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Archive for December, 2008

FOR TODAY (December 30, 2008)…
Outside My Window…is dark.  Patches of grass is showing through the snow, but it isn’t supposed to last much longer.  More snow is on the way.  Earlier today, the Fruit were out ice sliding on a patch of ice.  It looked like fun…if I were sixteen years younger.
I am thinking…so many different things, I can’t keep them straight.  Foremost in my mind is my need to establish goals for the coming year.  My top five goals for 2009 are: 1)Daily quiet time, to include at least twenty minutes in prayer and fifteen minutes in Bible study.  2)Two hours spent in personal study time each day.  3)Two hours spent with the Fruit in their study time, to include at least a half hour reading aloud.  4)Walk on treadmill for thirty minutes and do Core exercises for fifteen minutes daily.  5)Spend at least a half hour with Mr. Nutt daily, alone.
I am thankful for…good friends.
From
the learning rooms…we’ve been enjoying studying our own pursuits the past couple of weeks or so.  F1 has been in his lab, experimenting with alum and electricity.  F2 has been continuing on his quest for Medieval information.  F3 has been reading and writing stories, as well as emailing back and forth with her favorite author.  F4 through F7 have just been playing and being core phase kids.
From the kitchen…we’re almost out of leftovers from the Christmas dinners.  I actually made dinner tonight – spaghetti and garlic bread.  I really, really want to make a chocolate cake I have sitting on the counter and I also want some nummy sugar cookies. 
I am wearing…my tennis shoes, socks, jeans, navy blue turtleneck, and a heavy maroon sweater.  I’m warm.
I am creating…still with the website, although I think I’ve got most of kinks worked out.  Now I’m just waiting for information from the pastor that I need to put on it.  Same with the pamphlets.
I am going…to Stuffmart and the Thrifty Acres, maybe tomorrow, maybe the next day.  Not sure yet, but hopefully nowhere any time soon.
I am reading…Two Years Before the Mast by Richard Henry Dana.  Still.  I gave it to F1 to read a part that I didn’t understand, because he wanted to see if he could get it.  He lost it.  Sigh.
I am hoping…that my friend can come over tomorrow.  She lives in TX, and we last saw each other during the summer.
I am hearing…F1 and F7 play peek-a-boo. 
Around
the house…Laundry is done, although not completely put away.  Christmas decos need to come down.  Children need to finish their chores.
One of my favorite things…is baby laughter.  F7 has been is such a good mood the past couple of days.  She has the sweetest laugh!
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week…Visit with friends.  Women’s meeting for church.  Let everyone know about women’s meeting for church!  Clean the kitchen.  Clean my room.  (Do those last two sound familiar?  They should, they were there three weeks ago.)
Here is picture thought I am sharing…
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I know, I know.  I’ve been missing my posts for awhile.  Christmas week was a bit on the crazy side, so I took a brief hiatus.  But now I’m back and hopefully on schedule.  Now I bring you my regularly scheduled Monday Character Confession from Christian Women Take Root.  By the way, on January 8, you can Tweet Up with oodles of Christian women if you are on Twitter.  Check it out at Christian Women Tweet Up.

Have you ever been so blessed that you didn’t know which way to turn?  You are throwing out so many thank you’s that your throat gets hoarse?  Yeah, that was me last week.

It all started when my aunt called me about three weeks before Christmas, asking me if it would be all right if she and my uncle got the Fruit something for Christmas.  They know that Mr. Nutt is laid off and has had no luck thus far in finding employment.  Certainly they understood that, in light of that, we were going with a no gift Christmas.  The Fruit understood it too, and I was blessed and thankful to have such sweet and adaptable children.  My aunt, who no longer has young children at home and no grandchildren to buy for yet, wanted to do some “fun” shopping again.  Well, who was I to deny her the joys of Christmas shopping?  I said yes.  The Fruit ended up with two gifts each from them – and they weren’t just schmoozy gifts either.  She really put a lot of thought into both what they enjoyed and what I would find acceptable.  (It helps that she is a Christian homeschooler, too.) 

Then, the adult Sunday School class at my church went out of their way to get gifts for the Fruit.  Again, we’re not talking goofy, no good, throw away tomorrow stuff.  They made a real effort to get the Fruit things that they would enjoy and was useful.  They also gave us some food and me and Mom some nummy shower gel (called the Milkman, the Gingerbread Man, and the Muffin Man.  Mmmmm…those are some good smelling shower gels!)  Also, a wonderful woman made each of the Fruit a pair of knitted slippers, so I set those out Christmas morning with their other gifts.

To top it all off, several of the women in my homeschool group, who I had been meeting with once a month for about five years gathered up their resources, led by my best friend, and bought the Fruit even more gifts.  They also got together a bazillion gift cards to Stuffmart and the Thrifty Acres. 

My youngest step-dauther, F-2 (read F negative 2, as in before me), also bought gifts for the Fruit.  They were, again, well thought out gifts that she had picked up throughout the year.  She excels at shopping.

On Christmas day, my precious Fruit had all kinds of things to open up and enjoy due to the extreme generosity of those around us.  Because of the gift cards, I am able to pay our propane bill, because I can buy groceries with the cards.  This will keep us going another month or so. 

So, I’ve learned my first lesson of this particular trip down poverty lane: I am loved.  And for that, I am thankful.  In spite of the hardships and the many, many worries I am facing, I know this: God is taking care of us in the ways we most need to be taken care of.  And for that, too, I am thankful.  This Christmas season and as I enter the New Year, I am meditating on the fact that my God knows me intimately, and knows not only the big things that I need like house payments and sleep, but also the little things, like the love of friends and the joy of the smiles on my Fruits’ faces. 

Thank you, Lord!

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Yes, I know that it is Tuesday.  When you have satellite internet, you only have a very finite amount of download space available.  Therefore, when you exceed said limit, your isp drops you down to a painfully slow surfing and downloading speed.  That happened to me yesterday and the internet didn’t recover until this afternoon.  So, hopefully, you’ll get two posts from me today!  Anyway, on to your post-poned Monday Character Confessions.


A couple of months ago, my pastor asked me if I knew anything about developing websites.  Uh no, I replied.  But I have been interested in learning, so I told him I’d look into it and see what I can do.  Mistake number one.

I attend a very, very small church.  We have absolutely no budget for technology.  I am donating my time, I found a very helpful and free host at Worthy of Praise, and I found a free web design software called Kompozer.  That was mistake number two. 

Not that Kompozer isn’t good.  I think that it is probably great for a free, open-source software which tries to include wysiwyg, html source coding, and css editing.  What is all that, you non-techy people ask?  Me too.  I’ve learned a ton.  Blessing number one.

So I designed a couple of pages (with the help of a free template) and got it looking pretty good.  I decided to put on sermons from the pastor.  We have the equipment at home, thanks to my geeky (yet wonderful!) husband.  Now I have these awesome audio files and no idea of where to put them.  The FTP client in Kompozer does not upload these to my host server, and they recommend having them hosted somewhere else ande hotlinking them to the main site.  Confused yet?  Yep, me too.  I need to find the answer to this dilemma.

I also uploaded a page, just to see what it does, and the entire css messed up.  That was the last straw for the day.  I haven’t figured out yet what happened, but will just sit there awhile until I can get it straight.

So, today, I’m frustrated.  I’ll get over it.  🙂

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Jonah…or Mary?

So, I’m still wrestling with why we are facing devastating financial wreck.  I know that the why may never be answered, but I also know that God is in complete control of the situation and that He has a purpose to it.  So I wondered, am I Jonah or am I Mary?

Jonah screwed up.  He was told, flat out, what he was supposed to be doing and he not only didn’t, he tried to run away from God to get out of doing it.  After much trial and tribulation (storm at sea, choosing to be tossed overboard to save the rest of the ship, and oh yeah…those three days in the belly of a fish), he finally decided to do what God wanted him to do.  His heart wasn’t in it, but God’s work was accomplished through him anyway and thousands were saved from destruction.  He still didn’t get it, even after he saw the results, so God had to explain it to him a little more clearly. 

Then we have Mary.  Sweet, sweet Mary.  She was just doing what God told her to do.  She was where she was supposed to be, when, WHAM, here she is, super-pregnant and needing to travel from Galilee to Bethlehem.  I’m pretty sure she didn’t enjoy that trip, having been that pregnant seven times myself.  She didn’t do anything wrong, she was obeying God, yet what did she have to show for it but a long, bumpy trip, labor and birthing in a cave surrounded by animals, and nothing but rags to warm her baby with.  The baby who God promised would be the Savior of the world.

So, am I a Jonah or a Mary?  Did I make a wrong turn somewhere?  Am I not living in God’s will, and he is trying to get my attention and my humility to get me back where I’m supposed to be?  Or am I a Mary, living in His will, doing my level best to stay there, and for some reason that I won’t know until a future date, I need to go through this struggle?

I gotta believe that I lean more on the Mary side.  I’m not saying I’m perfect (particularly perfectly humble), but I don’t know of any glaring God-told-me to-do-it-and-I-didn’t situations.  I do know that I thought for sure we were where God wanted us.  He wanted us to move up here, start going to a new church, and raise our babies in this area, in this home.  Because He is so perfect, so powerful, and so passionate, I know that He has some wonderful things up His sleeve.  I have to admit, I don’t like the donkey ride, the stable, nor the animals.  But, I’m also thankful that it isn’t the belly of a fish. 

I’m trusting in God that He is putting us where He needs us to be in order to do His will here on earth.  Just like He did Mary and Joseph, when He caused them to leave Galilee to go to Bethlehem for a census, just so His Son could be born there and fulfill the prophecy of Micah.

Thank you, Lord, for your grace and your provision.  Thank you that you love us.  Thank you for your Son.

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Edited to add my super cool button.


Special thanks to Raechel Knight for the
digital scrap components of the button!

So, I’m starting my own meme.  At least, I think I am. I’ve never heard of this one, so I’ll call it my own until someone corrects me.  I’ll also try to come up with a super-cool button to go with it eventually, but for today, it is just my post.

What About…Wednesday?
In this meme, I’ll revisit something that I’ve talked about in an earlier post, but haven’t really caught all you wonderful friends up on since.

Today: College

A few weeks ago, I posted about having made the decision to go back to school.  I was hoping for a bunch of financial aid, along with the transfer student scholarship that I got from the school I intend to attend.  I did get a decent grant, but not enough to cover the cost of attending school.  With our financial situation precarious at best, I just can’t even begin to contemplate going further into debt with student loans.  At this point, college is on hold.  Really, this makes the most sense.  Right now we are in emergency mode and if I am going to leave the house everyday, it will be to work and earn money to pay today’s bills, not to get a degree that will pay tomorrow’s bills.

I’m really, really disappointed about this.  I was so hoping to be able to get back to school.  But the fact of the matter is, God is in control.  If He wants me in school, then He’ll make it happen.  Without debt.  As F4 says to me, “Sometimes God says yes, sometimes God says no, and sometimes, Mom, God says maybe.”  School is a big maybe right now.  I’ll be content with that.

 

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I know that the Simple Woman’s Daybook is supposed to happen on Monday, but I’m doing Character Confessions on Monday.  So Simple Woman’s Daybook is moving to Tuesdays, where hopefully I will reveal too much about myself and you will really get to know me.  🙂

FOR TODAY (December 9, 2008)…
Outside My Window…the snow is deep.  The noise from the road is very muffled.  The snow glistens in the light from the windows.
I am thinking…that I should get off the computer and make goulash and garlic bread for supper.
I am thankful for…snowy days and joyful children.
From the learning rooms…everyone is behind, including me.  When daddy is home, we don’t get enough done and snowy days beckon for the children to come outside.
From the kitchen…F1 just made homemade candies that tasted better than Cadbury Creme Eggs.  He is now in charge, officially, of candy making.
I am wearing…my pjs.  Still.  They are warm and the house is cold.  A pair of lilac sweatpants my grandma gave to me and a fleece blue longsleeved long nightgown with teddy bears all over it.  My tennis shoes, socks, and a long sleeve undershirt.  Aaaahhhh…I’m toasty.
I am creating…a website for my church and a pamphlet for newcomers to the church.  It is a struggle since I don’t know how to design websites, but I am learning.  The pamphlet is fun, though.  I need to get more information from people in the church and I need to take some pictures.
I am going…nowhere.  Hopefully for many, many days.
I am reading…Two Years Before the Mast by Richard Henry Dana.  Still.  Also Endless Chain by Emilie Richards.
I am hoping…that Mr. Nutt gets a job soon.
I am hearing…the kids argue.  So much for joyful children. 
Around the house…is many messes.  Chores haven’t been done for three hours or more.  I need to clean my room and wash my kitchen down.  Laundry must be folded soon.
One of my favorite things…is chocolate and coffee.  F1 provided the chocolate.  Mr. Nutt is providing the coffee.  Aaaaahhh…life is good.
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: Work on the website.  Work on the pamphlet.  Pick a new book to read aloud to the Fruit.  Clean the kitchen.  Start cleaning my room.  Finish getting out the Christmas deco so the Fruit can decorate.
Here is picture thought I am sharing…

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Christian Women Take Root is an awesome website with encouragement for all walks of the Christian woman’s life. I’ve slowly been looking around, finding my way through this site and I am impressed. The Character Confessions are a way to get me writing. I’m going to try to do one per week, on Mondays.

I chose Fears for my character confession for this week. I’m facing down a lot of fears right now: Mr. Nutt’s joblessness, which is accompanied by the overall bleak economics of the state we live in; propane costs are going down, but that doesn’t really matter since we don’t have the money to pay for it anyway; Mom isn’t feeling well and is very depressed; I might have to go to work, leaving the kids to fend for themselves during the day, which leaves me trying to be Mommy and Teacher in the off-work hours; I won’t ever be able to go back to school, now that I’ve made the decision to actually do it; God is mad at me and that is why I’m facing all of this garbage; God isn’t going to rescue me, but will leave me in the cauldron – I’m not shiny enough yet.

For a girl who has been through all of this before, you’d think I would be able to handle it, look the fears in the face, and tell them who’s boss. Past experience doesn’t always make us stronger…sometimes it just makes us more afraid of facing the experience again.

The fact of the matter is, though, reality isn’t here. I had a deep philosophical discussion with F1 the other day, where he tried to throw a zinger at me. I responded with the fact that the first thing that a sociologist has to accept, in order to study humankind, is that we are real, that what we see around us is reality. He thought about that for a minute, then shook his head knowingly. However, I corrected, this isn’t really reality. There is a whole world going on around us that we don’t see, hear, or understand. Again, after a few moments thought, he nodded his head in the sage way only thirteen year old boys can manage. So, I said, when you start to worry about what is going on in this world…remember it isn’t real.

So, I say to my fears today, “YOU ARE NOT REAL!” God is real. Jesus’ death on the cross is real. The fact that I am a child of the KING is real. While I have to live in this world and face the difficulties therein – feeding my children, heating this house, working for a living – the fact of the matter is the only thing that matters about them is where I put my faith, what I show to the world that is so in need of Jesus, and the love that I give. That is what is real. That is what counts. The rest – God will take care of. I know he isn’t really mad at me (although those stupid fears whisper that to me). I know that though I may be in the cauldron, the fires that pain me now will only make Jesus shine brighter through me.

Lord, My Heavenly Father, tonight I pray that I reflect you…your love…your grace…your patience…your forgiveness. I pray that my heart stays soft to you and that your heart becomes my heart. I pray that you hold me through these tough times. I pray that you provide for us in unbelievable ways and that your provision to us is yet another way to build the faith of those that we come into contact with. I pray that through me and my family, we are able to share the love of Christ. Thank you, Lord, for this opportunity to trust in You. In Jesus’ Holy and Precious Name. Amen.

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