October 29, 2009

Kiss your Tax Payor Advocate Today


We just have to share that after one WHOLE year of corresponding back and forth, back and forth, back and forth with the I.R.S. ~ we have finally reached a resolution in our tax audit. They have reversed all the charges. YIPEE! YAHOO! and HIP HIP HOORAY!

Praise the Lord with me and Thank Him for His Wonderful Mercies! Thank you also for all of your prayers for us.

October 28, 2009

Nevertheless


Have you read any good stories lately?


I've got one for you - full of beauty, drama, and suspense. It starts off in Psalm 104. Everything is glorious. The Lord is creating the world. He is walking on the wings of the wind and making the clouds His chariot. All of creation - even the great leviathan playing in the ocean - waits upon the Lord for their food. By Psalm 105, the drama begins. There is a covenant made. The Lord proves Himself through his great and mighty deeds. But what's this? Oh NO! The story continues in Psalm 106. His people, the ones he has cared for and proven himself to...They forget His mercies. They forget His works. They forget God their saviour. Soon they are lusting, then complaining and then turning to other gods. Oh, I cringe to read about their murders and whoring with their own inventions - all the blood, all the filth. Of course, His wrath was kindled against his people...NEVERTHELESS...

Nevertheless he regarded their affliction, when he heard their cry; and he remembered for them his covenant, and repented according to the multitude of his mercies. Psalm 106:44-45

Notice they forgot...he remembered. He repented; he turned from his wrath when he heard their cry. Because they were worthy? No. Because of the multitude of his mercies.

Take time out to remember the mercies of God in your life.

~oOo~

~God's Mercies in my life~


My marriage ~ what a rocky path we have travelled, but God has kept us together and day by day, year by year, we grow as people and in understanding of God's goodness to us.


My three healthy children ~ Sometimes I feel like such a failure with these littles. In spite of all my failings, God allows me to be their mother, and not only that, but to spend every single day with them home schooling.


Healing ~ through fevers, seizures, broken bones, surgeries.


Providing for all our needs ~ it has been one year of 'unemployment' so far ~ yet we still eat every day, the bills get paid, and we even have lots to share with others...God is MERCIFUL.


Truth ~ there is so much stuff out there to listen to and worry about...yet God, in His Mercy, has given us his Word - we don't ever have to be confused. He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what [is] in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him. Daniel 2:22


A Church Family!


Safety


Peace that passes all understanding ~ even in the face of rejection, criticism, fearful situations...such peace.
Friends that love the Lord and Truth
Salvation ~ for the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord


Remember his marvellous works that he hath done; his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth; Psalm 105:5

October 26, 2009

Monday Morning Daybook

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FOR TODAY

October 26, 2009


Outside my window...

Pouring rain - I have been listening to it off and on all night.


I am thinking...


of the verse

But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, [even] those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. Heb 5:14

Isn't this interesting? Seems we should be exercising our sense of taste, smell, hearing, touch and sight to discern good and evil...just thinking on this.
I am thankful for...

The beginning of a new week. I am always 'energized' on Mondays. It seems like it is a chance to start fresh.

From the kitchen...

Oatmeal for breakfast ~ again. I will put some walnuts, honey and raisins in it. Leftover chicken soup for lunch...For dinner? Help me somebody - I have no idea.

I am wearing...

A black dress with white polka dots, black tights and black clogs.

I am creating...

Candy topiaries for a little "candy land" I am going to have at the shop on our Christmas tree Farm.

I am going...

to stay home today ~ don't want to go anywhere in this pouring rain.

I am reading...

The Gospels and a little bit of Romans

From the school room...

We will watch the movie "Winged Migration." It is a French film with subtitles that follows all kinds of birds on their migrations. The music and the birds are beautiful. There are a few evolutionary comments in it that we ignore or point out as error - but, all in all, a beautiful watch. We will map some of the migrations on our World Map.

I am hoping...

For so many things...things that only God can do...so for now I will just hope that I can figure out what's for dinner.

I am hearing...

the girls in the shower and Noah playing with his soldiers and sword...I already gave him a shower.

Around the house...

all the lamps are on. Even though it is well into the morning, the grey day makes it dark in here.

One of my favorite things...

Going to church. Psalm 122:1 "I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the house of the Lord."

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:

Meet with a good friend who has decided to pull her grandson out of Public school - YEAH! I hope to help her get started on home schooling.

A picture thought I am sharing:


I can dream, can't I?

October 24, 2009

New Mercies every day

Greg Gawlowski - allposters.com

Today is an absolutely BEAUTIFUL day! It has been gray and wet for a while now, but today the sun is shining. The bright rays shining through the browning yellow leaves is so nice to look at. The apartment is warm and cozy and spic-n-span. The children are working at the tree-farm with Mr. Santos. I stayed home, cleaned the house and piddled here and there enjoying the quiet.


~oOo~


The phone rings and startles me.


"Hello."


"Hi Mom. It's me, Sophia."


"Hi babe."


"I miss you."


I smile. "I miss you too."


"We're coming home for lunch."


"K. See ya soon."


Like a tornado gust - three wild and happy children come traipsing through the house. I yell, "Hey! I just vacuumed! Keep your boots outside!" The husband lumbers in a few minutes later. He had to stop off at the shed first. "Well. Where's lunch?" he asks.


I quickly set the table with our blue and white china then served thick slices of fried ham and warm soupy beans topped with feta cheese and red onions. Mr. Santos had his customary jalapeno and corn tortillas. In the middle of the table was a big bowl of hot french fries for everyone to dig into. I seasoned the fries with garlic, cayenne and parmesan cheese. We enjoyed them dipped in ranch dressing.
We washed it all down with Kombucha and hot coffee.
Sophia started a conversation on how she is giving up her endless finger signing for snapping. Naomi said, "What if I become blind, Sophia? Who will talk to me in sign language?" She got mad when we all laughed, poor thing.
Mr. Santos took one last swig of his coffee, poured the rest in his to-go cup and shoved his chair from the table. "Let's Go! We have to paint that wreath-making machine!" Everyone ran to the door, cramming on their boots as fast as they could, and yelling with mouths still full of fries, "Bye, Mom! We love you mom!"

So, here I sit. The table full of empty dirty dishes, the entry way littered with mud and grass, the house very still and quiet. What a BEAUTIFUL day!


~oOo~


This is a mini-advertisement. I wish I could get paid for it, like I do with Lifeforce - even so - I just HAVE to tell you about the Kombucha we drink. First of all, it is a luxury. We only buy it when it is on sale. It is usually almost $4.00 a bottle - RiDICulous! - but recently, they were on sale for $1.50 a bottle, so I bought a bunch. Someday, I will make my own, but for now we enjoy Synergy. It comes in all kinds of flavors. My children and I usually split one bottle. We each get a full tea cup's worth. It's great for digestion and boosting your immune system. Kombucha is an acquired taste - a little like vinegar - but the Synergy brand adds fruit juice to it to make it more palatable. During the Fall and Winter, it is harder to eat raw - maybe this will help you.

October 23, 2009

Just say No - to Halloween


In the past, we have been wishy washy over celebrating Halloween. Sometimes we have passed out tracts with candy...other times we turned out all the lights and played games in the back room. Sometimes we dressed up and went to 'harvest' parties. Other times we stayed home doing nothing.


I'm done with being wishy washy. We will not and we will never celebrate Halloween. Fine. Said it and done.


But why? Well, here is our scriptural reason why...


Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will dwell in them And walk among [them]. I will be their God, And they shall be My people." Therefore "Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you." "I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the LORD Almighty." 2 Cor 6:14-18
Halloween is obviously a pagan holiday...it has nothing to do with honoring the Lord God.


When two animals are yoked together they are working towards a common goal. The world (unbelievers) celebrates Halloween with fear, and ghoulish goals in mind. What does that have to do with me or anything I want for my children? Plus, trick-or-treating goes against everything I try to teach my children. It is "Love your neighbor as yourself" not "Give me candy or get some tricks." The Bible teaches 'you don't work, you don't eat.' Going door to door asking for candy just doesn't line up.


Anyways, just our own personal views.


Lately, we have felt the sting of rejection and criticism when it comes to standing up for Biblical truth. How appropriate it would be to focus on the Reformation this year. It was on October 31st, 1517 that Martin Luther nailed his thesis on the wall of the church beginning the Protestant Reformation.
Seems there is a growing trend within home school families to celebrate the Reformation instead of Halloween - since it is on the same day. Some families really get into it with costumes and games and events...for us, we'll probably do some Thanksgiving crafts and enjoy some popcorn. Mr. Santos and I will likely watch the movie "Luther". I have never seen it, but heard it is a good representation of the Reformation.
It's not so much that we are followers of Martin Luther or John Calvin - we are followers of Jesus Christ. It's the standing for truth in the face of adversity, which I believe the Reformation was about, that we want to focus on. Much better to focus on that, than to try to cover up witches and goblins with harvest parties and cutesy costumes.

This past Sunday, we were talking about how blessed we are to be taught from the scriptures every week - with nothing deleted and nothing added. I mentioned to the children that there may come a day when they have to choose between the truth of God's Word or prison - maybe even death.

What would we choose?
THREE times the Bible asks us this question:

For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Matthew 16:26

October 22, 2009


picture from allposters.com



The house is full of autumn smells today. Oatmeal-raisin cookies are cooling on the counter. A big pot of apples are bubbling on the stove; cinnamon and cloves filling up this warm and tiny apartment.

It seems like discouragement and lies are around every corner - People who want to make you feel like a villain for standing up for truth or righteousness. They attack you with their logic and their criticisms.

So, what do you do? Well, what I do is go to my room and cry. Then I pray. Then I read my Bible. And, finally, I do something fun for myself or someone else.

Today, I cancelled school - except chores of course - The children are playing mayor and cowboys. I am making yummy things to eat and to share with the neighbors. One neighbor just had a baby girl born to them and another is an older couple who are house bound. Sophia got on the phone and called a bunch of people on our list - the grandparents, a friend from church, her cousin. They were happy to hear from "us".
The discouragement fizzled. The heaviness of the criticism faltered and failed. And now, as I type this out, my apron smudged with cinnamon and flour, I am at peace and thankful for the Grace of God and His kindness to me.

Are you discouraged? Are you struggling under the weight of criticism?

Here are some handy tips:
~ Make sure you have the tools you need to get things done. I am so thankful for the mixer my sister gave me. If it wasn't so easy to just dump the ingredients in the bowl and let the mixer do the work, I probably wouldn't have made cookies...Cookies make EVERYone happy - it might not make them be nice to you, but it will make them happy. The tools you need might be a working vacuum or some knitting needles.

~ Make a list. Write down some fun things you can do for yourself. Then DO the ones that don't cost money and don't take you away from the home. (curl your hair, knit a sweater, make a card, etc.)

~ Don't dwell on your feelings. Just because you feel bad, doesn't mean life is bad. Just because you feel alone, doesn't mean you are alone. Take every thought captive to the Lord.

~ Memorize and apply God's Word to your life. A verse I just learned this week that I am memorizing is:

For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee.

Isaiah 54:10


~ Be thankful.

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Well, I better pack up some cookies. I also put some extra batter in the freezer for future 'emergencies'. The applesauce is warm and chunky. I think we may even splurge and top it off with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Yummy.

October 20, 2009

Imagination



Marian called it Roxaboxen. (She always knew the name of everything.) There across the road, it looked like any rocky hill -- nothing but sand and rocks, some old wooden boxes, cactus and greasewood and thorny ocotillo -- but it was a special place: a sparkling world of jeweled homes, streets edged with the whitest stones, and two ice cream shops. (from Roxaboxen)


Below is a little video I took of Naomi Baloney and her big giant mess. It looked like any mess -- pillows and blankets and books tossed all about --but it was a special boat: full of every modern convenience, floating, and useful for hauling in the days catch of fish. I don't like my voice in the video. I think I sound condescending to my baby girl, but she was so cute and excited about her mess that I decided to post it anyway.



Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try! ~Dr. Seuss


October 13, 2009

F.Y.I. and Fall Sunshine

Posts will be few and far between this quarter. Mr. Santos has some intense classes that get priority use of the computer. Just wanted to give you a heads up. BUT, I've got lots of posts saved in a little journal for posting soon - so don't leave us. We'll be around.

Sincerely,

Mrs. Santos

Also, I was recently interviewed by the blog Daily Blessings - you can check it out if you are interested.

Here are some pictures of some recent Fall days. The rain has held off for a while. You can't imagine how nice it is if you are not from the Pacific Northwest. Days and days of sunshine - it has been so wonderful.


At the pumpkin patch


The Mr. and me.
This little pumpkin GROWS this way. Doesn't it look like an acorn? We wonder if it tastes like an acorn too.


Another visit to the pumpkin patch - this time with good friends.



Just kicking back being best friends. No matter how much they bicker and fight, I always tell them "Your sister (your brother) is your best friend." Sometimes they act like it is true! :)

October 03, 2009

Fungus Among Us




Who took a bite?


All pictures taken by Sophia (age 8)

October 01, 2009


Brave and Courageous. That's what you have to be attend a College English class every week, stand up in front of a room of strangers then read OUTLOUD your own essays for criticism. AND English is his second language...Oooh and Aaah over this Brave man with me.

My will or His will?

SO! About those big changes around here...wanna know what they are?

Somewhere this past summer I lost my way. I was simply walking down the Trail of Life- hacking away at this and that with my machete, admiring the views at every clearing, and logging my discoveries for future reference. I knew what I was doing and I was confident in where I was going. Ha, I was even sure that people were following me. Then, one day I realized I was lost.

When did I take a wrong turn? How did I get here? This is not where I am supposed to be! It dawned on me that it had been several days that I had been lost - weeks?


~oOo~

When Mr. Santos and I got married, we didn't know each other. It might as well have been an arranged marriage - and it was. GOD arranged it. The Bible says that man makes his plans but God directs his steps.

We thought we were in charge when we looked across the crowded fishery making googly eyes at each other. He took my hand on our second date and we decided - no proposal, just two prideful people deciding - that we would get married. It was only because of "the details" that it took so long. We met February 15 and got married April 4th of the same year.

Mr. Santos and I could not be more different - and yet we are exactly the same in that we are stubborn, prideful and confident in our own mind. These are not attractive traits. They can be useful sometimes...but they are not pretty...and they don't make for a happy family at all.

I don't need to tell you that the last 12 years of our life have been an adventure.

I lamented and complained to a friend...

(and here's a side - thank God for friends who will call you and ask you how you are and listen to you ramble on and on and still be willing to call again.)

I had so many things to do and take care of. I was dealing with our Tax Audit, doing research for an investment Mr. Santos was interested in, trying to home school my children, help some friends with their health goals, and a "thousand" other things - not to mention keeping my house up. I was stressed out and I was sure that it was all MR. SANTOS' FAULT. He is very spontaneous. He has an idea and he does it. He is also commanding. I am his wife and his expectation is that where he goes, I will follow...NOT the other way around.

I had my little daily agendas - BUT he had his - and lately they didn't line up.

It was in the middle of my complaining that I finally heard what was in my heart.

I said to my friend, "[Mr. Santos] can't expect me to be flexible EVERY day...I need structure. I need to know what is happening every day so that I can plan."

This sounds reasonable enough - but it is not Biblical. My life is not my own. I have been bought with a price and if God would have for me that I need to be flexible every day - then so be it.

"Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth." Colossians 3:2

Somewhere I had taken a turn to follow after my own agenda...my own plans. I fought everything that kept me from my plans. The most obvious thing to fight was Mr. Santos with all of his "ways."

"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, (that would include husbands) but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." Ephesians 6:12 parentheses mine.

If we really believe God's Word, then it doesn't matter what comes our way - or gets in our way. God is in control. I am always telling my kids "Just say, yes mama." Will I just say "Yes Lord?"

"For you are dead and your life is hid with Christ." Colossians 3:3

"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20

Do I believe this? How do I show this in my everyday life?

~oOo~

The Changes:

Instead of frowning so much at my children - I will stop them throughout the day and Beam a big smile in their face. "Have I smiled at you today?" I will ask. "Have I told you how much I like it when you...(fill in the blank?) No? Well then let me tell you.!"

Instead of bristling at criticism or commands from Mr. Santos - I will reply "I would love to be a help to you." or "Thank you for showing me where I can improve."

Instead of fussing over all the things to do - I will pray to the Lord for His agenda for the day. Even if all I do is twist and turn all day with 'being flexible', I will do it happily and for His Glory, amazed to be living such an adventurous life.

This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it.

Boast not thyself of tomorrow, for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth. Proverbs 27:1

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