Teaching my kids to pray

My greatest responsibility as a parent is teaching our children how to have a living faith in the One True God through His Son, Jesus Christ. It is a joy and privilege to share Him with them. Daily we have this opportunity to seek Him together wherever we find ourselves. And usually, by the time the kids and I find ourselves in the schoolroom, that’s the first thing we do! Sammy has begun to lead us in prayer before our school time and it is so sweet to hear.

Wednesday night we found ourselves at church. Tony and I will be taking Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace study and Sammy is in Mission Friends, while Sawyer has his own pre-school activities. Sammy is learning a verse a week for his class. He earns coins when he says his verse and every two weeks they go “shopping” at the “store.” He loves it!

But this Wednesday night was a stormy night for East Texas. We listened to the weather reports on the way there and felt it was safe to continue. Although, honestly, the North area gets more activity than we do where we live, so I would have turned around if it had just been me and the kids. But my Love was with us and I trust him, so we headed on to church and got everyone in their places.

Fifteen minutes into our intro video the sirens go off, so we hustle to the main building (we were in a portable) and make sure our kids are good; they are hustling Saw’s class (with windows) to an inner classroom. Tony’s making pc’s to the PD to get the status on the possible tornado. I’m making pc’s to check on and alert neighbors. Finally, we’re given the all-clear, only to watch another 15 minutes of the video and have the kids dismissed. So we had to leave and pick up sweet kiddos.

Before leaving T wants to know the status of storms so we don’t head off into one. Sure enough, there’s a strong cell moving from South Tyler that has spawned a tornado. So we make our way to a local car wash and pull in for safe keeping. This safe keeping lasts at least an hour before the storm has passed over our area and it’s safe to return home.

When we get to the car wash, my oldest is a bit scared and crying and his baby brother says “God is with us, Bubba.” Wow. Divine music to my heart! This reminder (along with a homeopathic Hypericum) and holding Mom’s hand, is helpful to calming my dear Sammy. The kids did GREAT waiting patiently in the car. We’re studying the letter “R” this week, so Sammy and I did some “I spy and “R”” with some junkmail left in the car. We talked about their crafts they made in their class. Sang “I’ve been working on the Railroad” (part of our studying the letter “r”). Made a phone call to check on our parents. And they ate my church mints by two’s – I guess I should have used that as a math lesson!

But to keep this Momma calm, I began to pray. And as I began to pray, my right hand began to move as if sweeping over the area the storm was passing and I asked Father to weaken the storm. So I had my kids join in and practice praying with me, asking Father to weaken the storm. Sammy also prayed for those who were in the storm and had damage, as we had heard reports earlier of folks trapped in their homes from a tornado farther East. Finally, probaby by bribing Saw with some mints, he said a prayer for our home repeating after me. Even Daddy had joined in. This brought peace to my heart, regardless of how Father would choose to answer that prayer. But more importantly, it continues to further my children’s education in praying to Father, about the big and the little things in life, because He cares for us.

We were able to rejoice as a family when we returned home that everything was in tact and our home, neighbors, and family were safe! Thank you Father! Now our hearts prayer is for those who did receive damage and have been displaced from their homes. May they know Father’s love for them in the midst of their loss and my He provide their needs abundantly.

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In the Kitchen again

Short time to blog; my water is on for my most recent addiction, evening Cafix (caffeine free) – so yummy with a bit of stevia and half n half!

Back at it this week with a few new recipes.

The Potato Soup recipe I tried this week bombed for my family. I held my head high and ate it. It had cinnamon in it and although the boys and I eat a bit of cinnamon on this and that, dear husband not so fond of that much. I know what he’s looking for in a potato soup recipe – rich and creamy. This wasn’t that. I was glad to try it since it was basically dairy free (can use olive oil and calls for coconut milk). So, scratch that one.

But soup has been my aim this week as it is C O L D in our little part of Texas! So today I threw together a friends Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe for lunch. Success! Well, my youngest said yucky – but oldest and husband ate it up. Weirdo me didn’t have beans on hand (normally don’t buy mine but crock pot my beans) so I had to quick cook some. We were on cheese ration as there wasn’t much shredded cheese left. But I’m trying to limit that as well. So 3 out of 4. I’ll take that and not worry. It was easy and threw it in the crock pot so I could work on rearranging/cleaning out the spare bedroom to set it up for our school area.

One of the best things I did this week in the kitchen was put a large package of chicken thighs in the crock pot on Sunday evening. It made a wonderful broth (i used this in my potato soup recipe). The chicken I used throughout the week, first in Chicken Pot Pie (I tried the cream soups substitution recipe I got off recipezaar….it was ok and it probably IS cheaper, but I prefer the soups), which I actually made again later to share with my Auntie (we have 1/2 left to eat for lunch tomorrow….love easy Sunday dinner!). I also put it in my soup recipe today. Oh, and I probably put some in our weekly lunch “usually veggie” soup.

Tried my Spelt bread with molasses earlier this week and it was a hit, even with the husband (shocker!). It was gone in 3 days. This bread is easier to digest – and tastes wonderful to boot! So, another batch coming up on Monday!

Farmer’s Cheese has served us well. I have slipped a bit into Raw Food (picked up Raw Food Diet Detox at the library) so we had mashed up sweet potatoes for breakfast the other day with a bit of FC and drizzled maple syrup. I added granola to mine and Sammy’s. We ate it up. I think youngest went “yucky” again. Hmmm…are his taste buds changing??? Goodness, anything with maple syrup on it can’t be yucky, can it??

Tonight I tried a Dijon-Cider dressing recipe out of the above mentioned book. Whew. Tart. Husband was willing and I think it was easier to work with on our salad. We finished our last bit of Italian dressing the other night and today I threw out the remaining bottles of dressing (all had high fructose corn syrup included, with one being its FIRST ingredient! Yikes!). So I’ll keep looking for a more pleasing dressing. And I think I knew this but was in denial…ketchup has HFCS – bummer. What to do about that? We don’t use it often, but still. I had put raw organic baby carrots ont he table first, to help me eat them instead of fries with our fried fish, and secondly, to see if the boys would eat them. And they did! ANd then Sammy kept wanting more ketchup to dip carrots into…hmmm. Anyhow, boys didn’t eat salad tonight – not sure what they would have thought. Me? I prefer Balsamic Vinegar – love that stuff! Anyhow, seeking dressings made from scratch and that would fall into a healthy category.

My homemade applesauce is 2 1/2 quarts gone. Since a friend of mine gave me the jars, I’m sharing the last quart with her as a thank you and housewarming gift since she recently moved. I’ll be making more applesauce next week but perhaps changing the white sugar to something else, maybe succanant (sp?) or ….

But for breakfast? Saturday morning buttermilk pancakes and I did not have to twist anyone’s arm to eat a little bacon we had available. So as one can tell, I’m not diving off into the raw food craze. However, the book I picked up has provided me with some wonderful information. Information not obesssion, is what I’m after so that I can continue to make better choices for me and my family.

But today – my husband offered me LOVE. Well, I said “Thanks for the drugs.” when he handed me a cold REAL coke (which I hadn’t had all week…). We were trying to get some things done around here and boys were driving us crazy about the time they are normally resting or napping….but we were gifted back with them going to bed early:)

Well, off to cozy up with my cafix and watch those Cowboys! How bout them Cowboys??! (To hear my youngest say that brings a huge smile!).

From my kitchen window: Tales of a Happy Homemaker

This is where I was most of my first day of 2010. In my kitchen. Beautiful day outside, with lots of leaves in our back yard, even though we don’t have any trees 🙂 A chance to hear the boys playing in the back yard – sometimes this went well, sometimes not so much!

I’ve been inspired by several to be in my kitchen. I would first give hats off to the movie, Julie and Julia. After I first saw it several months ago, I was off in the kitchen trying new things immediately. Not French cooking, but NEW to me dishes. Recently I saw it on DVD – and I just really enjoy that show. I enjoy the happiness that both the J’s found in cooking. And since I’m responsible for feeding 3 others – and boys/men at that, a joyful attitude towards the kitchen is helpful!

My second inspiration comes from the blog I follow Owlhaven. She’s a Mom of 10, most adopted from several different countries. She’s a wonderful inspiration. On her blog I’ve found several recipes and have tried at least 3-4 within the last few days! A few days ago I made her homemade granola recipe that has received rave reviews from the kids and hubs. It is a wondeful topping to the homemade tvorog cheese (aka “Farmer’s Cheese”) that I made mixed with a dab of honey to sweeten! Yummy! This morning I spent my time peeling 10 lbs. of apples to make homemade applesauce. And boy, did it turn out yummy as well! But I forgot, last night I made pasta carbonera (off Owlhaven’s blog as well). It was an easy meal to fix (spaghetti/bacon/onion/garlic/basil or sage/parmesan cheese). I think I need some more spice, but I’m willing to try it again. Easy and cheap is how I would describe it.

That is probably the 3rd reason for my inspiration – trying to save on my grocery bill. Well, actually, that’s only my partial inspiration. Perhaps what propels that is the desire to feed my children wholesome food – even perhaps whole foods. And we’re working toward that end. An ingredient that has worked it’s way out of our pantry is High Fructose Corn Syrup. It is in so many things offered. Yogurt being one of them, along with wanting to avoid Splenda, brought about the Farmer’s Cheese which delightfully fills in for yogurt as well as sour cream, or even a cream-cheese like spread. I was crossing my fingers on the granola, as I continue to try to find an easy go-to snack for the kids that’s not processed. As we passed by the Nutrigrain Food bars at the store (which haven’t been in our house, to my dismay, for some time) and Sammy asked for them, my response was “I’d love to feed them to you cause their easy – but they’re not the best for you.” I was grateful for his acceptance of that truth! Something about having kids makes you want to give them the very best – and learning how to prioritize in the midst of that desire, one of my first priorities is teaching them good eating habits and to enjoy whole foods!

Next up: Spelt bread with molasses. This is my dear Judy’s recipe that she has finally written down after learning the process of it being completely down in the fridge. That recipe is LOVE to me. We’ve had this bread several times and SO enjoy it! I can’t wait for it to smell up the house and to eat it! And it will go well with our tvorog cheese as well. Yum.

And somewhere in between I’ll be trying a green smoothie – something along the lines of spinach/apple/carrot/tvorog/honey. I’ll post how it turns out. Along with my inspiration to try that.

Well, my blog time is spent. I’m pooped. We’ve had our black eyed peas and wonderful cabbage (made by the hubs – which was fattening) along with homemade cornbread. Our dessert was easy peach cobbler with a special treat from Schwan’s – cinnamon icecream! Let’s just say, the kids were happy about that!

I had hoped to blog about what Father had shared with me during the Christmas holidays and how I was drawn closer to Him through music. But I have a feeling that is to remain between He and I for now. However, I received some MARVELOUS Christmas gifts and hope to share some photos SOON!