Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Food Preparation I Class

Last year, our family participated in beginning a brand new homeschooling program right around the corner from our home at our former church.  It has been an amazing answer to prayer for us!!
We have a daily half-day program from 8:00 am to 12:30 pm that utilizes the ACE (or School of Tomorrow) Pace Curriculum for most core subjects, and we offer a few electives for the high schoolers.  There is a "learning-to-read" class for the Kindergarten and 1st graders, as well as Math and Reading supplemental activities.  What we don't finish there, we finish at home!

One of the extra fun perks for me is that I get to teach a high school elective course.
Never, in-a-million-years, would you have been able to convince me that I would enjoy that, but it has been an absolute blast!
Last year, I taught Beginning Speech and Drama, and this year I'm teaching a Family and Consumer Science Course with emphasis on "Beginning Food Preparation" this semester and "Sewing and Crafts" next semester.

We are having so much fun learning how to read recipes and to prepare enough servings of the recipes for all who will be sampling, and experimenting with new flavors and ingredients.

The girls really enjoy learning how to garnish and serve their dishes in an appetizing way.

I love having the time to teach my own daughters in this class in a bigger space than our own kitchen and in the company of other girls as well!

The best part is sampling all the different recipes that each of the girls chose out of their cookbook.

I'm really excited about the opportunity we have in a few weeks to prepare a Thanksgiving meal for the senior citizens of this church!  More pictures to come!!!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Come apart, before you come apart!

One of my favorite things to participate in every fall is our
annual Ladies Retreat with my church lady friends!
Oh my goodness!
What a blessing it is to get away with long-time friends to refresh and relax,
and to make new friends.
My spirit is always revived and I my heart is always encouraged.
I come home a better person, a better Mom.

The road to the retreat is often challenging and difficult.
The days just before it are always incredibly busy with meal, laundry, transportation, 
and school preparation.
Sometimes the stress of it makes me want to just say, "Forget it.  It's not worth all this."

And many years there has been a minor catastrophe at home while I'm away that requires
my husband's intervention no matter how much I try 
to make everything as simple as possible for him.
This year it was this:

Garrett had somehow gotten into some poison ivy and Wednesday morning he
woke up with a mild rash on his face.  I had treated it with all the poison ivy treatments we
had in our home (since we've learned that Abby is highly allergic to it as well) including
oils, creams, and benadryl.
I left Thursday morning for the retreat and left instructions on what to give him and to watch
for his eyes.
The above picture is what I received on Friday morning.
Fortunately, my husband "just happened" to get that day off (which he never gets in the middle
of his shirt and on two day's notice) so he ran him to our pediatrician.
Daddy always handles the crisis like a hero!!

My roomie!!

My sweet friend who I don't get to see enough who also made 
this lovely candle for me!!!

A sweet new friend

These ladies are long-time, very dear friends who I only get to see
but once or twice a year!!

Our speaker this year was Beth Lynch (pictured in the middle).
Her multi talented musician husband came also and the two of them performed
a lovely, sacred concert of piano and voice!
What a treat!!
They are pictured with my amazing, homeschooling, piano playing, vegan cooking
Mama extraordinaire friend from my church!!

Mrs. Beth Lynch reminded us that everything we do today is preparing for something in the future:
"This day for that day."
Our lives are more than just a journey.
We have a purpose and there are "precepts for the journey."
"When I obey what I know to be God's precepts today,
He will reveal more of His will tomorrow."

One of my favorite nuggets she gave us was:
"When you get into "Pity Party Pit"
the best thing you can do is go find somebody with a need
and help them!"

Our hearts were filled with scripture and joy by the end of our retreat
and we returned home with renewed courage and hope to
staying faithful to our individual callings and walks with the Lord!!

 Ladies Retreat with Worth Baptist Church 2015

Friday, October 16, 2015

Pumpkin Patch 2015

It was a bit of a last minute trip this year, but we made our annual trek to our favorite pumpkin patch recently.

It's always more fun with a friend!

This guy volunteered to help me haul our lunch from our parking spot so far away.
It was really warm!

We're missing a few this year.
My older daughters feel they are getting a little "too old" for the pumpkin patch,
and the oldest had to work anyway.
My husband's schedule didn't work with our last minute plans.

Picture proof that we've done some growing this past year!!! 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

A performance of "Bridge of Blood"

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose."
~ Jim Elliot

As a part of our church's Foreign Food Festival, I was asked to participate in
a performance of the story of missionary Jim Elliot and his 5 co-laborers in their ministry
to the Auca Indians of Ecuador.

We spent weeks rehearsing and preparing this dramatic reenactment of the lives and ultimate death
of these 5 men passionate about reaching these primitive people with the story of the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

Performing in any kind of drama is exhilarating!
But especially when you are passionate about the subject matter.

The very first missionary story I was ever exposed to was the story of Jim and Elisabeth Elliot.
I had to read the book Through Gates of Splendor for an English assignment.
It changed my life.
It wasn't until many years later, as a single, college graduate, that I had the privilege of hearing Elisabeth Elliot speak.
I had already read so many of her books that tell of the gift of suffering and of waiting for God's best in relation to finding a husband.
She had lived through both of those seasons and had so much wisdom to share about it.

She was my "hero of the faith" as some would say.
But she passed away only a few months ago.
I couldn't say "no" to playing the part of Elisabeth Elliot in this profoundly moving story.

"These men had come to the jungles of Ecuador to share the message of Christ's love,
and the people they had come to serve killed them.
The world called it a purposeless nightmare of tragedy, 
but a lost and dying world could never understand Jim's creed: 
'He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.' "

"...much of the script that you will hear tonight is taken from the actual letters
and diaries of the slain men and their wives.  And who better to tell this story
than Elisabeth Elliot."

"Being quite an extrovert, as well as a successful athlete, Jim was well known among the students. 
But Jim never dropped his testimony to win popularity.
Christ and Biblical principles always came first."

"There's a lot of work that needs to be done in America, but a life of baby-sitting a bunch of spoiled delinquents for some big church isn't the kind of work that I want to do.  God hasn't callded me to that........
Our young men are going into professional fields because they don't feel 'called' to the mission field.
We don't need a call, we need a kick in the pants."

"I have one desire now - to live for the Lord, putting all my energy and strength into it.
Maybe He'll send me someplace where the name of Jesus Christ is unknown.  Jim, I'm taking the Lord at His word, and trusting Him to prove His word."
~ Ed McCully

Such an incredible moment for this Mom as Ashlyn performed her part so beautifully!

"When a friend gives you a wonderful gift, you usually try to find a way to give a gift in return. 
So, I've decided to give God my life to direct as He pleases."

"Sometimes I imagine that a roaring fire is burning up a great house.  And when all the walls, floors, and roofs are gone, only a few precious stones will remain.  I guess my life is like that.
Someday I'll see Jesus face-to-face and all my good works and so-called virtues will burn up just like that house, and all that will be left are the souls that God brought to Himself through me."

"I've always believed that if the Lord wanted a guy in full-time service on the mission field, 
He would make him unbearably miserable in the pursuit of any other end.......The Lord has given me no desire to preach, but I'd like someday to be able to tell somebody who has never heard.  Please pray that I'll be kept from useless sidetracks."
~Nate Saint

"....Two rules:  Don't run ahead of God's timetable, and no group pressure. 
 Do we all agree on this basis?
It's settled.
  Tomorrow we officially begin 'Operation Auca' with the first gift drop. 
 God alone knows where this project will end."

"Jim, Pete, Ed, Roger, and Nate left that meeting eager to begin 'Operation Aucu.'
Nate had devised a special maneuver for delivering goods to the ground from his plane.
By flying in a fairly tight circle and letting out a great length of cord, Nate could cause the end of the cord to be comparatively still near or on the ground, the end of an inverted cone.  He could lower a bucket holding a gift or tie something to the cord.  
The delivery was tricky and painstaking, but the first contact with the Auca was made through these gift drops."

"As we sensed the time for the trip to be approaching, and all-out effort was made to obtain bits of the Auca language.  A runaway Auca woman named Dayuma lived on a nearby ranchero.  
Jim decided to visit her and try to obtain some Auca phrases...."

"But Pete!!  If anything ever happened to you, I'd....."

"You'd keep on serving the Lord, and He'd keep on sustaining you.  Olive, I know there is danger, but we have come so far and God has led us every step of the way."

"God has given Nate and me more happiness in seven years than most couples have in a lifetime."

"But, Marj, how can you bear the thought of that happiness ending?"

"I guess I don't allow the devil to trick me into worrying about it.  Keep busy with the work of the Lord, and stay close to Him in prayer.
Olive, that's the only way you'll be able to come through this thing."

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, 
I will fear no evil, for though art with me...."

"The other widows and I have received countless messages from all over the world, telling of young men and women who have made decisions for Christ because of what happened to our husbands.
God's perfect plan was fulfilled and His name glorified."

"Today there is a strong church among the Aucas, and some of the men who killed our husbands are now preaching the saving grace of Christ, looking forward to the day they can thank our husbands in glory!  It is our prayer tonight, that the same God who ruled the hearts and lives of these five missionaries is also ruling your heart.
Will you let God have His way with you?"

Cast of Bridge of Blood 2015