November 30, 2011

So does this mean I'm a Superhero?

When I was little I used to watch a show about these superheroes that were twins.  I liked the show because I was a twin.  The superheroes would fight the "bad guys" using their super powers.  In order to activate them they would say, "Wonder Twins Activate!" as they touched each other fist to fist.  One twin took on the form of water and the other twin took on the form of an animal.  Oh my goodness.  My twin sister and I would play at this for hours, pretending that we had super powers too.

That was a long time ago.It was a verse in the Bible that reminded me of that show.  John 1:12.  What a wonderful verse about the Power that God has given us.  Read it.

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.

How amazing! God has given us POWER. Power for what? To become an animal? No. To become the sons (and daughters) of God. So much better.

Do you know what this means?  I was so excited as I thought about it.

A son is an heir.  What belongs to the Father, belongs to the son.  The privileges, the stuff, the history, the future of the Father will be for the son.

A son has access to the Father.  Nothing stands in the way.  They can come and go freely in their father's house.  They can ask anything of the Father because of the closeness of that relationship.

A son looks like his father.  "Oh, you must be so-and-so's son, you look just like him!"  The more we obey the Father and do as He does, the more we begin to look like him.

I grew up without a father.  This fact has kept me from enjoying the great freedom and true Happiness in being his child.  I know there are some who hear the word "Father" and instantly feel fear, or hate, or disappointment.  But this Father, God the Father, is far above any human experience, even if you had the best dad in the world.  Getting to know him, really seeking him and knowing him personally (not just ABOUT him) has opened up a wonderful newness of life for me.

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13

I am so thankful that I have this power.  Where does the power come from?  It does not come from me.  I don't decide to become a child of God.  God gives me the power to become a child of his.  It is a gift.  It is Him who decides.

and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. 1 Cr 12:3


It is written...

which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. John 1:13

He gave this power to them that believe on his name.

For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have eternal life.  John 3:16


Have you noticed that the superhero never dies? 

November 28, 2011

Happy Birthday to ME!

The Lord has been so good to me! My cup runneth over! Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.

Today is my birthday.  I am so thankful to have another year with my children, with my husband, with good health.  God has met all of my needs.  It has been a difficult year with lots of learning.  The most fruitful lessons come from failing or falling.  But, I have been able to get up and the Lord, himself, has helped to dust me off and send me on again to learn and grow.

I rejoice in my weakness because HIS Strength is made perfect in weakness.

Yesterday, Mr. Santos took me and the children along with some friends from out of town out for lunch.  It was very generous of him and I had a wonderful time visiting.  

Then today...look at what fun I had!



Isn't this the most beautiful cake you have ever seen?  Sophia had her first cooking class today with a friend,  and this was their project. Gorgeous!



My favorite red roses delivered personally by some good friends.


A yummy meal from another wonderful family.  Beef enchiladas, a fresh salad and homemade ranch dressing.


My favorite people to eat dinner with!


The cake was DEEElicious.  Chocolate cake with crunchy peanut butter filling.  Good Job, Sophia!

Overflowing with love notes from my children.

That is a "Golden" Ticket...good for a whole day with my lovey doing whatever fun thing I choose.  
Isn't that a sweet gift?

Mr. Santos helped the children to get me this CD.  I love it! and listen to it while I clean the house.
Here is one of my favorite tracks.


My piano top (and my facebook page) full of birthday greetings.


A hat my Naomi crocheted with the help of a friend.  In my favorite color too!  I can't wait to wear it.

November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Daybook




(click on the icon for more daybook fun)


FOR TODAY

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Outside our window...

A pesky squirrel.  He keeps stealing our chicken's oats.

I am thankful...


Very thankful.  That I am alive. That I learn something new every day.


I am learning...

That God truly is involved in the details of my life.  Nothing is by chance, there is a purpose for everything.  It is always always for my good...no matter how evil it may seem.  I can trust My Great God.

From the kitchen...

Well, for tomorrow, I will contribute to the feast my ham and cheese bread, garlic mashed potatoes,  a fruit platter, and a pumpkin cake.  I don't do pies.  Crusts are too intimidating.

I am wearing...



A black sweater with a grey/black plaid skirt.  Silver hoop earrings.

I am creating...


Table decorations for our church Soup Supper on Sunday.  It has to be a Fall/Scripture Theme.

So here is a bit of the inspiration...


 



We are putting "Thankful" Scripture verses on the back of numbered construction-paper-leaves for a game.  If you can find the reference for each verse then you can win a loaf of my pumpkin bread. Wanna play?

I am going...

To the Department of Licensing today.  My birthday is next week and so I have to renew my driver's license. Must take an eye exam and a new picture.  I wish I could just keep the same picture.  But, no...

I am remembering...

It will be my twin sister's birthday too.  Better send out her card today if she will get it in time.

I am reading...

Ivanhoe with the children. They love it.  We just finished Bud and Me.  That is a wonderful and true story and really opens up the history of the early 1900's.

I am hoping...


That I can get  some paperwork done today.  I don't want to deal with it this weekend.  Today is the DAY!  Pray for me.  I hate paperwork.


Around the house...

The lamps are on for another grey day.  Thank you Lord for lamps! and electricity!

One of my favorite things...

The smell of simmering hot apple cider

A few plans for the week:

Enjoy a Thanksgiving Feast.  Really.  I saw the menu and it is going to be a FEAST.  I almost feel guilty about it, knowing of all the starving people in the world.  But, we have been invited and so we will gladly accept and be thankful.  We will also open the farm this weekend for Christmas tree sales.  This will be our third year.

I'm not looking forward to it...the cold and my own agenda make the Tree Farm seem like a burden.

But, this is not MY life anymore, but Christ who lives in me.  He wants me at the farm and so that is where I will go.  In the end, I know that everyday I will learn something new and meet new people.  I pray that our family can be a light to all who visit us there.

Maybe I should make some cookies to pass out?  Yeah, that sounds nice.

Here is a picture thought to share...


God bless you! Thank you, Lord, for your kindness to me!

November 21, 2011

Renewed Parenting



What things did you grow up hearing day in and day out from your parents?  Do you say the same things to your own children now?

Does it sound anything like: "You kids are always...(fighting, arguing, clumsy), You girls are so...(mean, selfish, lazy)?"

Criticism is such an easy habit to form.  It is meant to control others.  I hate it in myself, this tendency to criticize.  What does it really accomplish anyway?  It just puts me on top of whoever I am looking down upon - the children, my husband, the neighbors, whoever!  A high and lofty throne of ugly pride.

But when it comes to parenting, my criticism may be right on.  The children really ARE being selfish. Now what?  How do I train them so that instead of cutting  someone down I am building them up?

I thank my God, that He who began a good work in me is faithful to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus. (Phil 1:6)

He doesn't give up on me.  He doesn't give up on changing me to be more conformed to the image of His Son.

The strategy at the Times so far has been parents vs.children, or mommy vs. daughter, or daddy vs. son, or sisters vs. brothers .

CONFLICT. Contention. Fighting.

Do you know what the definition of Contention is?


1. The act or an instance of striving in controversy or debate. 
2. A striving to win in competition; rivalry: The teams met in fierce contention for first place.


This is a perfect picture of my family.  Not all the time.  Just during the "your way or my way" times.

I have had to adopt new phrases to retrain myself, and in turn, train my children to submit to authority and to one another.

~oOo~
One of my new phrases?

We are on the same team! 

I love saying it. I love living it.  I love learning all about it.  What a breakthrough for me!  Thank you, Lord.

We are on the same team!  The Bible says that "If God is for you? Who can be against you?"

How do I apply it? The children begin fussing about their chores.  I say, "We are on the same team!"  We keep our house clean because we are thankful for what God has provided.  We want our home to be a welcoming place.  We want to glorify God in all that we do.  That is the Santos way.  Our way.  Let's work together to accomplish our goal.

Another new parenting phrase?

You are in charge of your body.  Your body is not in charge of you.

You decided to use your hands to throw rocks. Nobody forced you to stomp your feet. That is your face. If you want, you can make it smile or frown. Which do you choose?

This has been a great and handy phrase for those times when a child wants to blame another (even the mother) for all the angst and sin.

Perhaps this is all second nature to you.  Not for me.  I am learning every day how to be a mom and how to be a wife.

Little by little, precept upon precept, line upon line. (Isaiah 28:10)

November 16, 2011

Wake up. Time for School!

a typical Monday through Friday at the Santos Times

Wake up.  

I know this may seem lazy to some, but we wake up when we wake up. Sometimes this is early, sometimes it is late.  We use the alarm clock when we have appointments or on music lesson days.  Also, Biscuit, our pet chicken, will wake us with her clucking if we are too late.  We wake up earlier on Saturdays and Sundays because those are the days I make a big breakfast for the family. But we don't do school on the weekends so forget that. I think this is one of the great privileges of homeschooling.  I never envy the mother's who must drop their children off at school early in the morning or the poor children shivering at the bus stop eating a pop tart.

Get ready and Clean the house.

The rule is to be clean and neat and ready for the day before we eat breakfast.  This includes a spotless house, made beds and brushed hair and teeth.

Eat Breakfast.

Our usual weekday breakfast is oatmeal with cinnamon and chopped apples (no sugar) and tea.  Boring, I know. Occasionally there will be toast or another fruit.

Bible Time.

Currently, we are reading through the books of Samuel.  It has been exciting! 

Memory Verses.

We review the Bible verses we know by memory.  We sing the ones we have set to music and we may memorize another or put another verse to a tune.  

Math.

Everyone does at least 4 pages in their books.  We use Horizon Math and LOVE it. This is a high priority for Mr. Santos, that his children be proficient in mathematics.  We rarely skip this lesson.

Copy Work

What the children copy varies.  Sometimes, the children will do their grammar assignments or some mind bender puzzles.  Other times they will copy a passage of scripture or a poem.  They may be required to write out lists: thankful lists, prayer lists, ways to serve lists. The point of the lesson is perfect penmanship.  But I think other skills are gained along the way.  

Laps

That says Laps not naps. LOL.  Once upon a time we took naps.  On a nice day (no rain or snow) the children do 10 laps around the property on their bike or  by running.  This is mostly for Noah, full of that boy energy, but the girls sometimes enjoy this activity too.

Lunch.

Leftovers.  Chopped veggies and cheese.  Sandwiches.  Treats.  


Clean Kitchen, Do Laundry, Practice Violin

We usually do these chores to a timer.  Our Santos work motto is "Fast and Thorough." 

SO...By now it is noon, or one or two or three in the afternoon...depending on when we woke up and when we finished our chores.  Finally, the children are free.  It is time for...

Fun!!!

Not that school wasn't fun...but this time the children have a choice in what they can do.  These are the typical activities you will find them doing.

Play spy, store, library, cowboys and Indians, etc.
Read books.
Crochet.
Draw or color while listening to History Cd's. (Diana Waring) 
Bake
Take pictures
Go to the library
Write letters, stories, poems
Listen to Mom read aloud
Watch a science video
Swing on the swings
Play in the fort in the woods
Visit the neighbors horses
Play with friends
Do "experiments"
Puzzles

(Notice History, Science, Art, Creative writing and Reading are on the fun list)

What am I doing during "fun" time?  

Helping to settle disputes
Fixing Dinner
Reading /Writing Blogs
Talking on the phone
Reading to the children
Organizing
Ironing
Answering all the "MOOOOOOM!" summons.
Drinking Tea and sitting around with my feet up.

Throw the entire schedule out the window when it is a "Visiting Day" or we are at the farm.  

We love home schooling!

 Fig Leaf tea.  We recently discovered the wonderful health benefits of this sweet tea.  
I sleep like a baby when I drink it.  Now, I not only want an avocado tree, a rainier cherry tree, a fuji apple tree, but NOW I want a fig tree.  Trees, trees, trees.  Thank you, Lord.
More pumpkins for processing! Will I ever get done?  Planning on making several jars of Pumpkin Butter before the week is out.  Mr. Santos enjoys eating it in cooked chunks with some cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar and heavy cream poured over the top.  Well, now who wouldn't?

 The view of the path from our house to the road.  This is what it looked like yesterday when the children took the trash out to the curb for pick-up.  It was sunny, but COLD!


Little Naomi is crocheting a sweater for her bear, ON her bear.  Poor dear, I wish that I could teach her these skills.  I taught her how to make a chain, but that didn't satisfy her.  She made a bonnet recently. How? I don't know.  But it is adorable. I like to see her attempt new things even if she doesn't "know" how.  Sophia is like this with Music and Noah is like this with wood carving.  More blessings of home schooling!

November 11, 2011

Tea Time

I am a day late for Tea Time in Bangkok with Ruth, but won't you join me anyway?


I am having...

A cup of warm jasmine tea with a chicken sandwich.

~Recipe~
cooked chicken, chopped
red pepper, chopped
peperoncini, finely chopped
heaping spoonful of crumbled feta cheese
mayo and mustard to blend together
salt and pepper
spread on a soft, nutty wheat bread

Take a bite and say Yummmm!

 
I am feeling...

Glad to be home.  Today is Veteran's Day.  Thank you Veterans for your sacrifice for our country. Thank you Lord for safety, and peace, and prosperity.  We are truly blessed.  Mr. Santos has the day off from work for the holiday.

We spent the afternoon doing one of his favorite things...visiting the Sportsman's store.  Guns, knives, ammunition, survival gear.  A man's haven.


On my mind...

Time is short.  Thankful for every peaceful moment we enjoy.

A Quote to share...

"If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our dead bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms wrapped about their knees, imploring them to stay. If Hell must be filled, let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go unwarned and unprayed for." 
~ Charles H. Spurgeon 


Please join my friend Ruth and others here for Tea Time

November 09, 2011

Wondering...

Wondering Wednesday!

I wonder...

Why hot dogs are so yummy.  Should I eat another?

I wonder...

How tall Noah will be when he grows up

I wonder...

If we will have snow this winter

I wonder...

If I will ever get all these pumpkins processed

I wonder...

If my family will get tired of eating pumpkin bread

I wonder...

What happened to that sweet lady I met at the pumpkin patch.  She is on my mind so much lately, that I have been praying for her.  Do you think it is strange to pray so regularly for someone you don't even know?

I wonder...

How I found grace in the sight of God.  Why me?  Why open my eyes to see His goodness? Thank you Lord.

I wonder...

What my sisters are doing today. What are they cooking for dinner? What are they wearing? I wonder if they are wondering about me too.

I wonder...

About pride.  Pride comes before a fall. Maybe it comes before a fall because it is so blinding.  We become blind to our own faults that we easily fall into sin and mischief.

I wonder...

If we should have tacos tonight or if I should try making that pumpkin soup recipe I found. Leaning heavily towards tacos...but I have all the ingredients for the soup.

I wonder...

What you are wondering about?

November 07, 2011

Raindrops on roses

We had a lovely time dusting off our copy of The Sound of Music last night.  It was fun to sing along with all the Von Trapp children and take turns shouting out "Oh, this is my favorite part!"

Click below to hear my favorite song

It truly does lift the spirits to think of all your favorite things, even if they are not in your possession at the moment.  What are some of your favorite things?  Mine are:

Using warm towels out of the dryer on a cold day.

The smell of clean laundry

Roast chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy

Sunshine

Flickering flames from a fireplace

Laughing

Flowers

Chubby toddlers

God's Word

The FedEx or UPS truck coming down the drive

Who are your favorite people?  Do you ever give thanks for other believers? Just like a family, fellow believers can get upset with one another.  We fight and bicker and disagree.  This ought not to be. 

In fact, the other day the Santos children were doing just that. I was at my wits end.  It seemed like nothing I said or threatened would induce them to choose peace.  Finally, I made them get out their copy work and copy out the verses in the Bible that tell us how to handle conflict.

What a blessing it was for me.

Look at this one:

Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. 1Peter 1:9

God wants to bless us.  When we return a blessing, especially to those who have wronged us, we, ourselves, inherit a blessing.  I have enjoyed meditating upon this.  Like me, it is possible that difficult people are always going to be in your life.  Or, maybe they are just different.  Perhaps they do things in a way that irritates you.  


Instead of trying to change them into YOUR idea of who they should be, God wants to change You and Me into HIS image.  As we obey him, we become more like him.  Will we only obey God when we want to or when it is easy?  If so, then we cannot lie to ourselves and believe that God is in control of our life.  We are on the throne of our life when we obey only on the sunshiny convenient days.


In nearly all the letters of the New Testament, the writer gives thanks for the recipients.

thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Phil 1:3

Have you given thanks for the people in your life? Especially the believers?  

November 03, 2011

Soon and very soon

Anticipation.

It's coming.  He's coming.

Are we ready? How do we get ready?

We are well into Autumn now.  It is COLD outside. Most of the geese are gone.  Knowing that winter was coming, they began migrating south a few weeks ago.

A mother goose guarding her nest in the spring.

The future generation.

 google
google

Do you know why geese migrate in a V formation? This formation reduces the air resistance which means it is easier to fly.  The lead bird takes on most of the resistance, but when he gets tired he just slips back into formation and another goose takes the lead.  In this way, the geese can fly 70 percent farther than they would be able to do flying solo. 70 PERCENT!  That is a big difference.  Who would want to fly solo?

The geese NEED each other.  When a goose is wounded and falls behind, two other geese trail behind with him to help him on his way.  They have a goal to get to their destination and they help one another to get there.  When the lagging geese see another formation they join up.  There are no exclusive goose groups.  Geese are geese and each one helps to make the flight easier. The more geese flying together, the lesser the resistance and the easier the flying.

What a wonderful picture for us as believers in Christ.  We see the Day approaching.  The signs are all around us.

Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; for he is faithful that promised;  And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:  Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25

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