Monday, November 28, 2011

Time Belongs to God

"It has not been a trial, dear. You will understand why, one of these days. I used to chafe and fret when interrupted in favorite pursuits, but I have learned that my time all belongs to God, and just leave it in His hands. It is very sweet to use it for Him when He has anything for me to do, and pleasant to use it for myself when He hasn't."
~ Elizabeth Prentiss, The Home at Greylock

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Angeled Eggs ~ Making a Meal Special ~ Printable Recipe

Don't limit these little gems to the summer picnic season… Angeled eggs are an excellent companion to the soups and salads served in the fall and winter seasons. They add an element of protein into your meal and can make any table feel extra special. Eggs are also an excellent alternative when meat is not in abundance or within your budget.

How to Make Angel-ed Eggs 
  • 12 hard cooked eggs, cut in half, with yokes removed in a separate bowl
  • 7 TBSP mayonnaise
  • 1/4 TSP salt
  • 2 TBPS Italian dressing (Note: I like to make the Italian dressing via our own mixes in order to avoid the preservatives and poor oils found in many "pre-bottled" dressings. I also double the liquid amounts called for in order to stretch the dressing so my 2 TBSP is a little less strong than normal dressing.)
  • Pepper to taste
Add all ingredients together except for the "egg white halves" in a medium sized bowl. Mix until creamy with hand mixer. If you want to be extra fancy, place filling into pastry bag and fill "egg white halves" evenly into all 24 halves (or you can just spoon filling into each egg). Cover and refrigerate prior to serving. These can be made the night before and served the next day which I really appreciate. Yields: 24 Angeled Eggs

Printable recipe is shared HERE.

Would you like to add this to your Recipe Book?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Biblically Principled Picture Books

“All I have learned, I learned from books.” 
~ Abraham Lincoln

A picture tells a thousand words… which is probably why children love to look at them in books. So many things are being said without them having to read one sentence. We love picture books in our household and have quite an assortment but our favorites are the ones which present biblical principles. These are worth their weight in gold for such gems are gleaned which shape the lives of our children. Here are some favorites from our bookshelf:

Suitable for Boys and Girls

  • Sanji's Seed: A Story About Honesty by B. J. Reinhard Young children will enjoy the adventure and suspense as they travel with Sanji and face two of the most difficult issues of early childhood honesty and embarrassment. Young Sanji has always dreamed of becoming King, but his dreams are dependent upon the growth of a tiny seed. Though Sanji does his best to care for his seed, it refuses to sprout. How can he face the King and the other boys? Should he replace his seed with another? This is one story that will leave an imprint upon your child's heart! 
  • Hedge of Thorns (Illustrated Version), rewritten by Mary Hamilton Curious to know what is on the other side of the hedge? Join John Carrol as he journeys beyond the boundaries and learns a lesson he will never forget. Based on a true story. 
  • Teach Them to Your Children: An Alphabet of Biblical Poems, Verses, and Stories by Sarah Wean Designed to teach biblical concepts to children of any age through scriptures, poems, and stories that correspond with each letter in the alphabet, this book was created to give parents a tool with which to disciple their children. With large, colorfulillustrations in a sturdy, hardback format, your children will relate to the true-to-life stories while being reminded of the scriptural character lesson through fun, easy-to-memorize verses and poems.

  • Teddy's Button (Illustrated), Edited by Mark Hamby  This tale will open a child's understanding of the spiritual battle within as Teddy learns that he is his own worst enemy! As a stubborn boy and girl refuse to back down from their selfish pride, one of the many lessons they learn is that they cannot win battles by force and hate, but by carrying the banner of love. Through this charming story, Amy LeFeuvre helps children to understand the spiritual battle that rages in their souls, and that parents and children are on the same side.
  • The Beggar's Blessing, retold by Mark Hamby A true story from the 1800s about a little girl who sacrificed her savings for a starving beggar. Full-color illustrations will capture the hearts of children as they learn that sacrifice is the cornerstone for surprising blessings. This is a story that you will never forget and is sure to become a children’s classic!
  • The Lord Builds the House: The 127th Psalm by Johannah Bluedorn The 127th Psalm has never looked so beautiful. Trivium Pursuit is pleased to announce the release of their newest children's picturebook The Lord Builds the House: The 127th Psalm by Johannah Bluedorn. 40 original paintings create stunning, colorful windows on every line of the Psalm, which begins Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. In Johannah Bluedorn's rich vision, each verse of the Psalm is illustrated with a portrait of sumptuous simplicity: farm and wild animals celebrate the bounty of nature; the beauty of family; the achievements of builders, bakers, and book authors; and the miracle of God's protection. The book makes the Psalm accessible to very young children, and reminds adults of God's provision for animals as well as for His people.

    Excellent for Girls

    Godly Character
      Wisdom in Choosing a Husband
      Manners and Grace

      Historical Role Models

      You may also be interested in:

      Monday, November 14, 2011

      Good Glory?

      John 8:50

      Many problems in our life often come from the fact that we as wives, mothers, daughters or sisters do many things that seemingly go unnoticed and unappreciated.  There is so much frustration in preparing something and our efforts seem to be taken for granted. Let's face it… We are seeking some sort of glory... thankfulness or acknowledgement of some sort and we can get very disappointed. This can be especially true since the world is constantly preaching fame and glory are found outside the home and that as a homemaker, you are missing out on some greater calling! What a trap of discontentment is set before us when we start to feel unappreciated! That is when we need to take the focus off ourselves and onto Him who had laid down His life for you. He has called you to be in your home and in service to your family! 

      When you change your thinking into doing as "unto the Lord" then we know our efforts are never in vain...

      "And whatsoever ye do, do [it] heartily,
      as to the Lord,
      and not unto men…"
      ~ Colossians 3:23

      Once we remove the idea of doing it "unto men" then peace can be restored into your heart.  For what God-fearing woman wouldn't want to "do all in the name of the Lord, Jesus?" (Colossians 3:17) Wouldn't you do anything he personally asked you with pleasure? Well, He did in the verses shared above.

      It is also interesting to note, that when Christ came to earth, He came to glorify the Father. He came as a humble carpenter. If He didn't receive immediate glory or earthly praise (He healed ten lepers and only one showed appreciation!) or demand on the spot that all should acknowledge His authority, why should we expect any when we follow Him? 

      So, let us not seek glory from man (or husband or children)
      but continue to work quietly and industriously
      as instructed in the Scriptures:

      "And that ye study to be quiet,
      and to do your own business,
      and to work with your own hands,
      as we commanded you."
      ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:11

      Be tranquil in your heart knowing that the
      day is fast approaching that:

       "the Son of man shall come 
      in the glory of his Father with his angels;
      and then he shall reward every man
      according to his works."

      Tuesday, November 8, 2011

      Goodness of Goat Milk?! ~ Give it a Try

      If the words "goat milk" conjures up unpleasant thoughts then I must tell you I was once in your same boat. We purchased a goat for our farm because my husband grew up on goat's milk and my daughter was dying to milk something… Well, a quart of milk entered our fridge every day. It lurked in the back corner and I would have to avert my eyes daily. No thank you, I could almost smell the goat in the milk from the jar!

      The sinister jar of goat's milk…

      Then, that fateful day came… It all started out with a piece of chocolate cake (Don't your stories of temptation always start out with chocolate?) that sat on the counter. The last slice was beckoning to me at about three o'clock when energy was low. I prepared the banquet for myself, meaning the cake on the plate, some good reading and a glass of cold... "what"!  NO MILK??? Now, what would you do if you were me? Be honest! A plate of chocolate cake and no milk to wash it down?

      So, I did what any desperate "goat milk fearing" woman would have done in the situation, I said a silent prayer and tried the "menacing" milk… And what do you know? It was creamy and tasty and everything you would want in a milk! No goaty flavor in FRESH GOAT'S MILK. It was a miracle. The "stuff" they sell in the store is purely counterfeit and can not be compared to the excellent taste of FRESH, RAW goat's milk (and I believe this is where the misconceptions begin). The key is to chill the milk immediately after milking and to keep it chilled in glass in the refrigerator.

      Our Resident Goat, Betty

      So, I encourage anyone with a little land and a lot of love for chocolate (just kidding on that last part) to purchase a goat for their back yard. They are such a low maintenance animal. Of course, maybe we are too ignorant to realize they take more care? Greens and water makes our goat happy (though they do get a treat of grains at milking time for all their hard work). They are not pickers eaters like sheep are and they keep our brush down in our back field. Just know that they are quite agile creatures and it does take some effort to keep them where they belong and out of your gardens and trees...

      Our Milking Supplies

      They don't require much in the way of equipment. My husband made a crude milking stand with "seconds" lumber. We purchased a stainless steel milk can, a special funnel in which to hold the filters to strain the milk and the filters themselves. Lastly, you just need a young man or maiden that are just "dying" to milk something.

      Raw goats milk is excellent for those who have allergies to regular milk since it is so easily digestible. You also don't have the mucous problem from goat's milk as many get from the milk of the cow.

      "According to the Journal of American Medicine, "Goat's milk is the most complete food known." It contains vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, trace elements, enzymes, protein, and fatty acids that are utilized by your body with ease. In fact, your body can digest goat's milk in just 20 minutes. It takes 2-3 hours to digest cow's milk." 
      ~ Excerpt from The Maker's Diet by Jordan S. Rubin

      The interesting thing is that in the Scriptures, where it references the drinking of milk, it is associated with a goat. Yes, God knew health before we did.

      "And thou shalt have goats' milk
      enough for thy food,
      for the food of thy household,
      and for the maintenance for thy maidens."
      ~ Proverbs 27:27

      Our Favorite Resource for Raising Dairy Goat:

      Friday, November 4, 2011

      Presenting the Pilgrims ~ A Unit Study

      Here is a list of activities and ideas to do daily for a week with your children so you can teach how these God fearing people left their homelands in search of a closer relationship with their Creator (and the freedom to worship Him). We shouldn't take our liberties lightly as many of these people sacrificed their lives for this cause and we continue to reap the rewards to this day. 

      Day One ~ Presenting the Pilgrims

      Start Reading Aloud the Chapter Book ~ Stories of the Pilgrims by Margaret Pumphrey (This classic is free online with this link in an easy to read format).  Read a few chapters every day. Your children will really enjoy this old fashioned book!

      Older children may appreciate listening to the audio-drama, The Legend of Squanto (Radio Theatre) by Focus on the Family.

      Day Two ~ Pilgrims in Picture Books

      by Kate Waters

      by Kate Waters

      Girls of 6 - 12 years would appreciate the lovely and godly book:

      Also, if you can find the book, What the Pilgrims Knew by Tillie S. Pine and Joseph Levine,  you would have some fun and interesting science information for this study. It is no longer in print but your local library may have it.

      Day Three ~ Pilgrim Printables

      You can print out some paper dolls to be colored and cut out (small sample above). Use them for decoration or to put on a little skit about the first Thanksgiving.

      You can also print out the coloring page above for free with this link or for a full page of selections, go to this site.

      Day Four ~ Pilgrim Places (Geography)

      Print out a blank world map and have your children find the starting point of England on the map and label it. Now, have them draw a potential route the pilgrims may have taken when then went to try and live in Holland (they should label Holland as well). Have them find Massachusetts on the map and label it and then draw a potential route for the pilgrims when they left Holland to go to Plymouth (present day Massachusetts). Lastly, have them label where you live on the map and see if the older children can calculate how far they live from Plymouth.

      Day Four ~ Pilgrim Poems (You may want the older children to practice their handwriting by copying some verses from the poems below.)

      The First Thanksgiving, 1621, by J.L.G. Ferris

      First Thanksgiving of All

      Peace and Mercy and Jonathan,
      And Patience (very small),
      Stood by the table giving thanks
      The first Thanksgiving of all.

      There was very little for them to eat,
      Nothing special and nothing sweet;
      Only bread and a little broth,
      And a bit of fruit (and no tablecloth):

      But Peace and Mercy and Jonathan
      And Patience, in a row,
      Stood up and asked a blessing on
      Thanksgiving long ago.

      Thankful they were their ship had come
      Safely across the sea;
      Thankful they were for hearth and home,
      And kin and company;

      They were glad of broth to go with their bread,
      Glad their apples were round and red,
      Glad of mayflowers they would bring
      Out of the woods again next spring.

      So Peace and Mercy and Jonathan,
      And Patience (very small),
      Stood up gratefully giving thanks
      The first Thanksgiving of all.

      by Nancy Byrd Turner

      Landing of the Pilgrims by Charles Lucey

      The Landing Of The Pilgrim Fathers

      The breaking waves dashed high
      On a stern and rock-bound coast,
      And the woods, against a stormy sky,
      Their giant branches tost;

      And the heavy night hung dark
      The hills and water o'er,
      When a band of exiles moored their bark
      On the wild New England shore.

      Not as the conqueror comes,
      They, the true-hearted, came;
      Not with the roll of the stirring drums,
      And the trumpet that sings of fame;

      Not as the flying come,
      In silence and in fear,—
      They shook the depths of the desert's gloom
      With their hymns of lofty cheer.

      Amidst the storm they sang,
      And the stars heard and the sea;
      And the sounding aisles of the dim woods rang
      To the anthem of the free.

      The ocean-eagle soared
      From his nest by the white wave's foam,
      And the rocking pines of the forest roared—
      This was their welcome home!

      There were men with hoary hair
      Amidst that pilgrim band:
      Why had they come to wither there,
      Away from their childhood's land?

      There was woman's fearless eye,
      Lit by her deep love's truth;
      There was manhood's brow serenely high,
      And the fiery heart of youth.

      What sought they thus afar?
      Bright jewels of the mine?
      The wealth of the seas? the spoils of war?—
      They sought a faith's pure shrine!

      Ay, call it holy ground,
      The soil where first they trod!
      They have left unstained what there they found—
      Freedom to worship God!

      by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

      Day Five ~ Pilgrim Paintings for Picture Study

      Embarkation of the Pilgrims by Robert Weir

      Ask your children the following questions about the painting above:
      • What is the first item they notice when they looked at this picture?
      • What do they think the pilgrims are doing? (Be specific.)
      • Do they notice anything interesting in the background? (A rainbow and a castle.)
      • Based on what they have learned so far, can they guess who any of the people might be?
      The First Thanksgiving by Jennie Brownscombe

      Ask your children the following questions about the painting above:
      • How does this painting make them feel?
      • What do they like about this painting?
      • Would they like to be a part of the festivities? Why or why not?
      • What season does it look like in the background?
      • Is this how they think the first Thanksgiving may have really looked? Why or why not?

      Day 6 ~ Pilgrims and Puritans

      Discuss the Differences:

      I have been confused about the difference of these two groups all my life! After reading up a bit on the subject, I came to the conclusion that "pilgrims" were puritans that left England and broke their ties completely from the church in order to start a new life and a new church (first settling in Holland before finally going to the New World). They arrived in the Mayflower in 1620 and settled in Plymouth. They were led by William Brewster.

      The puritans left directly from England to the New world a few years after and established the Massachusetts Bay Colony. They believed in reforming the church of England and were loyal to it instead of cutting the ties and starting fresh like the "pilgrims" did. They were led by John Winthrop.

      Both were puritan and reformists but it looks like the loyalty to England and the Church of England was the major difference.

      Day Seven ~ Pilgrims in Prayer and Praise

      Pilgrims Going to Church by George Henry Boughton

      Being it is the seventh day, if you were a pilgrim you would be resting. It is the Sabbath. You would have prepared your meals the day before so that you could fully observe the Lord's Day. This is something for us all to ponder on...

      Today would be an appropriate time to discuss with your children the true meaning of "pilgrim" and how we are all pilgrims on a journey. Have an older child look up the word "pilgrim" in the dictionary. Discuss the verse below and what it means:

      "Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims,
      abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul…"
      ~ 1 Peter 2:11

      Listen to the song "Happy Little Pilgrims" by Fanny Crosby and see if your children want to sing along.

      If you are musically inclined, The Graphics Fairy posted an antique hymn (sheet music with lyrics), titled, "Thanksgiving and Praise" by Asa Hull who was a hymn writer. Perhaps you or your students can play this on an instrument.