Friday, November 28, 2008

A Time of Thanks

I love Thanksgiving and honestly try to cultivate a heart of thanksgiving all year round. An attitude of gratitude as my kids and I are studying right now.
Here is a partial list of what I'm thankful for:
  • My loving, dedicated husband
  • My children--loving them, training them, enjoying them
  • The love and care of my heavenly Father
  • The amazing grace bestowed on me each and every day
  • Family members near and far
  • Friends (I love my friends.)
  • The freedom we have in America
  • All the comforts of home
  • The military men and women of our great land
  • The church--both local and universal
Certainly not an exhaustive list...I heard a message by David Jeremiah the other night and he told the story about a lady who started writing down things she was thankful for each day. Over the years she recorded notebook after notebook of 14,000 things she was thankful for. Since those notebooks have been published into a book called 14,000 Things to be Happy About by Barbara Ann Kipfer. Simple things, profound things, forgotten things, favorite things; I think of it as remembering to take time to 'smell the roses'. Here I found a website patterned after the book. I do not know anything about the author of this book and website, however I know what the Bible says about thankfulness.
Just a quick glance...
I Thessalonians 5:18 "In everything give thanks for this is God's will for you, in Christ Jesus."
Ephesians 5:20 "Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ:"

Come, ye thankful people come.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

These are the best of days...

I'm thankful for the opportunity to have my children at home. So much goes on in a day and the kids & I would certainly miss a lot if circumstances were different.

Lately Bethany has been sick with a bad cold which flares up her asthma. I've spent extra time curled up in blankets reading to her and cuddling her. Trenton is healthy and busy. He's the first of the kids out of bed and ready to tackle the day. Marissa is continuing to be diligent in her school work. She also is a huge help around the house. Today we are hosting our monthly middle school literature club.

This month the book was Redwall by Brian Jacques. Very long book, but good. Marissa did a combination of reading and listening to a dramatized audio of the book. Her recent eye exam showed that she needed reading glasses again. She is also having eye muscle issues--which makes it difficult for her to read and comprehend. Her glasses have been ordered and we are paying them off little by little. (We had to order Bethany glasses too. She looks so cute in hers! We are hoping to get both glasses really soon. They both have similar eye focusing issues. Glasses might help, however the eye doctor said the vision therapy will also help tremendously.)

Back to Redwall, I really enjoy 'theme parties' and literature club for me has been a once-a-month theme party. Very fun! The main setting for Redwall is a castle. So I've got small cardboard parts that make up a small castle. I'm going to light candles everywhere and a friend gave me this great wall piece that looks like an old church or castle window. I can't explain it, but when my camera is working again, I'll take a picture of it.

The girls have different roles--Connector, Geographer, Quote Master, Vocabulary Expert, Literary Chef, Illustrator, etc. This time Marissa is the Literary Chef. We could have gone all out as this website shows, however we opted for simple...cheese and crackers, apples dipped in caramel, and ginger ale.

Here are some other sites pertaining to Redwall
Redwall Official Website
Coloring pages for Redwall characters
Discussion Guide by Carol Hurst

So, today I'm thankful to have these days and times with my kids. If I looked at all the things that are not going well, I'd just crawl back in bed and pull the covers over my head. Instead I'm choosing to be thankful and focus on the positive.

Share what you are thankful for, would you?

Saturday, November 8, 2008

International Day of Prayer

Tomorrow is the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. There is a lot of information online. I'm humbled reading and thinking about the persecuted church. I have so much--so much freedom. I read on one of the websites that the persecuted Christians are encouraged and feel others praying for them. Isn't that amazing. I don't feel worthy to pray for their suffering. Why do they suffer and I have so much freedom?? Feelings aside, the Bible says that our prayers help struggling believers (Romans 15:30-33). The Bible also makes it clear that God is sovereign; it's beyond my understanding--it's faith.

So take time today (and every day) to pray for the persecuted church. I found great resources for adults as well as children here on the IDOP official website. There is a map you can print out, prayer requests, devotions for kids, etc.

Also, a couple weeks ago our pastor mentioned Ken Boa's website as a resource for strengthening our walk with the Lord. I visited the site tonight and it is great. There are tons of archived articles, resources and Bible reading guides that you can download. I saved some and I signed up for his daily growth devotional. It will be delivered to my inbox each day!

Please share neat sites you've found that help you in your spiritual walk!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Recipe Swap

For one of my Works for me Wednesday posts I showed you all my bread that I'd made into bread crumbs. Today I thought I'd give you the recipe for Oven Fried Chicken--why I didn't give it to you way back when, I don't know. I received a comment on that bread crumbs post that prompted this recipe...and it's Recipe Swap day over at Randi's I have to Say. Thanks Randi!

Baked Parmesan Chicken (Oven Fried Chicken)

Mix the first 5 ingredients together in a bowl.
1 slice whole wheat bread (1 cup)
¼ c. minced parsley
½ c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 t. salt
1/8 t. garlic powder
Wash and pat dry 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts. (I cut my chicken into “nugget” size pieces.)
Dip pieces of chicken in nonfat milk, then coat with bread crumb mixture.
Bake on baking sheet sprayed with non-stick spray at 350 degrees F for about 1 hour or until done through.