Archive for August, 2008

Daughters and Dating

Our pastor said something on Sunday during his sermon that really wanted to make me shout out Amen and Hallelujah and all that good stuff.
He said that in his house he fully expects to guide the marriage process for his children. He also said that his children would not participate in the popular ‘recreational dating’ scene. His oldest is a teenager and, like our teenager, understands and agrees with this philosophy because of proper heart training.

Ryan and I have high hopes for our children’s futures. We want them to be happy, content, and have easy lives and a terrific relationship with their spouse. We desire for them to come by this relationship easily without happening into the turmoil that most people go through in their search for that perfect relationship.
We want them to have what we have. A Christian marriage with priority given to God by both my husband and myself. An agreeance on the raising of our children. A joy in being around each other every day.

I don’t want my daughter dating a ‘bad boy’ who has no respect or fear of God. However, the dangers in this are obvious and easy to avoid when your daughter has a well trained heart for God.
I also don’t want my daughter dating a nice boy who comes from a good Christian family. The dangers here are numerous and very hidden. Nice boys get nice girls pregnant. I know a girl who lost her virginity during a youth group outing with a nice boy. Nobody suspected this upstanding teenage couple to be the type to end up pregnant at 16. Both families were devastated to learn the truth about their good kids and the entire community was shocked.
I have heard of this happening with churched teens all over the place.

I know, I know. You are laughing at me right now thinking I am an eccentric parent whose ideas will never hold true as my children grow. That may be true in a family who just pushes rules without ever training the heart. However, we take a very different approach with our kids, especially our oldest who is 13.
We have asked Kait what kind of husband and life she expects to have. Not her profession or what she wants to be when she grows up, but specifics about her home life, her marriage, and her relationship with her husband. Without much thought about my question, which leads me to believe she thinks on it often, she said wants a husband whose first focus is God. She wants a man who will lay down his life for her without a second thought. She wants the father of her children to be one who desires to take care of his family and works hard to give them a good life. She wants a man who will dote on her and make her laugh. She wants to marry somebody who knows how to have fun but won’t fail to be the strong leader every successful marriage needs. She wants to marry somebody like her daddy.

At first this may seem like quite the tall order, but when Kait informed me of her high expectations my heart soared. I knew I would be able to help her find this future and I knew that I could start in that moment to train her heart to only accept God’s best plans for her.

Contrary to popular belief, these types of men are out there. Perhaps you are married to one yourself. The problem is, while most girls want a similar picture of the man Kait described, they don’t know the first thing about attracting one and in the process of growing up they make decision that lead to a completely opposite sort of life they had originally dreamed of.

When you really think about it this isn’t all that hard of an idea to grab on to. Simply put, present yourself in a way that will attract the kind of person you want for your future. This has been a brand new concept in the last year for Kait but once I explained it it made perfect sense to her and her attitude towards the opposite sex has done a 180.
Kait is a social butterfly. She is extremely outgoing and talkative (did somebody tell me that homeschoolers weren’t socialized well???) and at one point I was concerned for the way she was beginning to come off around boys because around them she was going a bit overboard. I knew I should be teaching her better ways to present herself. So, this is what I told her and we discuss it often.

Decide what kind of man you want to attract and then start acting in a way that
will attract that sort of person.

A silly, flirty girl will attract a boy who isn’t very serious and just wants a silly girl to have fun with. A silly, flirty girl will appear fickle and senseless. Boys won’t take her seriously – but they will take her.
However, a girl who does not act like a ridiculous, insignificant fool, who is sure of herself and what she wants, who isn’t silly or flirty, who has a down-to-earth head on her shoulders, and who is respectful of herself and others around her will attract a young man who longs for a steady, permanent young lady who holds a high standard for herself. She will draw in those who hold high expectations for themselves and the kind of lives they live. Young men will see her as a future, not just for today. They will get to know her by visiting and getting to know her family. A man who wants her will court her by devoting special attention to her in order to win her affection.

I am not saying that a girl shouldn’t have fun and laugh. If you have ever read this blog you know how I feel about being childlike in spirit and heart, but there is a very dark defining line between having fun and just being a silly flirt. A girl who blurs that line will appear senseless while a girl who has a sense of humor while portraying herself as a sensible young lady will attract flocks of godly young men. She may even attract some flies too, but, with the help of her wise parents, will be able to sort out the two without consequence.

Recreational dating is painful. There are always expectations and pressures. I was there, I know all about it.
Even the most grounded person can be pushed into doing something they ought not do in order to keep the person they love hanging around. We all want to be liked.
I don’t have fond memories of boys, flirting, and dating from my teenage years. I remember being liked, then disliked, pressured, then dumped. I remember the drama of it all and how I was ill equipped to handle such grown-up situations.

Do I really want this for my daughter? Do you want it for yours? Pain in the name of fun? Heartache in the name of growing up? How does that glorify God? Let’s teach our girls how to attract the right guy first so they don’t have to learn the hard way through painful consequence and life-altering mistakes.
Patience can bring rewards that have no end to their bounty. What a great lesson to teach our daughters.

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Angel Food Network

We picked up our food this morning from our local Angel Food Network host. This was the first month we have utilized their services and we are more than pleased.

Although the picture really doesn’t do it justice this was a tremendous deal. $106 got us so much meat, fruits, veggies, and other staples. I would say after a quick estimation that we saved about $200 here.
A very nice deal! Read more about the Angel Food Network here.
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Biscuit

Again, this is my 1980 Jeep CJ. The last picture I posted was taken in the rain and really didn’t do her justice.
Her name is Biscuit, derived from Hibiscus because Joe couldn’t pronounce Hibiscus when he was little and always called my Hibiscus plant the biscuit tree.
Anyway, she is Beau-Tee-Full! Although she does need her seals changed – a bit leaky. Ryan has the stuff he just needs a weekend with her to get the job done.

Sam already knows a great ride when he sees it! Smart Kid!!!
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Geckos – Our New Experience

We have a couple Common House Geckos now. Guess how they got that name. They are live-in companions of many people in more warm and humid areas such as our house. Many people actually like them in their homes and pay no mind when they see one on the ceiling. They eat spiders and roaches and other pesky pests. Plus, they’re cute. We didn’t actually find ours in our house, I don’t know where my kids found them but they just started carrying them around so I figured we had better make a comfortable home for them.

We have a 30 gallon aquarium because years ago we had two Yellow Bellied Slider turtles. Now it has become a Gecko habitat, a Gecko resort community, if you will.

Here are some photos that Kait got after some trial and error with night time photography.

Lyla
*********************************

Venus
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Twitch

They do make for interesting pets, I have to admit.

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Sammy Walks

Finally. At 15 months Sam has picked up the art of walking. Too bad his knees and the tops of his feet are permanently stained from crawling around so much.

Here is some video I took this morning.

Now, if I could just get him to use the potty.

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Giveaway Winners Posted

Last weeks Cocoa Puffs Combos giveaway winners have been posted here.

Sorry it took me so long. I have no excuse – just plum forgot. I have been so brain dead lately.

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We’re Not Really Baptists, are we?

Since moving to Florida our family has been trying to find a church that really fit. Most churches now-days aren’t really family centered or focused and it is seeming to get worse and worse. Families are falling apart, children raised in the church are going wayward, family just isn’t as important as ‘me’ time anymore. We have been so bent on finding a church that saw themselves as a larger extension of one’s own family but knowing what we want and finding what we want are two completely different things. Just when we thought we liked a church we would be told, in so many words, that our non-disruptive children weren’t appreciated in the service. At one church, a lady got rude when I politely explained that we preferred to worship as a family. She said that it was more important for the parents to get something out of the sermon (just more ‘me’ time). It was surprising to me because this church spouted freedom to worship the way you want. It turned out to be only as long as you follow their rules.

Anyway, a dear internet friend pointed me towards a Baptist church here in our area, Harmony Ridge. She told me about their drive to create and maintain a family atmosphere and plans for a family Sunday school class. As I gathered more and more info on this church I got emotional because, well, I am pregnant and emotional about everything, and it was exactly what I had been praying for. I listened to some of the pastor’s sermons online and found myself giddy with excitement.

But wait. We are not Baptists.

Ryan and I liked the sound of this church so much that we decided to head on over this past Sunday to check it out even though we aren’t into the whole Baptists thing.
We loved it! What a family this church is! We felt completely welcome and not only were our children encouraged to be in the church with us, they didn’t even have a children’s church to send them to, only a nursery in case we needed it!

Let me tell you all who think young children can’t be expected to sit through a church service quietly – this church was filled with children. Well behaved, quiet, happy children. They were expected to sit and they did. The pastor ties family into just about every sermon. I love it because I believe the family is the foundation of The Church and I can plainly see that the fall of the family has caused a riff in the church.

When we left after the service and lunch on Sunday (yes, they eat together every Sunday!) my 13 year old looked at me and said “This is it. This is our church!” My 10 year old said the preaching was really good and he liked the eating part, too.
We all loved it. So, although I wouldn’t call myself a Baptist we will be faithfully attending Harmony Ridge Baptist Church.

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This Week’s Adultitis Tip…

Kim and Jason have a plan to get us adults to stop being, well, so adult about everything. This cool couple has already taught me a lot about relaxing and enjoying life – and boy do I need it!
This week’s tip is:

Do something that is typically seen as inappropriate for someone of your age.

Adults have become way too convinced the behaving child-like is somewhat childish and is something we ought not partake in after the age of 18. Although childishness is something I loath, being child-like is an idea I strive to incorporate into my daily life.
Kim & Jason showed the piano clip from the movie “Big” with Tom Hanks.
I loved the movie Elf for this same reason and was inspired to find the scene where Buddy gets dizzy in a revolving door. Will Ferrell’s character is definitely the picture of a carefree, non-stressed, childlike person. Although we adults can’t possibly capture the innocence of dear Buddy, we can sure take a lesson from him in relaxing, enjoying life, and just plain having fun.
I don’t know what my husband and I will do to capture our child-like side this week but I am sure it won’t be hard if I let him take the lead. Ryan is always doing stuff that adults ‘really shouldn’t do’. Like dancing to an old 80′s tune in the grocery store or riding a grocery basket through a parking lot. Once I was poking his ribs while walking out of the grocery store after a quick run for bread and milk and to get me back he took the bag of bread out of my hand and slung it across the mostly empty parking lot. We laughed pretty hard about that one. This sort of thing comes to him effortlessly (sometimes too effortlessly). I’ll try to post pics or at least a paragraph about what silly thing we end up coming up with.
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I have a great giveaway for y’all this week! 3 lucky winners will receive a coupon for FREE Cocoa Puffs Combos cereal! Woohoo!

Cocoa Puffs Combos are one of the newest cereals out and they. are. good. My 6 children and I tried them over the weekend and we ate almost two boxes of them!

As you can probably tell from the box Cocoa Puffs Combos look quite similar to Cocoa Puffs. That is because they are. The same little bird, Sonny, is on the front and the box is brown, too.
Traditional Cocoa Puffs are round balls of puffed corn that have a sweet, somewhat chocolaty cocoa flavor. Cocoa Puffs Combos are a little different. Added in with those same round dark brown puffs are round yellowish puffs with a definite vanilla flavor.
My kids and I poured our bowls and added the milk. We had just grocery shopped the day before and a couple of my children really wanted to eat a different cereal I had picked up but they settled for the Combos without complaint. After the first bite, however, they were all about this new cereal and wanted more. My 3 year old even asked for it for lunch and dinner – both to which I said ‘no’.

After we all ate some I asked what they liked about the Cocoa Puffs Combos.
Here were the pros they gave me.

  • They stayed crunchy through the entire breakfast where many cereals go soggy by the end.
  • They were sweet and the vanilla flavor was very good.
  • Although the box looks small there is a lot of cereal in it.
  • Even though they look a lot like Cocoa Puffs they had a very different taste.
  • They make excellent snacks – just grab a handful and go.
  • The baby, 15 months, couldn’t really voice his opinion but he was extremely excited about these combos. I tried to get it on video because it was very funny but you know how kids are – as soon as you turn on the camera they always stop doing whatever it is you were trying to record.

There were a few cons but not many. These are my personal cons – not my children’s’.

  • Even though General Mills has tried to over the years to make their cereals more healthy, the added sugar in these Combos means they aren’t all that good for you.
  • They were hard to come by. We had to stop at a lot of stores before we found them.
  • The box of Cocoa Puffs and the box of Cocoa Puffs Combos looked very similar making it hard for me to spot them on Winn-Dixie’s vast cereal isle.
  • The vanilla flavor totally over-rides the cocoa flavor. This isn’t exactly a con for me, I love the vanilla flavor, but some people might be a tad disappointed.

Retail value of these coupons are up to $5.33

Now, for the rules…
US residents are welcome to enter per the rules below. Pay special attention to the closing date! You can enter twice by following the directions here by August 17, 2008:

  • Entry #1: If you run across this blog and you want to win one of these free cereal coupons leave a comment telling me what your favorite childhood cereal memory is and who in your family is most likely to eat Cocoa Puffs Combos. (make sure to leave a method of contact!)
  • Entry #2: Link to this entry from your blog where you wrote about this giveaway and then leave a second comment with the link where you passed on this giveaway info. This entry should be SEPARATE from your first entry.

3 winners will be chosen on August 18th, 2008. We will announce it on the blog here (you may want to bookmark this page) as well as TRY to email the winner. I say ‘try’ because I often get email notices returned to me as undeliverable, I get no reply, or the winner doesn’t give a method of contact. Please make sure you check back to see if you are the winner! I won’t hang onto your winnings forever. After a week or so I will choose a new winner.
Seriously, people, if you don’t want to leave me a method of contact please remember to check back to see if you are a winner. Make sure you check back! We are easy to contact – just email me. Also, if you do leave a method of contact you need to check your spam folder. Many people have missed out on winnings because the winner email went to their spam folder to be spotted after an alternate winner was chosen.

Subscribe to our RSS Feed so you don’t miss any of our giveaways and winner announcements!!!
Contact me if you would like me to host your giveaway!
Visit
this page to see our complete contest rules
View our
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MY new toy!

I never get toys.
Well, I can’t say never – I did get the specific breed of cat I wanted, and I have a nice sewing machine, and a serger I have yet to understand how to use. Oh, and I did get a 4-wheeler when I was pregnant with Sam. But being pregnant, as I usually am, I haven’t been able to use it much.
Anyway, so we had to get this really large van in June because our Suburban’s transmission ate itself twice the week we were supposed to be moving across the country. Our family of almost 9 wouldn’t have fit in it anymore after January anyway so I now have a 12 passenger Chevy Express family van. My husband has a Harley which pays for itself in gas because it is his daily driver. But, whenever I go anywhere, kids or no kids, I have to take this massive bus. It is a nice, comfortable, 2008 van and I give thanks to God for it but taking it for a quick trip to CVS or Walmart is a bit overkill. Plus, it is a guzzler.
So, I told my husband that if we could find a nice, smaller, older but reliable vehicle that wouldn’t totally break our budget I would like to get it to avoid driving Zena Warrior Van everywhere I go. He jumped right into looking for a vehicle for me. Actually, he started looking for a vehicle for himself that he could buy for me so he could have one but we got it because I wanted it. Make sense? That is actually the same way we got my 4-wheeler.
I let him do the searching while I sat back and watched, sticking my 2 cents in when it was needed. I wanted him to have fun with it – he loves buying things that make engine noises.

In the process of looking we discussed certain things. I have always wanted an older vehicle project for the kids. Something that ran well but had potential to be better. We decided that using an older vehicle as homeschooling curriculum would make us both feel better about the purchase. Ryan is very mechanically inclined; working on his 2500 acre family farm, then as nuclear mechanic in the Navy has given him a fairly decent knowledge of how to make things go and he is an excellent teacher.

After much consideration we decided to go ahead and buy this:

This is my 1980 Jeep CJ5. It runs like a champ and has potential for absolute greatness. Ryan and I have wanted a CJ for about 6 years but we knew that a toy like that wasn’t in our financial best interest. Plus, CJs aren’t all that easy to come by, as we found out, and when you do find one it is an expensive piece. We got this one for a steal! It was half the price of the other CJs out there and it is in better mechanical condition than most of them. The body is in pretty good shape but we have to get a soft top for it – the original top was damaged.

I love it! Now, if only the rain would stop so I can take it out and learn how to drive it. It has been too many years since I have driven a stick shift.

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