Thursday, September 18, 2008

Please Pray

I posted a couple months ago about my friend Molly and the return of her symptoms that had prompted brain surgery last summer for her Chiari Malformation. Well she's scheduled next Friday for a second round. You can read the details on her husband Steve's blog.

Please pray for them. Pray for surgery success and a healthy recovery. Pray for grace and mercy in their family while mom's out of commission. Pray for the relief of fears and anxieties. And pray that in all of this God would be glorified.

"The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working."
James 5:16b

Kids' Quest

While researching curriculum this summer to use in our children's church, I found a gem in the Kids' Quest Catechism Club put out by Great Commission Publications.

Kid's Quest is a great program that teaches children both the doctrines of the faith outlined in the Westminster Shorter Catechism and the biblical reasons for them. The program includes wonderful songs, activities and stories about faithful servants of Christ to go along with the Bible lessons. Like AWANA there are incentives for learning the catechism questions and answers and weekly Scripture verses.

We've been working on various parts of the catechism at our house ever since Starr Meade's Training Hearts, Teaching Minds hit the shelves, but have found that often times other memory work required by AWANA or Sunday school has pushed it to the background and we haven't progressed passed question 40. Well no longer! In the course of one year our clubbers will learn the entire 150 questions of the First Catechism, a children's version of the WSC. And I'm sure we parents will learn a lot about doctrine through our kids' weekly memory work!

It is my hope that this program will help the parents of our fellowship to both train our children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4), and equip them to be prepared to make a defense for a reason for the hope that is in them (1 Peter 3:15).

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

On the cheap

Get out a bowl and a spoon! Jewel (and I'm assuming other Albertson's stores) has Malt-O-Meal cereal on sale 4/$5 this week and four 1-dollar coupons can be obtained here and here, making the cereal only $.25 per bag. Yowzers!

I found other links for Malt-O-Meal Cereals at pinching your pennies if you want to try this deal multiple times.

And if you're heading over there between Thursday and Saturday, pick up eggs for $.99 (limit 4) and Grands! Biscuits on sale for $.88 (limit 4). There were coupons for $.30/2 in a recent newspaper insert, making them $.73 each. Not bad for canned biscuits.

A new boy on the block

JT's cousin Sheaffer welcomed baby Carter into the family last week. The fact that he's a "he" is momentous on that side of the fam: we have the only other boys. So congratulations, Sheaffer and Chris, and welcome Carter. Our boys are breathing a sigh of relief that they're no longer the only ones!

Stop by and congratulate the new parents at The Sims Family.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Any thoughts?

"Someone once said the difference between American Christianity and Christianity as it's practiced in the rest of the world has to do with how each views suffering. In America Christians pray for the burden of suffering to be lifted from their backs. In the rest of the world Christians pray for stronger backs so they can bear their suffering. That's why we look away from the bag lady on the street and look to the displays in store windows. That's why we prefer going to movies instead of hospitals and nursing homes."

Dave Dravecky, When You Can't Come Back

Discuss amongst yourselves.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Messing with my reality

Has anyone read this book?

It was recommended by Kate, a missionary we pray for, so I picked it up at my library and dove in while waiting for my kids at piano lessons.

I'm only half way through but it's really messing with me in a good way, I think. For some reason God's got me reading things that would never make the mega church reading list and He's really shaking up my understanding of "normal" gleaned from spending my entire life within the middle class American Christian subculture. I'm not sure I track with the author on all of his arguments, but it's a challenge none the less.

What in the world is God calling me to? Living as an Ordinary Radical? Honestly, I'm getting rather nervous....

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Whatcha got cookin'?

A friend of mine (who happens to claim she's not an epicurean) gave me this wonderfully easy recipe for crock pot beef stew that tastes as good as hometown diner comfort food. It's neither fancy nor uber-healthy but my kids like it so much they ask for it for their birthday dinners. Served with corn muffins--I get my recipe from the back of the Quaker Corn Meal box--it's delish!

Crock Pot Beef Stew

1.5 t0 2.5 lbs. of stew beef (I usually buy pot roast on sale and cut it up myself), seasoned with salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika
2 cans tomato soup with 1 can of water
1 onion, chopped
4 carrots, thickly sliced
3 ribs celery, thickly sliced
5 or 6 medium peeled potatoes
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. basil

Brown seasoned beef in a skillet over medium high heat. Pour into crock pot. Add onions and spices and stir well. Cover with soup and water and stir again. Add carrots, celery, and potatoes. Stir stew and cook on high for 5 hours. If sauce needs thickening, combine 1-2 tablespoons of flour with 3/4 cup of cold water and stir into stew about 15 minutes before serving.

Corn Muffins
(makes 1 dozen)

1-1/4 c. flour
3/4 c. corn meal
1/4 c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. milk
1/4 c. oil
1 egg, beaten

Heat oven to 400. Grease muffin pan. Combine dry ingredients. Stir in milk, oil and egg, mixing only until moistened. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

That's what little girls are made of

My house was full of giggles and squeals this afternoon as we celebrated Sissy's eighth birthday with her girlfriends. (It was too much for the menfolk so they hit the road and went fishing.) We spent an hour working on counted cross-stitch turtles, then they made their own individual pizzas and told all their family secrets (just kidding, moms)!

Sis decided she was too old for a character cake and chose my favorite, grasshopper pie, as her birthday dessert.
Of course, the best part for all the girls was playing with the gifts during the last 15 minutes before the parents arrived. My living room looked like a toy store explosion!

Each girl went home with a new skill, a project to work on, and a bag full of candy jewelery. Little girl life is sweet.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

La-La-Laborious, Laborious

Saw this at Beth and Becki's blog and thought I'd play along with this meme from Rocks in My Dryer:

How long were your labors?

Child #1-- about 34 hours of the hot place on wheels. Sorry, Mr. Bradley, but there is no such thing as a pain-free and drug-free labor.
Child #2-- 12 hours but we barely made it to the hospital. See here for the story.
Child #3-- 8 hours, and only because I wouldn't let her break my water and be done with it. I told my midwife I didn't want to have a baby that night--I needed some rest because I'd just had a houseful of guests over for dinner.

How did you know you were in labor?

I had the standard symptoms of crampy back and methodical contractions. All my labors started very slowly and I could continue with my normal life with only a small pause to contract. But once I got going, watch out! Once my water broke I was pretty much done. My first child was born in 3 pushes, the second in 2, and the third was barely a grunt. These hips were made for labor!

Where did you deliver?

Three different hospitals. I'm also not a home-birther; after all that work I figured I'd let someone else clean up the mess and make me some dinner.


Child #1--Epidural with Pitocin after about 24 hours of labor. I got the drugs and went to sleep until they woke me up to push. I can honestly say I didn't feel a thing, but then again, I didn't feel a thing for about 4 hours after the delivery, either.

Child #2--nope

Child #3--nope

C-section? no

Who delivered?

Child #1--doctor, and I swore never again
Child #2--the most wonderful midwife in the world
Child #3--same terrific midwife