Monday, March 31, 2008

Love of Self

Scriptures on pride and arrogance, envy, self-pity and self-control:

Galatians 6:14 "But may it never be that I should boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world."

Ephesians 4:17-19 "This I say therefore, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality, for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness."

Matthew 19:29-30 "And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters of father or mother or children or farms for My name's sake, shall receive many times as much, and shall inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last; and the last, first."

Job 31:24-28 "If I have put my confidence in gold, and called fine gold my trust, if I have gloated because my wealth was great, and because my hand had secured so much; if I have looked at the sun when it shone, or the moon going in splendor, and my heart secretly enticed, and my hand threw a kiss from my mouth, that too would have been an iniquity calling for judgement, for I would have denied God above."

Romans 8:18 "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us."

Romans 8:28 "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."

II Corinthians 7:10 "For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation; but the sorrow of the world produces death."

I Peter 1:13 "Therefore, gird your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ."

Proverbs 12:15 "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel."

Proverbs 23:17 "Do not let your heart envy sinners, but live in the fear of the Lord always."

Proverbs 16:18 "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling. It is better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud."

Hebrews 4:16 "Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need."

Colossians 2:6-7 "As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude."

Phillipians 1:6 "For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus."

I Samuel 16:7 "But the Lord said to Samuel, 'Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."

Detox Week!

After two weeks of big family dinners, several restaurant meals, and piles of Easter candy it is time for what my chiropractor, and resident nutritionist (it's an odd relationship), calls 'detox week'. Detoxing is ridding the body of all of the junk you've put into it. I'm sure there is a complicated process for doing it correctly, but for me it just means little or no carbs and lots of water. I always find that if I don't eat any breads or sweets I don't want any breads or sweets. But once I start eating them again then that is all I want. So for this entire week I am saying no to sugar and yes to 68 ounces of water a day!!

I have also decided to break up my work out routine. I've been doing the same thing (TurboKick) for 6 months now and I think my body is used to it. I have toned up a lot but I haven't really lost much weight...I haven't put on any weight either though. So I'm going to run 2 miles every day that I don't do my Turbo workout. I also want to add in some free weights, especially for my arms. That means that 3 days a week I will do Turbo and 3 days a week I will run. I will lift weights every day. Sunday is a day of rest, after all. We'll see how that goes.

I bought a digital scale today to chart my progress. I'm tired of squinting at my old dial scale to see if it looks 1/2 a pound lighter than it did last week. I'm over halfway to my weight loss goal but I've still got 20 pounds I would like to loose and I'm tired of waiting for it to just fall off. It is time to take action!

In the spirit of weight loss and healthy eating, and to make my blog more interesting, I am going to include a Weight Watchers recipe. This is one of our favorites. It is really sweet and delicious and healthy. Sometimes we add pulled chicken or beef, but most of the time we just use it as a vegetarian meal. Enjoy!

Cuban Black Beans and Rice (Makes 4 servings, 7 points per serving)

1/2 cup uncooked rice (white or brown)
1 T. olive oil
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes, drained
2 T. vinegar
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. ground coriander
1 t. dried oregano
1 t. hot sauce
2 (15.5 oz.) cans black beans, drained
1/4 t. freshly ground pepper

Cook rice according to package directions. Set aside.

Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet. Cook peppers, onion, garlic until softened, about 5 mins. Stir in tomatoes, vinegar, cumin, coriander, oregano, and pepper sauce; cook 2 mins. Add the beans, reduce the heat to medium, cover and simmer until thickened, about 10 mins. Season with pepper and serve over rice.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Just Wondering

Who are these robots that go around making comments on everyone's blogs???

And don't they have anything better to do....like take over the world or something?

Friday, March 28, 2008

What Shall Man Do To Me?

I've been feeling a little bit sorry for myself lately. I am an extrovert and staying in the same house day after endless day with the same two little people is not good for my state of mind. I struggle with loneliness and the feeling that I don't have any friends.

Of course that isn't true. I have friends...probably a lot of friends really, but I'm not part of a group of people that does things together. I'm not sure why that matters to me...but for some reason it does. I'm pretty sure that most of the people that I think I would like to hang out with don't actually like me. Apparently I have a difficult personality.

Anyway, I said all of that whiny stuff to say this: None of it really matters!

I got an e-mail from a friend that I hadn't talked to in over a year. She too is a stay at home mom and has 2 little boys. She was catching me up on what has been going on in her life. I'll summarize:

Her mother, who is suffering from MS, moved in with them and has now been confined to a wheelchair so they have to remodel their home to accomodate her needs.

Her brother also moved in with them for 6 months while he was struggling to overcome drug and alcohol addiction.

Her father died unexpectedly from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning.

If I never get asked out for coffee with friends again...who cares! I have my healthy parents, my home, my husband and kids. I don't have anything more difficult to do everyday than laundry and changing diapers (baby diapers, at that). How can I complain about anything in my life?

Even in her e-mail she told me that things are not all bad there and that she often thinks of a song I sent her once because it reminds her of God's faithfulness. It is still one of my favorite songs. I haven't had to test the truth of it's meaning yet in my life but she has, and I know I will someday.

Click Blessed Be Your Name by Tree 63 and let it encourage you today too.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Biblical Discipline

Seven years ago I was at MOPS meeting. The speaker was a Children's Minister and she spoke on how to use scripture as discipline and instruction for your kids. She had found and printed up for us thousands of verses and organized them all by category.

For example: If your child lied to you then you would simply pull out the blue folder labeled "Sins of the Tongue" and have him pick out one of the scriptures from the envelope labeled "lying"; such as "Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who deal faithfully are His delight." Proverbs 12:22. You then have several options depending on the age of the child. He could be required to memorize the scripture by a certain deadline or he could write it x number of times in a notebook. He might also need to look up "abomination" in the dictionary and/or find one other verse in Proverbs that deals with lying.

Isn't that great! What a way to teach scripture, encourage obedience to the Lord and to parents, and reinforce good penmanship, memorization and dictionary skills. I tell you this woman was a genius. The best part is the whole thing is already typed up, organized, sorted and filed...because we did that at the meeting as she spoke.

Of course at the time I had an 18 month old that couldn't read, write or lie so I didn't have much use for the giant binder of torture. Now, however, I do. I could use it everyday, maybe 3 or 4 times a day, but I couldn't find it anywhere...until today. There it was on a shelf in the closet as plain as day. I guess the plain green binder hadn't caught my eye before. I'm so excited to have it back. I can't wait to try it out. (insert evil laugh here)

I have a feeling that many of you could benefit from the wisdom of the binder too. So I've decided to post all of the information in the binder for you little by little. I"m not sure how long it will take so as not to bore the socks off the other readers who aren't interested I'm going to back date all of those scripture posts and label them "The Wisdom of Discipline". You can click on the labels link over on the side any time and find every post. It's going to take a while but eventually you will all have a binder full of "educational" scriptures to use on your kids too.

Click on the graphic above for more great tips!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Picture Perfect

I need to get a new passport before my trip to Mexico this summer. My old one has expired and is in my maiden name anyway. So I needed 2 indentical 2 x 2 pictures in which my head is no less than 1 inch and no more than 1 3/8 inches from my chin to the top of my head, including hair. I asked Brian to help me take the pictures. He wanted me to smile but most passports I see have sombre faces on them. I told him I was going for the serious approach. Here is what happened.

Take one:

Take two:
Takes three - six:
Take seven:
Take eight:

After throwing a few TurboKick moves his way and threatening to set the timer on the camera and replace him altogether we finally came up with this hideous masterpiece,

which, by the way, could not be used for my passport because my head was too big and my face was too red. So there goes another 30 minutes of my life.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Snow on the Eggs

Happy Easter from the Grove family! Yes, we had snow off and on all day on Easter Sunday. Big, juicy flakes. We even got a thin covering on the ground. That means that we officially had more snow on Easter than we did on Christmas. Weird.

But that didn't stop us from doing all of the traditional Easter stuff. Actually, last Sunday when it was fairly warm we had our Easter egg hunt at church. Ryker was disappointed that he didn't find the golden egg on this, his last year to participate in the hunt. Cainan of course had a ball and Kinley discovered the thrill of egg hunting for the first time. She's hooked now.

Then on Saturday we dyed our own eggs at home. I can never find a use for 24 hard-boiled eggs so I usually just leave them raw. That works fine unless you have a 1 year old involved in the process. Ryker chose to dye his the traditional way,

but Cainan, ever the artist, had to water color paint on his. I took a page from Ryker's teacher's book and put Kinley's dye and egg in a Ziploc back and let her shake away. This picture was taken about 3 miliseconds before she banged the bag on to the table with her wild shaking and we had yolk mixed with our dye.
I had the bright idea to give her a hard-boiled egg that had already been dyed yellow and let her color on it with a crayon. You can see what happened next.

On Easter Sunday morning we hunted for our real eggs at home and then went to church. We took lots of pictures of all of us in our finery. We then headed down to Grandma's for another egg hunt. After collecting more candy we went to Grandad and Granny's for a delicious supper, another egg hunt and a game of Harry Potter Scene It. A great day all around!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

For all of you who didn't get one in the mail (sorry Mom and Dad, oops) here is my Easter card this year. Below are the lyrics to my brand new favorite Easter song, "Alive Forever, Amen" by Travis Cottrell, too. Enjoy!
Let the children sing a song of liberation

The God of our salvation set us free

Death, where is thy sting?

The curse of sin is broken

The empty tomb stands open, come and see


He's alive, alive, alive. Hallelujah!

Alive! Praise and glory to the Lamb.

He's alive, alive, alive. Hallelujah!

Alive forever. Amen


Let my heart sing out,

for Christ, the One and only

So powerful and holy rescued me

Death won't hurt me now

because He has redeemed me

No grave will ever keep me from my King!!


I'm alive, alive, alive, hallelujah!

Alive! praise and glory to the Lamb.

He's alive, alive, alive. Hallelujah!

Alive forever. Amen


Worthy is the Lamb, worthy of our praise

Worthy is the One who has overcome the grave

Let the people dance, let the people sing

Worthy is the mighty King.


You are worthy. Amen!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

My Hero

I got an interesting text from Brian a few days ago. It read, “Just gave blood.” I responded with, “Why?” To which he replied, “To save lives.”

In my defense I thought he was referring to having blood drawn for the Health Fair that was supposed to be at the school the previous week but got snowed out. I was afraid that I had missed the rescheduled date, at which I was supposed to have my blood drawn too. So when I realized that he actually just voluntarily gave blood at a blood drive I was shocked. In his 35 years he has never once given blood….ever. He doesn’t even know what his blood type is. He doesn’t really like needles.

Last year was the first time I’ve even been able to convince Brian to get tested at the Health Fair. Of course he got a newbie tech that dug around in his vein for a while and left him with a huge bruise, so that didn’t help my cause any. But now he is determined that his cholesterol numbers (which were fine, by the way) will be better this year than last year so he is all gung ho about the Health Fair. Men. Turn anything into a competition and they’re all for it.

Anyway, he shows up at home with one of those little blood droplet pins on his shirt and a big bandage on his arm. As it turns out after he gave he started sweating and got pale and faint. The little old ladies had to lay him down and pump him full of cran-grape juice and cookies before he could go teach his 3 rd hour class. Of course several of his students saw him in this state and felt sorry for him. Apparently he expected the same reaction from me.

Oooops! I’m sorry, I just find it hilarious that a 190 lb. man is going to faint after giving a pint of blood. I started giving blood in high school when I weighed 130 lbs. and I never so much as stopped for a swig of orange juice before I was back to the pickle ball game in P.E. Of course, when I tell Brian this he says, “Well I probably squirted it out quicker than you did.” Uh, huh, whatever. He was indignant that he wasn’t greeted with a hero’s welcome. After all he had just "saved lives"!! His bruise was half the size this time, give me a break!

Project Easter Warmth

I ordered an Easter dress for myself online. I really like it and after I shrunk it twice in the dryer it actually fits OK with no alterations. The only problem is that it has little cap sleeves and the forecast for Sunday is highs in the 40s. So I set out to find a cute jacket to complete the ensemble.

I always dress all of us in coordinating colors for Easter so that we can have a nice outdoor family picture once a year. (May be indoor this time.) Kinley and I are wearing black and white and the boys are wearing bright greens and yellows. So I decided that I needed a green or yellow jacket. I found the perfect little knee length dressy trench jacket at Kohl’s. It had ¾ length sleeves with big ruffles at the end. It was so cute, and just the right color! Only one drawback, however….the price. $84. Yeah, $84 for a jacket to put over a dress that cost me $18. No way, Jose.

That is when I made my fatal mistake. I thought to myself, “I could just make one for less than that.” I’ve heard Brian say those words so many times in the midst of antique stores or home d├ęcor stores and every few feet as we walk thru IKEA. And every time I talk him out of it. Reminding him that while he undoubtedly has the talent to make an over the door shoe rack out of bamboo, he does not, unfortunately, have the time or the motivation. Of course instead of listening to my own advice I headed off to JoAnn’s Fabrics for a pattern and some fabric.

The pattern had to be lengthened but the fabric was perfect. I was determined to follow every instruction to the letter and make the jacket turn out perfectly. Usually I read the directions and then decide they don’t make sense and go off on my own only to realize three steps later that it really would have looked better had I followed the directions in the first place. I even used fusible interfacing, a step I have always skipped in the interest of time and money. I started to work on Monday night, convinced that a week would be plenty of time to complete the project. I knew I would have to work in short spurts because sewing absolutely kills my back. I have to stop and lay down for a while before I can head back to the machine.

I did get it done in time and it does look pretty good…although it is not perfect.

SUMMARY:

--Most pins in my mouth at one time: 24 (I decided to count them when I started drooling onto my shirt. I’ve really got to get one of those dorky wrist pin cushion things.)

--Broken needles: 0 (this is a first for me, I almost always break one needle per project.)

--Seams ripped out: 5 (in my defense a couple of those were in the lining that I had to remove from the sleeves so that I could get my arms in the stupid thing)

--Bloody fingers: 3 (actually the same finger 3 times)

--Bloody lips: 1 (the whole pins in the mouth thing)

LESSONS LEARNED:

--Every mark on a pattern piece is important. The size and dimension of those marks is also important, because you just might come across a step that reads like this:
“Pin under collar to neck edge of jacket, right sides together, matching notches, triangles, center backs, and circles. Stitch between large circles, pivoting at small
circles.”
Oh, now which one of those circles looks smaller, hmmmm?

--There is a right side and a wrong side to every piece of fabric whether it looks like it or not.

--Stitching, ease stitching, stay stitching, whip stitching and basting are all different. (Of course I already knew this but I usually only use a couple of those. This time I used exactly the recommended stitch….ok, ok so I didn’t stay stitch everywhere I was supposed to….so sue me!)

--Sleeve A and Sleeve B are not the same and cannot be constructed in the same manner.

--Seam allowance is EVERYTHING!

--5/8 is the little line just past ½ inch.

--Fusible interfacing is great! However, it is not the same thing as fusible web, as Granny-Know-It-All at the fabric store will gladly explain to you in a 15 minute tutorial.

--Wow, sewing wastes a lot of thread. Luckily sheep and cotton are renewable resources. Wait a minute…what is polyester made out of???

CONCLUSIONS:

--Easter should be moved to June to eliminate the need for jackets.

--All women’s clothing should be sleeveless and collar-less.

--While you shouldn’t operate heavy equipment, it is possible to sew while on prescription pain killers. Yay for Vicodin!!

--My arms are too fat.

--That jacket was so worth $84.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Down to One

Cainan had a playdate with a friend today. As we pulled away from the house after dropping him off Kinley pointed at the house and started whimpering. I thought it was cute that she loves her brother so much but mostly I thought, "Great, now how am I going to get anything done today!" As much as he loves to harrass her, Cainan also spends a lot of time entertaining Kinley. That is especially helpful this week when I am trying to make myself a jacket to go with my Easter and dress and have been sewing non-stop since Monday night. (More on the sewing project later.) But I guess we both need to get used to it because next year it just going to be the two girls all day every day. Cainan registered for Kindergarten yesterday and is really excited about going. I am excited for him too, but it will be strange having only one child around.

Another mom at the Kindergarten screeening asked me, "What are you going to do with all your time next year when you only have one at home?" I was a little startled by her question and didn't know how to respond. Will I have "extra" time next year? As I think back over my career as a "homemaker" I don't think the amount of time you have or amount of work you do is in any way proportionate to the number of kids you have at home. Meals, naps, laundry, diapers and pets are no respecter of persons. I suddenly realized that this mom has always worked so she probably thinks staying at home is just a lot of computer solitaire when you only have one sweet little girl there with you. Of course those of us on the other end know "that just ain't so." So I just smiled and said, "I guess I'll volunteer at the school more." That seemed like the appropriate response while standing in the school in front of the Kindergarten teachers.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Conversations with Cainan

#1
Mommy: Next year you’ll get to go to Ryker’s school.

Ryker: Yeah, and then after that you get to go to the Junior High.

Cainan: And then I get to go to Daddy’s school?

Mommy: Yep, when you are in 9th grade.

Cainan: Then where do I go after that?

Mommy: Then you go to college somewhere and get a job.

Cainan: Then I stay home every day like you?


#2
Cainan: When will we be home?

Mommy: In about 5 minutes.

Cainan: If we don’t get home before I count to 10 I’m going to starve. One…two…three…four…five…six…seven…eight…nine….(pause)…nine and a half….nine and three quarters….(pause)….nine and three nickels….10!

#3
Cainan: Owwww! Ryker hit me in the nose!

Mommy: I think you’re OK. It was an accident.

Cainan: Am I bleeding? I think it might be bleeding.

Mommy: No, your nose isn’t bleeding.

Cainan: Did you check both noses?

#4
Mommy: How did you get that bruise on your head?

Cainan: Someone ran into me at church.

Mommy: Who?

Cainan: Elijah.

Mommy: Oh.

Cainan: Not Justin’s brother, the orange one*.

Mommy: ……………….

(*I think this refers to Elijah Walker, who is half African American, but I’m not sure.)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Picky Eaters

A week or two ago Ryker had a friend over that was a very picky eater. He didn't like anything I fixed for lunch and when I offered a snack later he refused. The offensive food? Apple Jacks cereal. Who doesn't like Apple Jacks (or brown bread or turkey or cheese curls) for crying out loud? It's just sugar rolled into a little doughnut shape anyway.

Before I had kids one of my biggest goals was to make sure that they would not be picky eaters. My children would eat anything set before them because I would train them from birth to do so. I tried. I really did. I fed Ryker every baby food under the sun and he ate it all, until.....green beans. Even as a baby he would gag and throw up every spoonful of green beans that I gave him. So that became my new rule: If it makes you physically gag you don't have to eat it. Then Ryker got older and pickier and Cainan came along and got older and pickier and then Kinley was born picky from day one. What did I do wrong?

Nothing. It was Brian's fault!! After all he is a very picky eater. When I met him he wouldn't eat salad, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, peanut butter, nuts, mayonnaise, sour cream or anything made with those ingredients. He was pretty much a meat, potaotes and cheese man. He must have set a bad example for our kids. After all, I eat everything (well, except for american cheese, velveeta, asparagus, and organ meat.) I didn't cater to the kids, that's for sure. No sirree. My children were not indulged at mealtime. They were threatened, scolded, bribed and yelled at...but certainly not given in to. (Maybe that is why I preferred to eat in a different room.)

After all of the screaming and tears and cold, stiff food I've almost given up. I'd rather just sit and enjoy a meal with my family than fight my way through it and end up with indigestion. If that means in the grand war of children vs. parents I have lost the nutrition battle....then who cares. They'll just have to develop their healthy eating habits as reasoning adults, like I did. But just as I lose hope their is a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.

Ryker eats green beans now. Well, maybe "eats" isn't the correct word. He actually swallows them whole with a drink of milk, but who cares. They are officially entering his system. He has also developed a love of fresh pears and most other fruits. Cainan still won't even touch an apple or a pasta noodle but maybe there is hope for him yet. Kinley...oh boy...who knows?

Friday, March 7, 2008

Lesson #11: Forgiveness

I wrote (co-wrote) the curriculum for the kids at our MOPS (Mother’s of PreSchoolers) meetings. It is based on the VeggieTales movies and the lesson this week was from Larry Boy and The Angry Eyebrows. In the movie Larry Boy learns to let go of his anger and forgive Awful Alvin for sticking a popsicle down his spandex suit and pouring hot fudge into the Larry Mobile, thus removing the vicious Angry Eyebrows that will hold on to him as long as he holds on to the anger. So the craft that I made up for the kids was a forgiveness pouch. They laced up a little construction paper pouch and filled it with cards that say “I Forgive You”. They wear it around their necks and every time that they need to forgive someone they can take out a card and hand it to the other person.

Great. So after MOPS I lug both kids to the chiropractor’s office. Unfortunately I do not have the stroller with me so Kinley is on the loose while I am being “manipulated”, as my doctor so kindly puts it. I let her play with my cell phone to try to entertain her while I was busy, but Cainan decided it would be fun to pretend to take the cell phone away from her to make her scream. He loves to do this. He thinks it is hilarious to hear her yell, “Moe” (NO!) or “Ine” (MINE!), in her shrill little whiny voice. It is ear-piercing when he gets her started like that. So I’m trying to threaten him non-verbally while the doctor twists my neck to and fro. Of course Cainan pretends to ignore me and keeps egging her on. Finally the doctor calls in the nurse to take care of Kinley. How embarrassing!!!

So once we get in the car the lecture begins. I get in to not annoying your sister, not making people mad on purpose, doctor’s office etiquette, the whole works. And then not two minutes later while still in the car he starts messing with her and she starts the half whiny/half screaming thing again. I stayed very calm and just said, “Cainan, I’m going to have to start whipping you when you are bothering Kinley like that and making her yell.” To which he of course replies, “Why?” I answer, “Because you are disobeying.” About that time we pull up to the drive-thru at McDonald’s (I would have aborted the whole fast food mission but we were delivering it to someone else) and I get busy ordering, paying etc. When we are waiting at the 3rd window for our food Cainan says, “Hey about whipping me?” “Yes”, I say. “Don’t forget about this”, he says as he holds up one of the “I Forgive You” cards from his pouch.

Of course he would listen to lesson #11. What was he doing during lesson #4: Love One Another?

Thursday, March 6, 2008

I Feel the Need...The Need for Speed

Hooray for DSL! We now have high speed internet and it is unbelievable. I dont' know how we ever lived without it for so long. We can download pictures and videos like nobody's business now. I even watched 3 episodes of the Celebrity Apprentice on-line since they air at the same time as LOST on tv. Who would have believed it possible just a few weeks ago when a minor pop-up ad graphic at the top of my screen would have fried my little dial-up's brain? And the best part....It's actually cheaper than our old dial-up service!!!! I knew it was a big deal when one night before bed both boys gave thanks for " new, fast internet" in their prayers.