshing Perspective on the Proverbs 31 Woman

Good Evening- well, good morning, actually(12:18am EST)! I just read a wonderful devotion- a preview of a book I ordered. CBD (Christian Book Distributors) has this Fab Friday sale they do each week and this week "Speaking Mom-ese" by Lisa Welchel was featured. The first devotion is on the Proverbs 31 woman- pretty standard topic- didn't really pique my interest. (Why I kept reading, I don't know...) but her perspective- which came from a word from the Lord, was just awesome!!! Here's the link- read it- then buy the book this weekend while it's only $1.99! (I'm going to have to unsubscribe from the Fab Friday email- it's pretty dangerous!) Great gift for all the moms in your life, too, with Mother's day just around the corner.
http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/product_slideshow?sku=289302&actual_sku=289302&slide=3&action=Next

See yourself as your Heavenly Father sees you through the work of Christ- perfect... He's a proud Father- and He's proud of you! Praise His Name!

Sweet Dreams,
katherine

Financial Self-Control

I have another resource for you! :) I think I have finally- on about the 3rd try- gotten Mvelopes set up and running and working for me! Mvelopes is an online program that takes the concept of using cash envelopes for family budgeting and brings it into the 21st century where it's all about plastic- be it debit or credit. In this program- which is reasonably priced at $10/mo.- you are able to see ALL your spending-be it checking account, credit cards, whatever (ok- if you pay cash, they can't track that- but who uses cash anymore?!?!). Each day- you have a list of transactions and you drag them to the appropriate "envelope"- for example- I bought a gift on Amazon for $15. I have an envelope that says gift- and we've budgeted a certain amount for gifts each month. When this transaction shows up on my list- I drag it to the gifts envelope. Now I paid with my credit card (because I earn 3 points for every dollar spent on Amazon!) and the program sees this and keeps track of how much I owe the credit card and where in my budget that money came from. It subtracts the $15 from the Gifts envelope and moves it to the "Pay to the Credit Card" envelope. Brilliant!

The ONLY drawback to the whole scenario is... you have to actually log in and assign the transactions every day- or every other day- or at the very least once a week! Otherwise, it looks just like another bank statement and is too overwhelming- nor do you remember what you bought at Amazon, why, and with what money you intended to pay for it! (been there, done that!) But, this time- I'm really making a go at it!

Here's my tip for remembering to log in and assign my transactions- I set my homepage to Mvelopes. And when I get online each day- there's just one or two transactions- not overwhelming in the slightest- and- as I make purchases now, I'm thinking "what envelope is this going to come out of?" - and it is inhibiting my spending with reality. This is a good thing :)

Try it out at www.mvelopes.com. Let me know how much debt it saves YOU from going into! :)
Blessings!
Katherine

New Season of Life...


Well, my baby turned 1 today. So, no more baby babies now. I'm feeling sentimental tonight. If you're a friend on facebook, you can watch the video production of his first bday.

So, I'm entering a new season- I'm able to get rid of ALL my baby stuff- including the infant seat as he moved up into a forward facing seat today. He doesn't want to be in a play pen now that he's walking. It's schooldays ahead... (sigh).

That's all... (sigh).

Have a good night! No new resources today. Well, I guess I should just say that making a little movie with Windows Movie Maker (which came with Vista) was really pretty simple. So, there you go- one new resource to try out!

Science Resources

For Easter baskets this year I decided to continue on the creation science pathway and purchased DVDs from Answers in Genesis. There are 7 videos and I bought them all (with 4 kids- it didn't pay to buy 4 now and pay more shipping later! lol!) So, we haven't watched them all, but at least 4 and the kids LOVE them! And... we LOVE them, too! So, if you want to start getting the TRUTH of science into your kids- you know, things that are observable, repeatable, and testable! Check them out... http://www.answersingenesis.org/PublicStore/catalog/57-Years-Old,188.aspx . If you haven't noticed yet- I LOVE resources! :) Hope you do, too! Blessed Resurrection!
Katherine
<><

Religion of evolution

Hey out there! :) I was teaching sr. high Bible class this morning and last week... and the topic of evolution usually comes up (it could be me!). It is very hard for a teen with limited exposure to creation science to confront their science teacher teaching the THEORY of evolution as a law. I encourage them to stick to 3 main points.
1- Irreducible parts. There are many things that could not have 'arisen' over time from nothingness, because if you take away any of their parts, they would cease to function and therefore could not possibly have evolved. For example- the human eye, blood, or the flagellar motor (I watched a great DVD about that!)!
2-Information. Chaos does not give way to information. DNA for example contains billions of pieces of information. For that information to mean anything there has to be a language, per se, or a code, making the information meaningful and useful. To believe that the "gases floating in space, after a big bang, organized themselves into a cell"... is a bigger stretch to me than that it had a designer!
3- Order. Everything in the universe is ordered. Things in chaos self-destruct. Things that live by an order are able to fulfill a purpose. Consider the order in the solar system, the tides of ocean, the seasons, our bodies... I could go on and on and on!

Evolution cannot address these 3 points. They cannot explain them away. Nor do they have any example of MACRO evolution anywhere! Micro evolution is different- but, we all believe in subtle adaptations within a species- but not that one species evolved into another.

The worst lie of evolution that I believe has most deeply affected our young people is that they are just an accident- a chemical blip- no specific purpose for their lives... so sad and so UNTRUE!
If you want to be able to speak intelligently to those who oppose creation and have bought the lies of evolution- check out the resources at
http://www.answersingenesis.org/ or http://www.drdino.com/ or http://www.thetruthproject.org/

You were made with a purpse! Live the INSPIRED life God has planned specifically for YOU! He had it in mind when He purposefully made you!
Blessings-
Katherine

Parental Rights...

So... as a parent, do you want the government to tell you what you can say, teach, or do in respect to your children? (Using common sense of course---) This court case in CA is really unbelievable. It's not outlandish to think there might be a homeschool family somewhere that's not doing things right, or God forbid, abusing their kids. There are all kinds of people in the world. And in such a case, the authorities would need to intervene. But, to take away the rights of all homeschooling families in the state??? That's like saying ... one parent abused their child, now no one in the state will be allowed to have children. Kind of throwing the baby out with the bathwater in my opionion. Hmm... what do you think?

Visit http://www.hslda.org/
and http://www.parentalrights.org to sign petitions on the matter!!!

What do you do intentionally?

What is it that you work hard to do, get done, remember to include in your day, etc.? Something with parenting, household item, etc. Doing life well takes intentionality... there are lots of things (too many) I'm trying to be intentional about. (Doing the dishes every night, for example, which most of you will say, "Huh?" to because you've never gone to bed without doing them! You inspire me, by the way, if that is you!) So, what are you intentional about? Another of mine is trying to read something from the Bible to my not-yet-readers everyday. Since one (almost two) read well now, I forget they can't all read it to themselves sometimes! Ok, your turn....

Easy, healthy breakfasts...

What do you serve your kids when you need a relatively fast, healthy breakfast!?!?! We're in a cold cereal rut- which we got into from too much oatmeal I think. Let me know what you do! :)

No more Library Late Fees

I just found the coolest website! If you are like me and wish you could pay one low monthly rate to the library, or better yet, have a netflix-like subscription with no late fees- ever!- then you need to check out Library Elf! If will manage all your family's library cards, alert you before they're due, when holds are available, etc.! Yeah!!! And, it will email you or text your cell as well. This is great stuff! Check it out! www.libraryelf.com!
Have a late-fee-free day!
Katherine

Life Skills

Hello out there!
I am reviewing the idea of lifeskills today. I personally am short on many of them (my own fault!) and consequently, I forsee that my children will struggle with them, too. So, after searching the internet and reading in a few books, I've begun compiling a list, which eventually will be exhaustive but isn't yet, of lifeskills I want my children to achieve and integrate into their everyday lives. Feel free to copy the list and update- but when you hit spots I've totally missed, be sure to send them to me! And, may I recommend Life Skills for Kids by Christine M. Field? It is really the only and most excellent book on the topic! Some books by Kathy Peel also have good age-appropriate chore lists, as Christine Field does. Here it is... (it is overwhelming but the idea is the check them off as they are learned and become integrated into life without having to do stickers, reminders, etc.)...

Life Skills List

Daily Self Care
Dress Self
Pajamas put away
Spread up blanket
Make bed neatly
Brush Teeth
Go Potty
Make simple breakfast: cereal, bagel, yogurt
Make hot breakfast:
Oatmeal
Toast
Eggs
Start schoolwork by self, following checklist (pictures or words)
Clean up as you go (don’t move on until the last is picked up)
Layout matching clothes for tomorrow
Deal with today’s clothes- dirty? Hamper. Re-wearable? Fold and put away.
Shoes in the shoe hanger.
Pick up room

Housework
*Laundry
Match Socks
Fold washcloths, towels
Sort laundry: lights, darks, reds
Put own clean laundry neatly away
Fold clothes and sort into correct tubs
Wash clothes running the washer and the dryer independently
Hang shirts on hangers and put away in right closet
*Bedroom
Dirty clothing always goes in hamper
Not dirty clothes, get folded and go back in the drawer
Toys and stuffed animals picked up and in proper place
Books neatly on shelves
Trash in trashcan
Make bed
Strip sheets off bed
Remake bed independently
*Kitchen
Carry Dishes to sink: scrape into trash and put in sink
Wash plastic dishes
Wash breakables
Wash pots, pans, casseroles
Put clean dishes away
Set the table according to form
Prepare simple meals not requiring cooking
Knife safety starting with butter knife
Learn safe use of appliances: microwave, oven, stove, food processor, blender
Assist with healthy, balanced menu planning
Assist with grocery shopping
Prepare full meals for family
*Trash
Collect trash and replace trashcan liners
Take trash out to garbage cans
Take garbage cans to dumpster
*Cleaning/Maintenance
Declutter surfaces
Dust surfaces
Vacuum carpet/rugs
*Bathroom
Hang own towel after bath
Take dirty clothes to hamper
Wash mirror
Sweep floor/Mop
Clean tub
Countertop, sink
Toilet

Health and Hygiene
Blow nose and throw tissue away
Potty, flush, and wipe independently
Brush teeth
Floss teeth
Mouthwash
Wash body in tub
Run water to correct temperature, fill tub, and turn water off
Wash and rinse own hair
Trim finger and toe nails

Financial
Keep divided piggy bank: tithe (10%), save (40%), spend (50%)
Use piggy bank for allowances, monetary gifts, and extra money earned
Remember to bring tithe to church
Track money in and out in small 3 subject notebook
Job
Have own checking account
Have credit card for emergencies

Time & Life Management
Learn own address and phone
Learn phone manners
Learn to take a message
Responsible calling
Get ready the night before (pack snack, lay out clothes, assemble bag or gear)
Read CalendarUse calendar to anticipate and prepare for activities