Friday, June 26, 2009

Fhoto Friday:
An Exhortation From a Bird

Yesterday morning I woke up with the beginnings of a migraine. That was our first clue that a storm was heading our way. It was clear blue skies in the morning, but by noon it was pitch black as the clouds rolled in. Then came the rain. Not your ordinary rain, but sheet rain for over an hour! Then came the hail....bye bye tomato plants....and more sheet rain. For those who have never experienced it, sheet rain means that instead of drops of rain, it all comes so fast that it descends in a continuous sheet of water akin to pouring a bucket out. After the storm (and my migraine was gone) I headed outside to put to right some of the pots of plants and such.

And that is when I saw her. I fledgling robing, about the size of my palm. The down was mostly replaced by feathers, but still very young. We Had discovered a robin's nest in the green maple tree next to the deck and that is where she must have come from.

I leaned over from the deck and saw that she was breathing, and walked back into the house, not knowing what if anything we could do to help her.

Then the storm turned back. They sometimes do this in our area. The wind shifted and it was coming back for a second hit. I ran outside to move the already drowning plants to shelter under the front porch, and couldn't for the life of me figure out what to do for the bird.

The rain started again, Giant drops that soon turned again into sheet rain. The power went out, we lite candles to pierce the darkness so that dinner preparation could go on. Donning rain gear I went out to BBQ supper, the gas still works even when the power is out.

That's when I saw her. Not the fledgling but the mother. She was sitting on top of the fledgling, her wings outspread, sheltering her young from the rain. Getting hammered in the process.

I went back inside and told the children with tears in my eyes. A favourite study we've done is where it talks about God sheltering the faithful under His wings.

"Be merciful unto me oh God, be merciful unto me.
For my soul trusteh in thee:
yea in the shadow of thy wings will I
make my refuge until these calamities be overpassed"
Psalm 57:1

(The destroyed nest that fell out during the second storm,
after the young one was already on the ground)

"Because thou hast been my help,
therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice."
Psalm 63:7
It reminded me of all the times that God has done such for us. Hiding us under his wings in times of trouble.
Then it made me think of my actions as a mother. How humbling to see this robin's actions, it was a vivid exhortation to me of how a mother most act. Putting her safety aside to protect the young one from the dangers, both physical and spiritual.
But it didn't end last night. We have noticed the mother sheltering the young one from the hot sun (above), and feeding it. Obviously it either doesn't know how to fly, or cannot.

So for now we have kept the children inside, mowing the rest of the yard and leaving that half. Giving the parents room to help their little one.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Working Wednesdays:
Meal Plan & Grocery Shopping with Kids

Wednesday: Faijas with precooked beef, red pepper, onion, mushrooms, lettuce, tomatoes
Thursday: Hamburgers & homemade BBQ fries (precook the potatoes the night before to save heating up the house)
Friday: BBQ chicken, BBQ veggies, salad
Saturday: Chef's salad with boiled eggs and cut up ham on top
Sunday: Roast chicken, potatoes, carrots, salad, ice cream for dessert
Monday: Spaghetti for the family, salad for me
Tuesday: BBQ veggies and basmati rice

I've had some comments recently to the effect that I am insanely crazy to go grocery shopping with 3 kids aged 6, 3 & 1. Here are some pointers that we find helpful:

1) Explain the reason for the shop, what we are getting and for who. Example: "today we are going to shop for Ethan's Birthday gift" then I ask "So who are we shopping for?" and they answer "Ethan". This helps to stop the gimmes and focus their attention on the task at hand

2) Make a master list on the computer. This way it is a simple task to cross out the items we do NOT need and this leaves us with our weekly list.

3) Never go after 4 pm or on the weekend, as it is crazy busy which makes it more difficult with children.

4) Make older kids their own grocery list. Magoo's are 4-5 items that are small words that he can read and Princess' is 2-3 pictures. I'll also let them make their own and bring them.

5) Let the kids help pick out produce and items (i would recommend not letting them pick the eggs!). So what if it isn't the cucumber you would have chosen, they feel helpful and therefore happy.

6) Have a snack or meal before you go, hungry kids are grumpy kids.

7) Don't go within an hour of baby's nap time....if you run late you will pay!

8) For discipline in the store, as the 2 are old enough now, I will take something away. Example "Princess you have asked for too many things, that is Achan like and greedy, when we get home you have lost your princess doll." They understand that they have lost it for 3 days to a week and it goes on Mummy's desk for that. Make sure that you follow through!

9) Don't go when you are stressed or impatient. It will only get worse.

10) Work in an extra 20-30 minutes, as with all activities with children, it may and probably will take longer then expected.

How do you handle shopping with kids?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Meaningful Mondays:
Way Posts

Such a wonderful and meaningful exhortation yesterday. Bro Don focused on farming in scripture, and had many good points to ponder. Thankfully Sprout was well behaved so I managed to get it all from the cry room.

Something brief I wanted to share that we have decided to implement. He mentioned that when plowing a field that was hilly, a farmer will put up way post or markers so that he stays the course and the furlough is straight. Since he used to farm he knew all about it!

He said that to stay the course in the Truth and also to grow we must have way posts in our lives and here are his recommendations:
Daily: Daily Bible Readings
Weekly: Focused spiritual family time
Monthly: Hospitality to those in the ecclesia
6 mths: Read a Christadelphain book, or even better study a book of the Bible
Yearly: Bible School

We arrived home from meeting feeling rejuvenated to continue the course. To do the readings every single day with the children, even if it is a struggle. Actually the hard part for us is that we do one with the children and then don't get to doing the other 2 with just ourselves. We love opening our home and serving the ecclesia in that way, but often it is the same families that we are having over, so we are going to aim to have others over that we do not know so well. Daniel is in the middle of a study on Micah so he is doing well but I need to get back into some serious study and would welcome ideas for that. I'm thinking of studying the Songs in the Bible (Moses', Miriam's, Hannah's, Deborah's, Mary's, Song of the Lamb....), This year we are blessed to be going to Family camp.....and somewhere else but I will save "spilling the beans" for another post!

So how about you and your family? Do you have Way Markers/Posts? What are they?

"As for G-d, his way is perfect:
the word of the Yhwh is tried,
he is a buckler to all those that trust in him."
Psalm 18:30

Friday, June 19, 2009

"Fhoto Friday"
CHC Open House
Parents and siblings joined in the lunch time fun
(Princess at bottom in blue)
The Whole CHC closed with a wonderful spiritually uplifting song
"The Lord is a Sun and Shield"
(Magoo front, 3rd from right) Magoo & classmate singing "Zion shall Rejoice"

Magoo's wonderful class. sad goodbyes to one as she leaves for Australia
"Can't wait for grade one Mom, it's going to be awesome!"
(Magoo 2nd from right)

Princess (in blue) playing with "Da Big Girls"
We have been blessed by God for a wonderful first year of Magoo's schooling! CHC is simply amazing. Godly teachers instructing our wee olive plants to be molded into a young tree grown in his youth (Ps 140) what more could we ask. Thank you to all who put their time and effort in there (I know some read this). we felt badly that we couldn't be as involved this year because of Sprout, but we hope to help next year. May YHWH bless you all & keep you safe this summer!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Working Wednesdays:
Gluten Free Menu
Well finally my tummy troubles have been found out, the culpriate: Gluten! This is taking some getting used to, but it's been nearly a week off of gluten and I can tell the difference!
Wednesday: Rice & Veggie Stirfry (red peper, eggplant, zuchinni, onion, bok choy)
Thursday: Hamburgers for the family, BBQ shrimp w/ veggies for me & salad
Friday: Steak (cut up cheap roast), Baked potatoes & salad
Saturday: BBQ Chicken & BBQ veggies
Sunday: Ham & scalloped potatoes, beans
Monday: Pasta for the family, salad for me
Tuesday: Rice & Stirfry
Today is the last day of CHC, tomorrow is the trip to the waterpark with the whole school.
I hate bathing suits!
Any ideas for fun for the summer? Magoo told me yesterday that I'm boring...yep, preety much broke my heart!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Meaningful Tuesdays?
Getting Rid of the Dross

What a weekend! The Sunday school picnic at the beach, visiting another ecclesia and spending the day, an excellent exhort on "Happiness" and a great final class on the Psalms. I feel refreshed but weary. One can only do so much! This week is full as well, The CHC open house is today, Magoo has classes as usual on Monday & Wednesday, and the the water park on Thursday. Bible class on Wednesday, Tape class here on Friday, and then there are is all the regular tasks of life, running and home, and training olive plants for Yhwh.

Yesterday while I was sipping my morning cappuchino, I glanced around and was disgusted at the shear amount of stuff laying around. The house wasn't dirty, just full of clutter! I had moved piles off and back onto my desk every time we had to use the computer, moving toys to other ends of the island counter and back again, party decorations still all over the walls. Oh and I will spare you both pictures and description of the mud room! Argh!

So much to go through and get rid of. Yesterday Princess and I started on the study. We had 4 boxes of Bible books for Apps Mill that had arrived over the past 2 months that needed to be put in the corner of the basement. Material, thread bobbins, pin and tape measures had to be gathered from the dining room, study floor and my "desk" and sorted and put in some semblance of order. I'm thinking that I need to get one of those plastic drawer organizers for the sewing materials, they are taking over the study! We dusted as we cleared and actually found treasured items we were missing. Princess' Calico critters (she only has 1 set) turned up, as did Hubby's Messiah music scores. Oh and the books! enough said.

So in between the craziness that this week is turning out to be, we have made it a priority to get this house back in order before the Summer starts with a bang.

But what about our spiritual homes? Christ is definitely at the door, are we getting our house in order for that great day? Are we ready to leave ALL and follow him when we are called to the judgment seat, or are we going to be like Lot's wife and look back with desire at our material possessions? Worldly friends? distracting hobbies?

It is amazing the clarity that children can give you at moments like this. They have both found items to be given "to people that don't have so much stuff Mummy", but they never choose their Bible books to give away! They don't need the instructions to keep the more spiritual items....but I do! So much time is wasted in the pursute of a lifestyle that we were not called to keep. We are called to manifest our heavenly Father, and in doing so, must rid ourselves of that dross. Our trials are sent to help us get rid of the dross, just as gold is purified likewise are His children. That they may possess tried faith.

Take a moment today and read 1 Corinthians 3:9-16. I was going to put it up, but blogger doesn't let you copy and paste anymore.....
So this week we will get rid of the clutter, and by God's grace get rid of the dross as well!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Fhoto Friday:
Archeology Birthday Party

Monday, June 08, 2009

Meaningful Mondays:
Getting the Right Balance

"But it is not just the world which uses its family life as an excuse. These are some who respond to the call of the Gospel and then allow "the cares of this like" to choke their interest. Family demands can be very great. A howling baby cannot simply be abandoned, the washing and cleaning, the house repairs, the garden, the car all need time and energy spent on them. They are not divorced from the life of the Truth; we do all things "unto the LORD". But we must find time for prayer and reading, and for our responsibilities in the wider family of the ecclesia. It is sad to see a couple who have bee active in the meeting fade into obscurity once baby arrives, it is not necessary. Babies can be taken to a meeting; when they cannot, parents can take turns- and the Bible class need not be neglected. When the children are older, both parents can attend the Bible class, with the children. Small cassette tape recorders are a useful thing today, as we can unobtrusively record an address so that our partner can hear the full version at home. Meetings can help a great deal by tolerating baby noises and children's fidgeting, as long as they are not too distracting, or perhaps by organizing a nursery/cry room or helping with baby sitting. As children get older, so our involvement in ecclesial life becomes their involvement. They should feel part of the ecclesial family and take it for granted that the help with bill distribution or getting the hall ready. Family Bible study weekends and Family Gatherings are welcome developments in Great Britain, while in America and else-where it has been taken for granted for a long time that a Bible school is a family affair. We need more family fellowship, so that we may work and worship together. It is possible then, with effort and will, to be involved in ecclesial life along with our family."

Bro Michael Owen, The Christadelphian Dec 1972

"The early year of childhood are supposed to be the most crucial. If our children are involved in ecclesial life then the habit is more likely to remain. If our newly born spiritual babes find themselves in a warm family atmosphere, it is more likely that they who will stay. In Ephesus, Paul taught not only in public places but "from house to house" (Ac 20:20). It is a very homely scene. The next chapter of Acts records that after a week in Tyre, "They all, with wives and children, brought us on our way till we were outside the city; and kneeling down on the beach we prayer and bade on another farewell" (Ac 21:5 RSV). Here is a moving insight into the family spirit prevailing in the ecclesia, with its sense of belonging, of involvement and care"

Bro Michael Owen, The Christadelphain Jan 1973

Friday, June 05, 2009

Fhoto Friday:
Glimpses of Summer
Fresh Rhubarb, oh the choices!
A Labour of Love, Hubby double dug the patch,
made the wooden box & put the dirt back.
All I had to do was put the raspberries is!

Another Labour of Love!
Our washing line with Magoo's
gym uniform shirt drying in the brisk wind.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Working Wednesdays:
Weekly Meal Plan

As yesterday was busy with a sick child, I thought you would understand the delay in posting this.
Wednesday: Garden salad with boiled eggs
Thursday: Veggie Stew
Friday: BBQ chicken, brown rice, zucchini & peppers charred on the BBQ
Saturday: Kebabs & garden salad
Sunday: Quiche & boiled potatoes, salad. Apple strudel for dessert
Monday: Steak, baked potatoes, brocolii, butter fried mushrooms
Tuesday: Penne w/ BBQ chicken & mushrooms, white cheese sauce

Magoo is still not feeling well. He was bouncing around yesterday afternoon but this morning he fell asleep getting dressed! For those who know Magoo this is NOT normal AT ALL. So yes, I am concerned and if this keeps up will be calling the ND & tele health. He asked for fruit salad for breakfast and I sprinkled on some almonds to give him strength. Odd that he was fine as of lunch yesterday and had his energy back and today is dead tired. Concerning to say the least.
Part of being a Mother (I find) is being flexible. Yesterday was errand day, it didn't happen (obviously) so it was going to be today, but now it looks like it will be tomorrow! Which is fine, as Sprout and I ran out and got some groceries yesterday in the early hours of the morning while Hubby was getting ready for work and the other two were sleeping. I'll close with a verse from a hymn that seems to be running through my mind lately.

"I ask thee for the daily strength,
to none that ask denied.
A mind to blend with outward life,
while keeping at thy side.
Content to fill a little space,
if thou be glorified."

Monday, June 01, 2009

Meaningful Mondays:
A Fine House And Wasted Time

"Let us choose to deny ourselves the questionable pleasure of surrounding ourselves with household ornaments, which consume such an amount of precious time in the taking care of them. We can spend the time to better purpose. We need not seek to please our neighbours in the keeping of our houses. Our standard differs from theirs. A sister's calling required her to regard her house as a convenience in this wilderness state, and not as a thing she is to live for. It is not with her a principal object of attention. She will be careful to keep a clean house and a comfortable house, but a stylish house she has neither time nor taste for. What God requires of her will demand the time, and the skill, and the means, which a fine house would consume of her hands. The will of Christ has the first place in her affection. She looks at some women who profess to be Christ’s, and yet have no time for anything beyond the demands of the house; things of God find no place with them. Bright furniture and spotless carpets seem more to them than Christ fellowshipped in deeds of kindness to comfortless hearts, and the gospel preached to the perishing. The true daughters of Sarah reverse all this, and dispense with much that is considered indispensable in worldly households, because they find that to give such things the attention considered genteel, they must neglect the claims of higher things. Their principle is pre-eminence to the things that belong to God. This indeed, is the only safe rule to follow. It may separate us oftentimes from the “respectable” people so called, but it will place us in the company of apostles and prophets, who were at a discount in their day, because they esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt. And we have the joy of knowing that if it gives us their company in the present bitterness, it will ensure for us their glorious society in the day of the manifestation of the sons of God. If we have now the answer of a good conscience, we may indulge in the glorious hope of sharing the honour which awaits all who have in like manner laboured and not fainted. Where then will be the plans and patience bestowed upon the frivolities of fashionable life?" sis. J. Roberts