Monday, November 30, 2009

Monthly Round Up: November


Another month gone by. This one was kind of different since we had to submit our first quarterly. I am grateful we haven't heard anything from them besides our return receipt.

This month we're also incorporating new things into our homeschooling. My tween is reading Psalms in Spanish to thus further help her (and me) learn the language.

I also came up with my own calendar/time recorder/grade book/lesson planner. Sounds a lot more sophisticated than it is. I just couldn't have two different books and then a calendar. So I decided to make my own.

I really like the way it came out. I just check the assignments once they're done and/or place a grade in the little circle. This gives me a clear view of what got done or what has to get checked. Hubby can look at it and know what we're studying and even help check the assignments.

My tot is progressing very well and her flex binder is finally complete. It's divided into 5 sections:
1. Bible memory verse

2. Fun Fonix

3. Site words

4. Tracer pages

5. Calendar and weather graph

Having all her work (besides the workbooks) in one place helps us stay organized and keep a routine with her. She grabs her binder from her bookbag and knows what to do without any help from me. This has also helped me for next year. I was trying to hold off from buying a full curriculum for her until another year or so, but she's advancing so I may have to get something more formal starting next September. Any ideas?

We're in the full swing of things and enjoying it a lot. Looking forward to the upcoming changes as well as strengthening what is working.

How was your month?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

My Turn

In Thursday night's service, the church got to give thanks to the Lord for specific ways in which He has glorified Himself in our lives. And I think that the fact that He even chooses to do so is enough! Hubby participated and shared a much overdue thanks to the Lord. The testimonies were so edifying. I didn't particpate...until now. Well, a little later on that.

Let me begin with how my Thanksgiving day began. Sis and I woke up early and decided to do our runs to CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid. My budget was $20. So for all of this

I paid $12.41 (oop) BUT with SCR I will be getting $9.50 back so I really paid $2.91!!!! And this also qualifies me for $5 Rite Aid gift card and I have $7 ECBs left over. You have to have been there to appreciate it.

So, we get back and after resting a bit, it's time to prepare for tonight's dinner at church. Hubby goes out to buy the juices and little did I know that BJ's would be closed and that the supermarkets that were open would be bare. But he got them. We get to work on our contribution for the dinner.



We finish making the salad and get dressed to head over to Sydney's house. On our way out my tween points this out to me

Isn't it beautiful? So we get there, eat, enjoy fellowship, and I even get to do kiki's hair with a clip. Too cute! We leave with salad in hand, kids in tow, and ready for church dinner.

Driving, driving, bump, bump...and then uh oh...this

Maybe you can't see by the angle of the picture, but there is no tire on the bottom of the rim!!! Only the Lord! In His divine protection He actually allowed traffic so we would be driving slowly when this happened as opposed to 50mph on the highway. Thank You Jesus!

So I call my Co-Pastor's wife to let her know we, the salad, and the juices are going to be late. I can't get through but my tween finally relays the message. I also call sis and she offers to come. She gets there and I leave Hubby with BIL and all the girls (me, sis, mami, 2 tweens, 1 tot, 1 baby) head out to church. Did I mention the vomiting? Oh yeah, before sis got there I had vomited.

So now I am in her car heading to church doubting whether I was going to make it because of the out of nowhere nausea. We make it. No Hubby. I call BIL and then speak to Hubby. He informs me another man, a brother in Christ, also got a flat but had no equipment to change it. They are rejoicing in the Lord for the opportunity to help the BIC. Then police officers arrive (four of them) and request for both cars to move. Then guess what? Our car won't start! But not a problem BIC is willing to give us a boost until...policer officer tells him no and gives BIC a summons for the offer. Police officer had already called tow truck which takes our car to the closest exit. Hubby gets a free boost from a taxi (grace) and is on his way to church. Glory to God!

Hubby gets to church, missed the dinner but made it to the service. Of course, he did. He had to give thanks for the miraculous healing almost 5 years overdue. What the enemy will do to stop a blessing?! But he's already been defeat!

O.k. so I wrote that to say this because it's my turn to give thanks. What am I thankful for? That I didn't freak out or even flinch about this. Seven years ago, I would have flipped BIG time. Four years ago, I would have had a meltdown. A year ago, I STILL would have found something to question God about. Why is this happening? What's the purpose? I would have gone down through a long list of possible answers. This year, I was thankful. Thankful that we have a car, that we were safe, that we had the equipment to change the tire, had already eaten, thankful we have a beautiful family in Christ that love us and kept calling to see how Hubby was doing but I had his phone, thankful Sis lives so close she picked us up, thankful Hubby was with BIL (and BIL didn't have a coat), thankful I had a church to go to, thankful for BIC that Hubby got help, thankful for the police officers and tow truck, thankful for the $76 we paid for the tow truck because it's a seed we've sown), thankful I didn't vomit in Sis' car, thankful that it didn't rob my peace or steal my joy, thankful that I could praise Him and rejoice through it all, thankful I am not who I was, and most thankful to have Jesus with me while I go through anything and everything!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Count Your Blessings

Picture 19
1. Celebrated a blessing shower for our FIC...we rejoice with their blessings and thank God for them:)
2. F...i...n..a..ll..y got to go and see my SIL's house
3. Packed in some fun with Sis on Friday (2 mamas, 2 tweens, 1 tot, 1 infant, and over 6 boxes of pampers and other goodies...)
4. Hubby and girls went out to the park and enjoyed some daddy and girl time
5. MIL gave me a pretty sweater:)
6. Got great deals on Thankful Thursday...shelves were stocked and budget in tact!
7. Sis invited us to a Thanksgiving lunch in her house....yummy
8. Kiki wore shoes:)...she looked so cute like a little chocolate bar
9. Tonight's service was sooooo edifying...definitely Holy Spirit led
10.23Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Hebrews 10:23-25

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Warning Against Laziness

Storm - House!
We're going over tween's Bible questions, and they are wrong. How can this be when the Bible references are in bold, italicized, or underlined? I ask her and she calmly states, " I thought I knew the answer." Because she thought she knew the answer, she didn't bother to look up the Bible passages.

But God is so good and is never surprised although I was. (I mean really bold, italicized, underlined, why not look them up???) Earlier that morning we had read Proverbs 18:9, "One who is slack in his work, is brother to one who destroys." She read it out loud and I followed. As I heard the words she was reading, I paid close attention thinking about the consequences of laziness in my life. Holy Spirit spoke to me and reminded me of Proverbs 14:1, "A wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down."

So let's look at the verse closer. This verse warns us that laziness and destruction go hand in hand. Who seeks to destroy, divide, and kill if not the devil? So, if we are lazy, we are brother to one who destroys (devil). Our laziness can lead to the destruction of our homes.

Surely, sister, you're taking it too far. Let's see. In Matthew 7, Jesus speaks about two men who built their homes. There are some noteworthy similarities about these men. Both of them heard the Word of God and both experienced the storm. Yet, only one house withstood the storm-the house built on the rock. Why? Because this wise man not only heard the Word but he also put it into practice. His house standing was the fruit of his labor-his obedience. The foolish man's ruined house was evidence of his disobedience to the Word of God.

You see in the Lord, there are no successful shortcuts (Proverbs 21:5). We can go to church, attend retreats, complete Bible reading plans year after year, pray to our heart's content, BUT if we are not practicing His Word, we are headed for destruction. Laziness is a sure path to destruction.

We can see the messes in our homes, hear the defiance in our child's tone, and view the tiredness in our husband's demeanor and choose to be lazy. I'll clean up tomorrow. My child is only going through a stage; they will grow out of it. Once we finish the task or job at hand, then my husband will rest. Let's stop being lazy and address these issues immediately. Let's practice the Word daily and not turn a deaf ear, blind eye, and paralyzed will to these issues.

Remember the storm will come. Will your house stay standing?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Blessing Shower

We had sooo much fun at the blessings shower. The Pastor spoke such beautiful words that ministered Hubby and me (in Him Yes and in Him Amen!). He reminded us how the FIC had been praying for this baby AND the church as well. So we as a family in Christ rejoice!

I must say God always WOWS me. First, my SIL surprised us by coming with us. Then we get there and my nephew is allllll over me. He's kissing me and hugging me and calling me Titi and I'm loving it. He even gave me a tour of his room. So little man gave me the V.I.P treatment.

While trying to figure out which entrance SIC should enter through, Sis and I got to pretend it was our shower. Pastor predicted I would scream the loudest unbeknown st to me so when it was my turn, guess what? I screamed and squealed and covered my mouth in shock...HA! And Hubby just informed me I was voted the loudest by my sisters...who me???

Once the table and chairs were set up and arranged it looked so beautiful. God gives so much creativity.

My MIL made the cake,

Sis made the diaper cake and capias,

I made the shoes,

and I'm not sure who brought the favors, but they were so nice.
Doesn't it all look so nice!?
The other sisters helped out and brought some delicious food, chips, and soda. Hubby and I are still trying to figure out how SIC gets the pernil to taste soooooooo goooooooood.

I was so glad to see us fellow shipping. We got to speak to some of our new family members and reminisce of what God has done in our lives (defensive driving courses and all:). Hubby and Co-Pastor even sat in the Daddy-to-be's chair, so maybe God is speaking???

Friday, November 20, 2009

Count Your Blessings

Picture 19
1. Went out with sis and got some great deals (more baby wipes $.02-$.64 a pack and other goodies)
2. Our FIC invited us for dinner and we had a GREAT time. I missed the fellowship with this family and we actually had it in prayer, so to see God arrange this dinner was beautiful
3. My Pastor called me on Sunday night with such a heart-warming message...He's such a wonderful Dad to us:)
4. Hubby's counsel continues to minister to me and teach me which I so appreciate
5. SIL blessed be with a copy of Fireproof...thanks sis:)
6. I got my Rite Aid rebate check plus an extra $10 gift card...cha ching!
7. Remember when I had written here that I wasn't thrilled about Walgreens, well still not thrilled but I did like my recent trip. All of this for....

$0.80!!!!
8. Visited FIL and enjoyed to see how much they enjoy their grandbabies:)
9. Hubby FIXED our Reynold's handy vac....my handy vac was no match for my hand man..HA!
10. We dropped off our boxes and the ladies at the church (Esmeralda and Ines) were so happy to see us (and the boxes:)...Father bless them according to your riches and glory in Jesus' name
11. SIL gave us some plantains and we sure did enjoy the mangu...y.u.m.m.y!
12. I had a mini-Deacon in training helping me in tonight's service
13. God brought a timely Word for us today and we're so grateful for His divine intervention
14. My tween and I had such an edifying conversation and we were BOTH ministered...Glory to God!
15. Why are you downcast, O my soul?

Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.

Psalm 43:5


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Becoming a Child

black and white Pictures, Images and Photos
As my tot asked me to help her open something, I did and then started to look at her. She was content at being helped and moved along to another activity. Yet, I stayed there in my bed looking at her and thinking, "It must be so hard to be you. You have to depend on someone else for so much. You're not tall enough, old enough, or strong enough. I wouldn't want to be in those shoes." Then God spoke gently to me and said, "That is how I want you to be. Completely dependent on me."

I was so humbled. Holy Spirit quickly came and shared Matthew 18:23 with me.

And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Think about it: Being completely dependent upon God for everything. I have surrendered areas of my life and am still working on others, but I think the real change begins with the revelation that we must be like little children who look to Daddy to meet all of our needs. You can surrender out of frustration, disillusionment, or discontentment, but the Father wants us to change out of the revelation that we need Him-because He alone is God, because only His love fills, knowing His plans are better, trusting He will never leave us nor forsake us.

Children don't care that they don't reach, or can't get it open, or don't know things. They don't worry about their limitations, they think about Daddy's ability and power to get these things done for them.

Can we stop looking at our limitations, shortcomings and stop depending even on our abilities and talents and depend on our Father?

Father, we look to you today and recognize that we have not surrendered it all, but we also come to You today wanting to. Take it all Father and do Your will. I want to change and become like a child who looks to You for everything. Help me Holy Spirit not to look at myself or anyone/anything else as a source of help, strength, or support. Help me to always look at You and keep my eyes fixed on You. I pray this all in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Recipe: Wraps


What You'll Use:
meat (your choice; chicken, meat, tuna...)
tomatoes
celery(any other veggies you may like)
whole wheat wraps
mayonnaise (you can also use sour cream or guacamole)


What You'll Do:
cook/prepare meat
add veggies
mayonnaise
season (salt, pepper, etc)


Serve and Enjoy! Didn't have time to take a picture of the finished product because these were gone FAST:)

These are actually my version of the delicious sandwiches a SIC made for us as mentioned here.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Throwing in the Towel

towels Pictures, Images and Photos


Have you ever looked into the face of your child and thought, "Why don't they just get it?" I know I have. Part of me is tempted to give in and just move on, but inside of me, I know that I can't. Sure, I can just skip the conversation, overlook the offense, avoid the confrontation, but I can't. I feel compelled to go on. Not because they have to get it, but because both of them are children of God, an inheritance from God Almighty (Psalm 127:3). Before the Lord, it is my duty to train them up in the way they should go, and when they are old they will not turn from it (Proverbs 22:6). They are worth the extra time and effort to bring encouragement, correction, exhortation, and discipline.

So, I continue and want to continue because she's not the problem--I am, my attitude is, my outlook is the problem.
When I reach this crossroad, I can either throw in the towel or throw in the towel. Ummm, isn't that the same thing? Nope, they are actually two different choices.

A. Throw in the Towel
Throw my testimony away in front of my children, throw a fit, or throw a pity party. In this scenario, I am throwing in the towel on the work of Holy Spirit and declaring my flesh victorious.

B. Throw in the Towel
Throw my emotions to the side and my expectations too, throw myself into prayer, throw myself into praising, throw myself at His feet

So you see, next time you're at that crossroad, give up, quit, throw in the towel of doing things your way and declare Jesus victorious over this situation!

This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live
Deuteronomy 30:19

Saturday, November 14, 2009

How to Pack a Box

Collection week for Operation Christmas Child begins on Monday, November 16, 2009 until the 23rd.

So if you haven't packed your box yet, here's how:

1. Gather
Get all your supplies together to get ready to work:) You should have your boxes, wrapping/tissue paper, scissors, tape, labels, goodies, photos/letters you may want to include all at hand

2. Divide
I like to separate and group like items together. Categories like dental, bath, hair, etc.

3. Start
Label the lid of your box first and start packing. Pack it (but don't close the lid) just in case you have to add more items. I like to start and finish one age group before moving to the next.

4. Finish
Once all the boxes have been packed, I go back again to see if the lid will close. If it doesn't time to repack and stuff. I like to send FULL boxes so space cannot be wasted. (Fill the cup with goodies to conserve space and send more.) If there is still room add more.

5. Pray
This is the most important part. Pray for the child, their family, their community, and nation that they may know and serve Jesus as the Savior and Lord

This year was LOTS of fun and hard work. I actually thought I was going to have some left over goodies, but no, not really. It mostly all got packed up and ready to be delivered. My collection box is now empty and ready to be filled once again for God's glory.

This is my prayer in the harvest
When favor and providence flow
I know I'm filled to be emptied again
The seed I've received I will sow
-The Desert Song by Hillsong




Tips for preparing to pack a box:
1. Start in advance
Look for goodies throughout the year. I am actually going to keep a list this time of the ages we will be packing boxes for and thus keep it in mind when I am shopping. It's better to have extras than to have to run out and buy last minute items.

2. Think out of the box
bar soap, socks, toothpaste, toothbrushes, utensils & cups (take and toss), balloons, hair accessories (brushes, combs, headbands)

3. Personalize it
Pack the box with a child in mind and not a box. Adding just anything to fill a box defeats the purpose. Don't put things you wouldn't give to any other child you knew personally. Shop for items your own children would like. Adding a photo (you can get 100 photo postcards for about $10 shipped from here), letter, or drawing makes it more special and thoughtful. Consider buying a clear shoe box so that they can keep and use it as well.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Count Your Blessings

Picture 19
1. A FIC invited us for dinner (D-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s) and we enjoyed fellowship
2. We got to sow our first seed in the Lord's project for the church
3. Mami invited us for dinner along with sis & family and the Pastor
4. Trying out Walgreens (not especially liking them but they gave $5 for forgetting to give me my receipt)
5. Got a great deal on baby wipes
6. Sent out our first hs quarterly:)
7. Hubby came home early...thank You Lord for the love you put in him for me!
8. Enjoyed a beautiful time in prayer with Hubby
9. I LOVE to watch my girls praise the Lord...Your Levites Lord!
10. Grandma sent over some johnny cakes...y.u.m.m.y
11.22What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? 23What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory—
Romans 9:22-23

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Turning Point


I may seem silent, but I am still praising


I may be changing, but I am still the same


I may be bare, but I am still fruitful


I may look hopeless, but I have promise


I may seem alone, but I am not forgotten

You thought I was dead, but I am alive-alive to praise Him, alive to worship Him, alive to obey Him, alive to wait on Him...I am alive to live for HIM!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Appreciate

S2MS Thankfulness Pictures, Images and Photos


Appreciate means

to grasp the nature, worth, quality, or significance of

to value or admire highly

to judge with heightened perception or understanding

to recognize with gratitude

to increase the value of

Do you feel appreciated? Well chances are if you don't it means you don't appreciate. You see when we appreciate God, what He has done for us, in us, and is doing through us, we will always feel loved by Him. If we are waiting for appreciation to come from other outlets (be it husbands or children), we are setting ourselves up for disappointment. Is it wrong for our husbands and children to appreciate us? No, but our self-image should not be made or broken by their words or gestures. Our self-image should depend on what His Word says, what He has already done for us, and whose we are.

If today you wallowing in despair waiting for someone to take notice of you, your hard work, your contributions, STOP! Someone already has taken notice--Jesus. Stop waiting for appreciation and appreciate.

One will say, 'I belong to the LORD ';
another will call himself by the name of Jacob;
still another will write on his hand, 'The LORD's,'
and will take the name Israel.
Isaiah 44:5

16You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. John 15:16

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Reminder

Reminder Pictures, Images and Photos

1. Quarterly
If like me, your quarterly is due soon, this is the week to send it out. I will work on it this week and send it out. I will also be preparing something special to send to our sponsored children. So I am off to the post office:)

2. Operation Christmas Child
If you want to get involved, there is still time to get a box(s) ready and sign up for the prayer week. I have to buy some tissue paper to decorate the boxes for Operation Christmas Child because hopefully, this weekend we will pack them and then drop them off next week.

3. Resources
Last week, I read about Bible Bee in God's World News and thought that was the cutest thing. I briefly checked out their website and they have downloadable resources that look quite interesting. I like their motto "Learn It, Speak It, Live It."

And if you're looking for some good sight words click here. Or if you're looking for a Grammar curriculum (help) click here.

And lastly, if you are going to do a Bible calendar for 2010, Target has them now so don't wait until next month:)

Oops, I forgot to mention, if you would like a free fitness kit from Subway click here.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Recipe: Beef Low Mein

This came as a result of a very quick fix for a meal:)

What You Will Use:
beef
spaghetti noodles
gravy master

Gravy Master

What You'll Do:
Prepare the noodles as directed in the package
(you can add a piece of garlic for more flavor when boiling)
Cook meat as desired (on George Foremen grill?)
Steam vegetables of your liking
Season with salt and pepper






Friday, November 6, 2009

Count Your Blessings

Picture 19
1. Visited my in-laws this week...my FIL blessed me by telling me he loves me:)
2. Hubby had a day off from work
3. Enjoyed a vigil with a visiting church and it was GREAT!
4. The church is beginning a new project and we're excited!!!
5. I got to pray with the little girls from the church and I see God answering their prayers...Prayer Warriors
6. Bought Hubby a shirt from Kohls for about $2!
7. Mami invited us to dinner on Monday
8. Sis made a delicious flan (and a special piece just for Hubby which he enjoyed LOTS!)
9. Tween has improved sooo much in English
10. Co-Pastor uploaded this great testimony of the power of travailing


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Kitchen Gadgets

As you may know I find a food processor in the kitchen almost indispensable. And on a recent trip to my in-laws, I spotted my mother-in-law's food processor. I was wowed! I didn't even know they made them with different functions like slicing tomatoes for you. I may have to upgrade:)

Maybe to something like this?
Cuisinart Limited Edition Metal 14 Cup Food Processor Pictures, Images and Photos
Just kidding, but I find that cooking (and cleaning) is a lot of fun when you have the right tools. Like my Ikea bowls, they are sooo useful. My daughter says she feels like she's really cooking when she uses these. I got these for I think less than $7 for a set of three with lids.

Maybe I won't splurge on new food processor just yet, but I have my eye on this
potato peeler Pictures, Images and Photos
What's in your kitchen that makes preparing meals a lot more fun or easier?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

1,000 Hours of Prayer


You can sign up to join others as we pray for God to bless Operation Christmas Child. Last year, we all committed to pray and it was a blessing. We prayed individually and as a family. So, sign up today and be ready to see God's hand!

This year you can also track your box if you use EZ giving. Wouldn't it be great to connect with these children and pray from them past OCC. Our desire is to include a family picture for each box with our address. We just ordered some postcards for less than $11 (including s&H). I know that the children may not have the resources to write back but I can pray and maybe they will. Nothing is impossible for our God!