Friday, September 28, 2007

Making Memories and Banking on the Future

Over the last week, with Caleb being sick, I have spent quite a few hours reading. Reading aloud to Caleb while he is resting has given us some really sweet times together. One of the best books we read this week was The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt. Caleb and I laughed out loud several times while reading this book together. I absolutely love good juvenile fiction. I make a point of reading whatever my son is reading and also to, sort of, direct his reading by making selections for him when I am at the library. It is just another way to make memories together and also gives us things to talk about and share.

Caleb is getting to the age, he is 11, where children begin to break away from their parents. I know that this is normal, but I hope that, somehow, by making a habit of sharing things NOW, it will seem normal to continue in this manner LATER.

On that note, we were spending an afternoon together just window shopping, a few weeks ago and he said, "I love getting to spend time just with you, Mom!" I said, "I enjoy it so much, too. Do you think when you are 15 you will still want to spend time with your old Mom?" He said he was pretty sure he would because we have so much fun together. I certainly hope he will want to spend time with me, then. I am doing everything that I can to make sure that he does, now!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

In the Sickroom

Well, the best laid plans often get derailed. That has happened at our house in the last week. Our oldest son, Caleb, came home from school on the 20th with a high fever. He is STILL running a temperature 8 days later! He has either asthmatic bronchitis or walking pneumonia. I have been up and down with him all week doing the Mommy thing: bringing him his medicines, checking his temperature, coaxing him to eat and drink. He has lost five pounds since Thursday because he doesn't have an appetite and feels sick when he does try to eat. Whatever he has, it is horrible!

Because of his sickness, everything else has come to a screeching halt. That includes school, home management etc. We are basically just hanging in until he gets better. It is hard on the whole family when one of the children is sick because it changes the rhythm of the household. I have enjoyed taking care of my oldest though. He is eleven going on 25 and so does not like for me to "mother" him too much. :o)

I am so thankful for our extended family and our church family. We have had numerous people praying for Caleb and asking how they can help. The outpouring has touched my heart. Many people pitching in to help husband's parents, a Sunday school member who brought us a meal... it has been a real blessing to me and to our house. So, thanks everyone! I hope I can return the favor really soon.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Okay, okay a new post already!

Well, I have taken a little (okay, LONG) break from my blog. I have been hunkered down at home doing school with Sam.

(Because of our busy school schedule. I will begin updating my blog every Friday, starting next week.)

He is doing really well this year! We started the year reading "Brown Bear, Brown Bear What do you See?" by Eric Carle. We did a lot of fun things with this story. Sam learned all his color words and the names of all the animals in the book. We made a "baggie book" called "I see a Brown Bear." I used pictures of the animals from the book that I found online. I pasted them to cards and I wrote "I see a brown bear (or whatever animal and color.)" under the pictures. I then slid the completed cards into quart sized baggies back to back (2 per baggie.) Stapled the baggies together and made a cover out of construction paper. If you would like to see pictures of this idea, you can check it out at under her Brown Bear unit. Sam really liked reading his story.

We are now on our apple unit. Sam has been reading his own personal book about apples that I made using clip art that I found online. I found a simple poem, "How Many Apples Do You See?" with lots of great sight words and some other simple words related to apples. I used Microsoft Publisher to make the book. We did a "cold probe" of this book and I realized that he needed help with discriminating between words like "how" and "now." We are also learning number words. I made a file folder game where you match leaves with the number on them to apples with the number word. We did it without any prior instruction and he picked it up really fast! I think he already knew some of the number words and so this was a great expansion. We are also focusing on the short a sound during this unit. Learning about ants and alligators and other things that start with a.

Anway, as you can see, we have been super busy in the Marshall house with homeschool fun. Check back next week and I will have some pictures up of some of the activities we have been doing.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

School days

It is getting to be the time of year where homeschooling moms everywhere start preparing for the coming school year. I have gotten my planner and have been plotting out the fall and winter portions of our homeschool. We do cross categorical thematic units and so there is a lot of planning up front, but it is also a lot of fun!

I have found some neat additions to our homeschool this year. I found a great article on Calendar Math. When Sam was in school, he loved Calendar time! I have already purchased our calendar blank and he has been carrying it around singing, "Sunday and a Monday, Tuesday and a Wednesday, Thursday and a Friday, and then there's Saturday. Days of the week (ch-ch)! Days of the week (ch-ch)! Days of the week, days of the week, days of the week (ch-ch)!" :o) I plan on utilizing our calendar for some serious math and science learning and also for adding a sense of routine to our day.

Here are some of the great websites for thematic unit inspiration and teaching tips:

*~> The Virtual Vine <~*
K-2 Thematic Units
Welcome to Mrs. Nelson's Class

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Christmas in July?

I am already making plans for all the gifts I want to make for Christmas. I have to plan this far in advance because I enjoying working on a crochet or sewing project at a relaxed pace. There is nothing worse than trying to furiously crochet several projects to completion the week before Christmas. Not only that, but it is murder on my hands. I have tendonitis in a couple of my fingers, so I have to be careful about sewing and crocheting too much.

Right now I am working on a project for myself. It is the Bows and Arrows poncho by Dot. (You can see the pattern at Crochet bythehook ) Instead of working the poncho in the round, I am going to work back and forth and make it into a cape/shawl instead. When I am done I will add either a button and buttonhole at the neck or ties. I think it is going to work out just fine. I am still pretty new at adapting patterns, so it is always interesting to see what happens when I start messing around with one.

I also am considering some larger crochet projects for gifts as well. I have some shawl patterns that I would love to try out. Such as this:Do Your Worsted: Hot Shawlcolate, and this: Romance One-ball Half-moon Shawl. I might, instead of starting a new pattern, make a couple of the Seraphina shawls. I made one last winter in cream colored Homespun and I love it! (See pic.) You can find the pattern here: Work With Me!

My in-laws and my mom have all requested scarves. I made my father in law a scarf last Christmas with a slit in it to pull the tail through so you don't have to tie it. He wore it so much that he literally wore it out! It was my own invention and I have some ideas on how to improve the design. My mother in law wants one like his and my mom just wants a thick scarf made from Homespun or chenille.

But before I start any new projects, I must complete the one I am working on now and I also have one more dress to sew that is for this season. :o) I will post some pics of the dresses I have made this summer and also some pics of the cape I am working on once I complete it. Blessings!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Chicken Enchiladas

Today I am going to post a recipe that is my mother-in-law's favorite thing that I make. We eat lunch with my husband's family every Sunday after church. She always cooks a big meal and I occasionally bring something to contribute as well. Last week I asked her what I could bring and that I would be happy to make a main dish. This is what she picked. I made these up last night, doubling the recipe, and put them in the freezer for Sunday.

Jana's Chicken Enchiladas

3 leg quarters
1 can diced green chiles
1 tsp garlic salt
1 pkg shredded Mexican cheese blend, or Mild Cheddar
1 large can green chile enchilada sauce
1 small container light sour cream
10 taco size flour tortillas

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Boil chicken leg quarters in water until done. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the chicken broth. Set chicken aside to cool.
3. When chicken is cool, skin and take meat off of bones. Cut meat into bite sized pieces.
4. Put chicken in a large bowl, add green chiles and two handfuls of cheese to the chicken and mix well. (Just use your clean hands for this.) Season with salt, pepper , and garlic salt.
5. Pour a small amount of the green enchilada sauce into a 13x9 inch pan. (This will keep the enchiladas from sticking.)
6. Take a small handful of the chicken mixture and spread it into a line along one end of a tortilla. Roll tortilla tightly. Put the finished enchilada into the prepared pan. Repeat using remaining tortillas.
7. Take the remaining green enchilada sauce and pour into a bowl with the sour cream. Beat together with an electric mixer or whisk until smooth. Thin sauce slightly with reserved chicken broth. (You might not need it all. The sauce without the broth will be thick because of the sour cream. You want your sauce to be the same texture as the green sauce before you added the sour cream.)
8. Pour sauce over enchiladas and cover with remaining shredded cheese.
9. Cover pan with foil and bake for 45 minutes, or until bubbly.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Submission and the Christian Wife, Part 3

The Heart of the Matter

"Wives submit to your husbands as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything." --Ephesians 5:22-24

Before we get to the heart of the matter, a disclaimer: I am not some sort of super-wife or super-Christian. I am far from it. Anyone who knows me can attest to that!

It is simply my heart's desire to be the kind of woman, wife and mother that God wants me to be. If you are a Christian, your desire, I am sure, is no different. So, now to the heart....

Paul, in his exhortation for wives to submit to their husbands did not give "5 steps to submission" or a play-by-play as to how to be a submissive wife. There are many reasons for this. Mainly, if we had a step by step how to, then we would rely on ourselves instead of the power of the Holy Spirit to do this thing that we ought to do. Because of this, I cannot tell you what submission to your husband should look like in detail. I CAN tell you that submission is not just an action, but also a matter of the heart. If we are going through the motions of "letting our husbands have their way" and yet in our hearts we are bitter, resentful rebels, what good does the outward obedience actually do? The Lord desires our hearts to beat in obedience to his word. Outward display does nothing to make us right before God.

If this passage from Ephesians disturbs you; if Paul's admonition to submit to your husband causes a gut reaction of anger and rebellion, then you need to be on your face before God. Submission goes against the grain. We cannot do it on our own. Our hearts cannot change without the power of God being made manifest in our lives. Trust in the Lord and cling to Him, for he CAN do it!

Submitting to my husband is not always easy; but the rewards I have reaped from it have been worth every struggle. Grappling with God on the issue of submission has drawn me closer to Him and has taught me how much I desperately NEED Him to work in my life. We all desperately need more of the Lord.

One final note: If you are reading this, and you are in an abusive relationship, then PLEASE seek help. Find a safe place to go. Abuse can cloud your thinking to the point where you feel that if you only submitted more or did this or that, then the abuse would not happen. That simply is not true. If you attend a church, talk to a trustworthy and mature believer and ask for help. Submission should never be a shield for abuse.