Search This Blog

Saturday, December 31, 2011

need to restart my computer, these are my open tabs…


best heated chicken waterer -


rowdy kitten looks back at 2011 and embraces 2012  -


iced tangerine mint green tea -


20 questions to clear your clutter -


minimalist travel, what is is the suitcase? -


Benjamin’s first Messianic Jewish Christmas Day -


faith returns home blog -


primal vanilla pancakes -


the food lovers primal palets -


top 11 journaling articles in 2011 -


do you like your children?  do they know it?  -


refelction questions for 2011 -


low magnesium levels  -


homemade probiotic deoderant -


50 questions that can help free your mind  -


55 gentle ways to take care of yourself when you’re busy busy busy -

seen on FB via Neil Cole

Remember: We're called to love people, not to fix them. Let God handle the change of heart.

Do you LIKE your children? Do they know it?

Wow!  This article has really touched my heart today.  Do you like your children?  Do they know it? -

I am going to be pondering over this one for a bit.


from the comment section of the above article Kim wrote:

“I was convicted of this years ago, as a young mom, when I was going through an Elizabeth George study. She pointed out in Titus 2, that the older women are to teach the younger women to “love their husbands and children…”. Interestingly the word used for “love” in the text is not agape(the sacrificial type of love), it is phileo(the friendship kind of love or the liking kind of love). For moms, I think it is easy for us to agape our husbands and children. We sacrifice for them all the time, because it is just what we do. But to phileo them takes effort. It requires us to meet them where they are at and enjoy what they enjoy. For me this means that sometimes I need to put aside the things I am doing “for them” and just focus on being with them. Thanks again for the post!”

one soul is as good as another

"The great secret, Eliza, is not having bad manners or good manners or any other particular sort of manners, but having the same manner for all human souls: in short, behaving as if you were in Heaven, where there are no third-class carriages, and one soul is as good as another."
~George Bernard Shaw


(thanks Kerri for sending me this quote)

Friday, December 30, 2011

Remember the movie Wall-e?

The humans in the movie became uber lazy and had to be shuttled around on pods and they always had a screen in front of them for communication and entertainment.  Well my friends, we have begun to make this true…

1 it begins

Wall-E -

Thursday, December 29, 2011

What are you doing New Year’s Eve? (this video made me smile)


We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives... not looking for flaws, but for potential.
~ Ellen Goodman

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Year’s End…

Year's end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.
~ Hal Borland

Pictures of December 2011

Sunday, December 25, 2011

"The Son of God
became a man
to enable men
to become
the sons of God."
~ CS Lewis

Merry Christmas!


inner peace

Kindness is not to be mistaken for weakness, nor forgiveness for acceptance. It’s about knowing that hate and resentment are not on the pathway to inner peace. - via

Saturday, December 24, 2011

"My Grown Up Christmas List"


Do you remember me
I sat upon your knee
I wrote to you
With childhood fantasies

Well, I'm all grown up now
And still need help somehow
I'm not a child
But my heart still can dream

So here's my lifelong wish
My grown up Christmas list
Not for myself
But for a world in need

No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
and wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
And everyone would have a friend
And right would always win
And love would never end
This is my grown up Christmas list

As children we believed
The grandest sight to see
Was something lovely
Wrapped beneath our tree

Well heaven only knows
That packages and bows
Can never heal
A hurting human soul

No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
And everyone would have a friend
And right would always win
And love would never end
This is my grown up Christmas list

What is this illusion called the innocence of youth
Maybe only in our blind belief can we ever find the truth
(there'd be)

No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
And everyone would have a friend
And right would always win
And love would never end, oh
This is my grown up Christmas list
This is my only life long wish
This is my grown up Christmas list

A great reminder…

Alan reposted this message today.  I hope he doesn’t mind if I post it here because I am hoping that others will read it (if it was just a link they may not take the time to go and read it).



Jesus is the Reason

So, it’s Christmas Day [or Christmas Eve in this "Replay"].

If you believe that this is the most holy day of the year, then I have a request of you. Please remember that Jesus is the reason for you to live every day – he’s not simply a slogan to tack on to your life on Christmas Day. Celebrate this day as unto the Lord. Also, remember your brothers and sisters who choose to view all days as equally holy. They also celebrate all days as unto the Lord.

If you believe that Christmas Day should not be celebrated as the most holy day of the year, then I have a request of you. Please remember that Jesus is the reason for you to live every day – including today. You do not have an excuse to be unkind or ungenerous simply because you do not choose to celebrate Christmas Day. Celebrate this day, as all days, unto the Lord. Also, remember your brothers and sisters who choose to view this day as special. They also celebrate this day as unto the Lord.

Even the hearts and minds of unbelievers are turned toward God and spiritual things during this time. Look for opportunities to speak of God’s grace and truth to those who need to hear.

Live today for the glory of God. Love him and love those around you. Serve the people that God brings across your path. Serve them before they can serve you. Accept those who are different. Be patient with those who are less mature. Follow those who are more mature. Walk in Spirit. When you come together with your brothers and sisters in Christ, seek to build them up, to stir up love and good works within them, and to mature them in Christ Jesus.

Written by Alan Knox


Talent is something we already possess from birth. Skill is something which is acquired after hours and hours of constant efforts. Others are sleeping, you are working, others are eating you are still working. You require that kind of dedication to acquire skill. A skilled person is always ready to take any kind of challenges.

Friday, December 23, 2011

What do you see for 2012?

One of the new blogs I follow called “The Nonconformist Family” has written about the upcoming year – 2012.

It’s all over. Well, almost.

2011 is nearly history, and 2012 looms before us. Not going to lie, we’re all pretty damn stoked over here at the NCF, and here’s why:

A few weeks ago, Sarah and I were challenged by a friend to give 2012 a title – sort of like a chapter heading. We were both like ‘huh, that’s a cool idea’, and then we sort of forgot until later that day. Know what’s crazy? We both had the exact same chapter title in our minds. 2012? We’re deciding what it’s bringing us. We’re putting a theme on it – and the direction of is going to reflect that slight shift. 2012 IS the Year of Adventure - which sounds all romantic and stuff… which I like.


A chapter title for 2012 ---- hmmm, I will have to think on that for a while.  :)

two thoughts that were note worthy.

I listened to a podcast from the “God Journey” last night and wrote down two thoughts that were note worthy.

1.  An atheist once told Wayne that he thought that “We have a Father who loves us more than we know and if we could sort that out we would know how to treat each other.”  When Wayne asked the atheist why he wasn’t a believer then, his response was – “because I have never seen it lived out before.” 

Isn’t that a great line… “We have a Father that loves us more than we know…”  :)


2.  The bride is focused on the bride instead of the groom. 

I didn’t catch the full meaning of this at first but after I did it was quite profound, it says exactly what we see in todays Christian circles.

The bride = His church… the church is focused on the church instead of the groom (groom = Christ).

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Old friends go; new friends come: the life of a pilgrim on the Way

What Should a 4 Year Old Know?  By Alicia Bayer

a small portion from the article:

So here, I offer my list of what a four year old should know:
She should know that she is loved wholly and unconditionally, all of the time.
He should know that he is safe and he should know how to keep himself safe in public, with others, and in varied situations. He should know that he can trust his instincts about people and that he never has to do something that doesn't feel right, no matter who is asking. He should know his personal rights, and that his family will back them up.
She should know how to laugh, act silly, be goofy, and use her imagination. She should know that it is always okay to paint the sky orange and give cats six legs.
He should know his own interests and be encouraged to follow them. If he could care less about learning his numbers, his parents should realize he'll learn them accidentally, soon enough, and let him immerse himself instead in rocket ships, drawing, dinosaurs or playing in the mud.
She should know that the world is magical and that so is she. She should know that she's wonderful, brilliant, creative, compassionate and marvelous. She should know that it's just as worthy to spend the day outside making daisy chains, mud pies and fairy houses as it is to practice phonics. Scratch that -- way more worthy.
But more importantly, here is what parents need to know: 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The best gifts come from the heart.

Deep down inside we know that the best gifts don't come from catalogs or shopping malls. They don't come in brightly-colored packages or fancy envelopes and they're not hiding in a closet for you to open on Christmas morning. The best gifts come from the heart. They come when we look at each other, REALLY look at each other and say: "You mean alot to me" or " I'm so glad your part of my life". A gift like that will never go out of style or be forgotten or be returned for a different size. A gift like that can make someone's day, change someone's life or even save a life.
~Ron Atchinson

I am learning this…

As your faith is strengthened you will find that there is no longer the need to have a sense of control, that things will flow as they will, and that you will flow with them, to your great delight and benefit.
~ Emmanuel Teney

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

love this quote by Pearl S. Buck

seen on FB

The Learning Parent

No, it doesn't take a village. It takes an extended family. Think before you encourage your children to move far away. How many lonely old people you know whose children moved a thousand miles away for nothing more than a job? Do we really believe it's only the old people left behind who lose by the transaction?
"The lack of emotional security of our American young people is due, I believe, to their isolation from the larger family unit. No two people - no mere father and mother - as I have often said, are enough to provide emotional security for a child. He needs to feel himself one in a world of kinfolk, persons of variety in age and temperament, and yet allied to himself by an indissoluble bond which he cannot break if he could, for nature has welded him into it before he was born." ~Pearl S. Buck

good advice

30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself -


30 Things to Start Doing for Yourself -

Discussion starter (with my kids) -- Letting Feelings Rule Your Life

“Letting Feelings Rule Your Life

Sometimes I cook dinner when I don’t feel like it. I’d rather read blogs, but I do it anyway. When my girls were little, I read to them every single night before they went to bed, even if I was tired, because it was important to me. I didn’t always want to, but I did it. I rarely want to exercise, but I do it. I want to eat chocolate, but I don’t eat it all the time, because I know it’s not good for me.

That’s because I am not ruled by my feelings. Instead, I try to live my life based on what I know is best for me and for those around me in the long run, not what I feel like doing now. If I only ever did what I felt like doing, I would never get anything done, because I’m essentially a lazy person.

Why do we think that it is somehow morally superior to live our lives according to our feelings? All you’re doing is concentrating on being selfish, rather than doing what is right. Quite often following what we feel will lead us down the wrong path.

Besides, feelings often follow actions. When you choose to do something, to commit to something, to embrace something, your feelings follow. Feelings should not be the engine that moves the train; they should be the cars that come along after the decision is made.”

from here =

Skye Jethani: The Wrong War on Christmas

How Christians went from opposing over-consumption at Christmas to demanding it be done in Christ's name alone.  by Skye Jethani

materialism vs consumerism

Tyler shares what he has learned about materialism versus consumerism.  Interesting.

Titles in the church

1.  Matthew 23:1-12

2.  titles “divide people into groups of "who is qualified" and "who is not."”

3.  “Instead of titles, our goal should be service to one another. The greatest in God's kingdom seek no titles but instead serve the body and broader community.”

4.  “elder is simply a recognition of godly behavior and attitudes on the part of older men in the church”

5. “Christ permits no titles. They give no benefit and only bring harm to his church.  Instead, Jesus is looking for servants. Let's be that.”

all above quotes from Pilgrim’s Progress at

We are ekklesia (church) when we are gathered together with other brothers and sisters in Christ.

Alan Knox writes:

“God’s ekklesia (God’s church) is an assembly of people who belong to him – that is, a gathering of people who are disciples of Jesus Christ.”

and he asks the question:

What would happen – what difference would it make – if we truly lived and acted as if God’s people gathered together was ekklesia (church)?

from the comment section:

Scott Eaton says:

To answer your question Alan I think we would see those gatherings as opportunities for Christ to be manifest and God’s people to be built up. Whether praying or laughing, studying Scripture or eating together – they would be holy moments.




We are ekklesia (church) when we are gathered together with other brothers and sisters in Christ. ~Alan Knox

Monday, December 19, 2011

I want to remember to go back and read this article when I have time

The Menorah
- The Lamp of God -
What Christians Should Know About It
by: Robert Somerville

"..I have looked, and behold a candlestick all of Gold...and his seven lamps thereon..." Zechariah 4:2

Sunday, December 18, 2011

more about “Secrets”

this was posted in the comments section of the “Secrets” article.  This is truth:

rebekah witzke

"Someone gave voice to their secret and in doing so, gave permission for another person to share theirs. Naming the one thing that held them captive for years rendered the secret powerless. All at once, the church at large is beginning to echo the chorus of confession."
I feel this statement points to the crucial piece in seeking truth and being fully known: community. I would argue that this journey can rarely be experienced alone, and that these confessions must be heard first by God, and then by one another- and not by everybody, but by those few trusted people who are willing to come alongside when you are going through the sometimes unattractive process of healing. I count having those people in my life among my greatest blessings.
Great piece. I hope it will spark deeper layers of honesty in families, marriages and friendships.


These words spoke to me:

1.  the need for community

2.  heard by God, then by one another, but not by everybody

3.  the trusted few who come alongside you…

4.  deep layers of honesty  <3

the power of secrets

Wow, this was powerful! -


a quote from the article:

“The thing is, Satan DWELLS in the secret, in the haunting, hidden brokenness. The longer we keep that secret, the more power he has  to speak lies into our own identity. We have a crisis of faith; we don't truly believe that God will hear and lavish us with his love upon our confession. We don't REALLY believe that we will be made new. So we keep it and hide it and cover it and die from it. ”


and this quote:

“But we ought to have another motivation for telling our secret. In Let Your Life Speak, Parker Palmer reminds us:
“Many young people today journey in the dark, as the young always have, and we elders do them a disservice when we withhold the shadowy parts of our lives. When I was young, there were very few elders willing to talk about the darkness; most of them pretended that success was all they had ever known. As the darkness began to descend on me in my early twenties, I thought I had developed a unique and terminal case of failure. I did not realize that I had merely embarked on a journey toward joining the human race.” “

We care about Scripture… except at Christmas


Alan writes in his post “We care about Scripture… except at Christmas” -

“Okay, so before you begin reading, you should know something. I’m not opposed to celebrating Christmas. Really, I’m not. I enjoy the tree and decorations; I enjoy giving presents wrapped in colorful paper; I enjoy the songs and carols and stories; I enjoy getting presents wrapped in anything.

But, I was recently talking with my children… yes, for some reason, they’re as sarcastic and skeptical as I am. Anyway, we were talking about Christmas. One of them… I don’t remember which one… said something about the story of Jesus’ birth in Scripture. Later, at work, we had a similar discussion.

So, why do we care so much about Scripture – dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s (or would that be iota’s and tau’s – jots and tittles) – except at Christmas? Here are a few examples:”

click to read the rest of the post (and the comments section):



That is a good question to ask.  In this post ( a woman writes a letter explaining how a friendship with a man turned into something it shouldn’t have.  She shares what she sees as the small steps that led to many wrong choices.  It is very thought provoking and something that isn’t addressed in today’s society.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Are you suffering with Mad How Disease?

The “Unschooler Experiment” has a blog post about how to make money from unusual passions that one would not normally consider career paths.  You can read it here -

“Yeah. So the trick is, do something that you love, and then figure out who has already learned to get paid to do that. Because a lot of people suffer from what I call Mad How Disease.  So you really want to be a juggler? Then find people who are making their living as a juggler. Interview those people, read books about them, watch YouTube videos about them, find everything you can about that person. Imitate everything that they’ve done, and pretty soon you’ll be making money as a juggler and you’ll be happy doing something that you love.”

Education, work and skillz

Aurthor Sido has written a great article about the idol of college and the lack of skilled trades workers.

Education, work and skillz

two quotes from his post:

“So why are parents not encouraging our kids to learn a trade of some sort? It is cheaper than college, pays well and is in demand. What is the problem? Are we averse to having our kids work with their hands?”

“Just because someone gets dirty at work and wears jeans instead of khakis doesn’t mean they are a failure. Maybe we should be less eager to have our kids get expensive sheepskin status symbols and more eager to have them learn marketable skills? Instead of leaving school and entering adulthood with a six figure debt load, aren’t many of kids better off with no debt and a marketable skill? ”

Friday, December 16, 2011

gift suggestions:

To your enemy, forgiveness.
To an opponent, tolerance.
To a friend, your heart.
To a customer, service.
To all, charity.
To every child, a good example.
To yourself, respect.

~ Owen Arnold

a couple more teen articles


We can’t eliminate the risk that they might choose poorly. Kids still have their own minds. Had I become pregnant, it would not have been my mother’s fault; it would have been mine. But just because we can’t completely prevent destructive behaviour doesn’t mean we should give up.”


“Our society seems to believe that children’s behaviour reflects completely upon parents, and so parents tend to do too much to cover up for kids’ failures. All we’re doing, though, is encouraging irresponsibility. Why not make children responsible for the things that are rightly theirs?”

“Allowing children to fail teaches children what real life is all about. ”

It’s Tough Being a Teen

A good article about teens -

LOVE this idea!

Coaster tray for big families, if you put your cup on on the tray it won't be dumped and put in the dishwasher!

Diana’s Innermost House

After reading this article and viewing the pictures of the Innermost House, I am thinking I would love to have a place like this some day.  So lovely and peaceful.


“Everything about the space is conceived to make a harmony of conversation possible.”

“how would you design, build and furnish a place so that those conversations could happen every day? That is the question we asked of every detail of Innermost House, and we are still asking it.”

Thursday, December 15, 2011

"Always make it a practice to stir your own mind thoroughly to think through what you have easily believed. Your position is not really yours until you make it yours through suffering and study. The author or speaker from whom you learn the most is not the one who teaches you something you didn’t know before, but the one who helps you take a truth with which you have quietly struggled, give it expression, and speak it clearly and boldly." Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

Fairy tale wedding or real life? LOL

Excuse Me, There is a Man in my Bed (great blog post) -

Off into the know...just like in the movies...

...or NOT.

Any thoughts of a picture perfect honeymoon quickly began to fade, and real life set in sooner than we imagined it would.


read the whole story here -





and the lesson was:


I think that if we focus our hearts on the ideal, we are setting ourselves up for disappointment. 

Why was I  not  devastated?

  • Because I had been surrounded by people that helped me to focus on God, the reality of marriage,  and the seriousness of the wedding ceremony.  Yes. We had decorations, some good food, and a fun reception. But what was more important to us was that the ceremony be meaningful and depict the seriousness of the covenant we were making before God.  
  • I had people that encouraged me to not be in love with the idea of being in love...but to learn how to love unconditionally, like God does.   
  • Faithful Godly people had invested in me, and helped me see life through God's eyes...and not through the the fantasies that our culture thrusts in front of us. When real life happened on our wedding day,  and things didn't go as planned, God had been preparing me to roll with it.  To accept it.  

My Favourite Home School Website


The Power of Tiny Pleasures  (Click on link to read the complete post on her blog)

Tammy writes:

After reflecting on my personal experiences and reading about happiness I’ve come to believe that in any situation:

1. Your actions are under your control.

2. Outcomes are out of your control.

3. The voluntary 40% factor holds a lot of sway in most situations.

What small pleasures make you happy?

Have some tissues ready… an adoption story. <3

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

gospel grocery stores

This article kind of relates to the article I posted today about a village that has been growing food in gardens at large that also create community.  This article takes a look at churches and compares them to our experiences with grocery stores.  Make sense?  Probably not, but take a moment to read what the author writes… (great stuff).


A snipped portion of the article…

Gardening is hard work, dirty and unpredictable but the rewards are often wonderfully and immeasurably better than “store bought” produce. The church works in much the same way. Unplanned and unscripted is scary because you don’t know what you might get but I would much rather have somebody stumble over a thought or endure periods of silence than sit through another carefully scripted service designed to deliver the maximum religion for the minimum cost. The church is not something we can cram into a couple of hours a week and the goal of church should not be to get in and get out as quickly and efficiently as possible so we can mark a check box on our religion shopping list. Sermon? Check. Singing at least three songs? Check. Shaking the preachers hand? Check. Out at noon and lunch away from the rest of the church by 12:30? Check.

The church is not a list to be completed, it is a life to be lived with one another.

The Assumption of Ignorance

Great article.


Here is a snippet:

When you presume that other people are ignorant, you do both yourself and them a disservice. You create more work for yourself and increase the dependency of others on you. You become the hub at the center of a wheel, and the spokes don’t know how to think independently because they’ve been brought up in a system where there is always someone else telling them what they need to know.

This is the mindset of people as they leave school. Students are told there is one right answer in the back of the book. In the real world, there are no textbooks and there are no right answers.

On the contrary, assuming that the world is knowledgeable elevates society.

Read the whole article here -

Character Traits Study

For the kids in January

101 Important Questions To Ask Yourself in Life


12 Meaningful Movies With Important Life Lessons To Learn


Create Your Life Handbook


Character Traits -

The Church Anywhere, Anytime

The Church Anywhere, Anytime --
"There is a discussion/argument that some Christians have about what constitutes a church gathering. You've heard the question before: "If two Christians meet in a coffee shop, is that church?" The focus of the question is "what counts."
(click on the link to keep reading)

I love this story!

There should be more positive news like this shared.

A Deliciously Resourceful Town Aims For Total Food Self-Sufficiency Within 7 Years


But the article isn’t just about the self-sufficiency, but how this place is creating community through growing food.  So awesome! 


Don’t Stir the Crazy Kettle!

This is a great article sharing advice on how to handle the craziness of family gatherings -

Don’t Stir the Crazy Kettle! 

“Family and work gatherings can be a time of food, fun and festivities. It can also facilitate the brewing of a big ‘ol kettle of crazy.  Old hurts, slights and insecurities can flare up into full-blown nutso. Seemingly innocent comments are an invitation to arguments, joking remarks are seen and felt as cruel, snide slashes that cut to the very heart. Far too often, Christmas gatherings can be Christless.

My suggestion to us all, myself MOST of all, is to remember that when you come up on a big ol' kettle of crazy... don’t stir!”

click on this link to read the whole post -

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Can a holiday get a do over from its origins?

It is no secret I struggle with the Christmas season.  I hate the maddening rush, the hundreds of parties and commitments and the obligation and pressure to buy gifts.  I hate the commercialization of it all.  So once upon a time I thought maybe I could let go of all of that and just focus on the the birth of Christ.  But then I found out that this was not Jesus’ birthday, and to make it worse perhaps God was not pleased we chose to taint our Messiah’s birth remembrance by mixing it with pagan traditions and activities.  So what I am to do with this mixed up time of year?

Tonight the question came to mind, could a holiday season get a do over?  Could the slate be wiped clean and something new be created?  Does this season need to be anchored to its pagan and so called Christian origins forever?

If I could have my way, I would wipe the slate clean and enjoy a holiday celebrating winter.  Because after a few months of snow and cold we need a little something to make it through the season.  So I would keep the lights on houses and fences.  They are so bright and cheery.  I would have upbeat songs about enjoying winter to lift our spirits. Even the tree in the house with ornaments of memories of days gone by would be a great family bonding time.  Take a day where the world can pause and come together as family and community, and enjoy a leisurely meal together, because there is nothing like food to bring people together and relax.

What I would leave out…

gift exchanges and obligations,


Jesus birth celebration,

stress and busyness.


I would love to be able to implement this world wide or at the very least in my own life.  But it would be so much easier if everyone was on board.  Because the reality is right now it is a season of a confused holiday – some do Christ but not Santa, some do both, some do Santa but not Christ, some love all the gifts and obligations and baking, some say no to the whole thing, some are exploring the idea of Hanukkah.  So it is impossible to know how to celebrate with with friends and family when no one is on the same page.  Sigh.  :(

As for celebrating the birth of Christ, I am all for that.  Just not at Christmas/December.  There are many incidents in Scripture where God tells us to set something up to remember Him.  So I would love to set aside a special time to focus on the miracle and gift of God coming down to dwell with us.  But not when it is in competition with the commercial holiday of Christmas.  He deserves better than that.

So back to the idea of wiping the slate clean for this time of year (season).  I read this article tonight – “The Origin Of Christmas” (  In the article it talks about how the pagans took items from nature and gave them meaning.  For example: “Both holly and mistletoe were hung in doorways of temples and homes to invoke powers of fertility in those who stood beneath and kissed, causing the spirits of the god and goddess to enter them.”  So does this mean that forever holly and mistletoe have to live with this identity given to them?   Weren’t holly and mistletoe first created by the Creator of all?  Don’t they belong to Him? Why do they have to carry some pagan religions meaning forever?

And the article also said this – “In Germany, the evergreen tree was used in worship and celebration of the yule god, also in observance of the resurrected sun god.”  What I see here is things of God’s creation being tied to make believe things.  There is no such thing as a yule or sun god, just like there is no fairies or elves.  So why are we worried about something pretend and fake?  If I choose to have an evergreen tree, does it automatically mean I believe in yule and sun gods?  Absolutely not!  What one person or religion does with something (nature, food, etc) does not mean that I am tied to that meaning or religion.

So I am not any closer as to what to do with Christmas, but I hope one day I will find a path that works for me and leaves me with peace and love this time of year.

Monday, December 12, 2011

26 Quotes on Choices

Freezer Cooking Daze – December 2011

on the road: nomadic families

Poor Spelling? It Could Be a Brain Problem

The 6 P’s in the case of a disaster striking


These quotes taken from here -

1.  “And then disaster struck. Our state’s largest wildfire raged less than two miles from our home. The whole town was told to evacuate. In the few hours we had to pack, we were told to pack the six Ps: People, Pets, Prescriptions, Personal Computers, Papers, and Photos.

2.  “In the few months since we returned to our unscorched home, I’ve been slowly getting rid of more things. I’m in the process of scanning all our photographs and documents, so if we ever have to evacuate again I can just grab a couple disks.”

3.  “Great story – thanks for sharing it! May I suggest some sort of online backup service for your files, such as Dropbox or Carbonite? I use one, and it’s a relief to know that scans of my family photos are backed up off-site. Should something dreadful happen when I’m not home to rescue a local backup, my virtual stuff is still safe. (I don’t recommend storing sensitive data there, or even on the computer at all. I do keep pdfs of tax forms and the like on a flash drive in a safe deposit box.)”



12 Things I Like and Don’t Like About Christmas



Robin writes -

How do you feel about Christmas?

Do you observe it differently now compared to how you observed it when you were a child? Do you observe it at all? Did you know Christmas has pagan roots? Does that bother you?

Don’t get nervous. I’m not going to tell you what you should or shouldn’t be doing this time of year. I can’t because I don’t have it all sorted out myself.

click on the link to read the rest of her post -

Three notes/quotes from the article “Do you need a university degree to succeed?”


1.  “I'm good at a lot of things. I'm pretty good at a lot of things, but I'll be the first to tell you that I'm not an expert in any one single thing. This is as a result of me not having studied, but following a path of learning from whatever comes my way.”

2.  “What I think is that financial success is not so much dependent on your qualifications (whether you have any or not), but much more dependent on the type of person you are and the drive and ambitions that you have.”

3.  “If you're willing to work harder than others (be the first to arrive and the last to leave), if you're willing to put in time and effort to improve, then there is no doubt that you will succeed whether you have a degree or not.”

how to create more meaningful relationships

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Parenting Teens


I have always felt like I had a pretty good handle on parenting my kids.  That is until we hit the teen years.  I can’t believe how hard these years are.  Your kids are not children but they are not yet adults.  They live in this weird place called adolescence that has no place to fit into in the real world.

There is a Scripture verse that talks about “when I was child I spoke like a child, but then I gave up childish things.”  It seems to me these teen years get to be an extended stay in the world of child because there is no real place for them in the adult world. 

And because I never do things like everyone else, I am also choosing to parent my kids in a different way than most parents would do or be comfortable with.  I have always said that I don’t want my kids to feel the need to rebel against me.  I want them to make decisions about themselves, but informed decisions.  IN this way, they would have to rebel against themselves, not me. If you choose the action, you choose the consequence.  I guess it has been my parenting philosophy since they were little.  So we have many discussions about things in their life or in other people’s lives in hopes that they can make informed decisions about their own life.  But in the past few weeks (maybe months), this philosophy has been put to test for me the parent.

There have been a few incidents that have tested me in my parenting philosophy.  And I will be honest, my first gut reaction was to “clean house” and enforce control of the situation!!!  And that is what most parents do.  When we the parents see our kids doing something we are not comfortable with or that is against our own nature, we want to stop the presses and MAKE that child behave properly, to our standards or the world’s standards or God’s standards.  Right?  That is the gut reaction.

But I have been on a journey with God to come to some kind of understanding on how much of a gift and a risk it was to give us, His children, freewill… free choice.  And I have come to see how much pain and heartache God goes through because of us.  You see, in a way, this is how I am parenting my kids (or the way I want to parent my kids).  I give my kids free choice as well in most cases.  I want them to choose in ways so that it will go well with them.  That is what God does with us.  He wrote down in words His stories with His children for us to learn from.  Gave us “rules” to follow… not so He could control us, but so that we could avoid the uncomfortable and ugly things this life has to offer, that we can control in our lives.  I say “that we can control in our lives”, because there are many things we cannot control in our lives and rules don’t help us avoid them. 

So in parenting, I give my children guidelines, and I want them to choose to follow them.  Not so I can control them but so that it will go well with them.  But you know what… it is soooooooo hard.  And when they choose ways that are not okay with me, I WANT to control them, I really do.  But I know there is no learning in that, no long lasting benefit.  They follow the rule to avoid punishment but it does not affect their heart, nor bend it towards good.  I think in a way, it even gives Satan a foot hold in their lives, to work and manipulate their mind into thinking what a victim they are having to be controlled by someone else. 

Anyway, I feel like I am babbling.  I just needed to get my thoughts out in words.  But the reason I am processing all of this is…  You see yesterday, I came across something with one of my kids that made me want to control them.  It made me feel like I was a bad parent.  It made me question where I went wrong.  It made me question how this would make me look as a parent.  Do you hear it?  Me, me, me, me.  I was making this all about me.  This was not about me.  It was a moment where I needed to step back from me and look at the situation from a perspective where “me” wasn’t involved.  So if I looked at the situation like it was a friend that was making this choice, what would I do.  Because I cannot control what other people do.  So I did that and I prayed and this is what I did.  I figured out all I was to do was to speak truth about the situation, and give this person a moment to make a choice based on the truth that was spoken.  No control… only freewill, free choice.  It was risky and it hurt knowing a wrong choice could yet still be made… but a choice had to be made by the person not by me.  How it will turn out I can’t say for sure?  But I pray that they will choose wisely.

Choose the action, choose the consequence. 

Thank you God for freewill, for taking this risk with us.  Thank you for loving us even when we make the wrong choices and be there to pick us up and dust us off and walk with us yet again.  I am not sure how you do it.  As a parent, I find it extremely difficult.  But you are the example of perfect love.  I want to choose love in every situation I find myself in, even when it hurts.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Goodnight iPad

So what have done and experienced since our last facilitator visit?

 I am so thankful for digital “paper trails”.  I have not been recording our learning experiences as much as I used to, so I had to go treasure hunting through pictures, Facebook accounts, blog entries and our calendar to figure out what we have been up to since June.  I know there is much that I didn’t find a paper trail for but here is a collection of what I did find:


1.  Teamwork Projects

-  building table at Stumpy


-  painting out buildings at a friends house

-  building tents (kitchen and dining area) at Stumpy




-  Reader’s Theatre at Stumpy


-  making a movie with friends

-  covering the silage pit


2.  Peak Theatre – Noises Off

3.  Multiple camping trips


4.  Kayaking


5.  Child care (Sarah, Isaiah, and more)



6.  Hosting house guests  (Friesen family, Cheryl, Wanda, Breanna)

7.  Wedding  (Chantal and Steve)

8.  Volunteer at advance polls for PC leader election (in Rocky Mountain House)


9.  Visit Rocky museum


10.  Trip to BC

-  fishing


-  aftermath of  salmon run

11.  Bowling

12.  Swimming

13.  Cattle drive

14.  Ranch Employment (Cattle work and more)

-  Jordan worked 538 hours from June to November

-  Deanna worked 70.5 hours from June to November

15.  Home buying TV shows

-  House Hunters International

-  House Hunters

-  Property Virgins

-  Urban Suburban

16.  build a ramp for Nana’s house



17.  Digital citizenship ( daily interaction via email, texting, Facebook)

-  CBC documentary “Facebook Follies” -

-  The Facebook Obsession  -

-  Discussions on the dangers of Facebook

18.  Digital a cappella music  (so cool!)


19.  Discussed the new distracted driving law -

20.  Documentary about dragons (the stories of dragons in different cultures)

21.  Movies – Courageous, The Grace Card, Slumdog Millionaire, Taming of the Shrew, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, Oceans,

22.  Exploring cultural differences -

23.  IMAX–Ride Around the World

The kids watched this video -

Ride Around the World

Journey across Morocco, Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Patagonia, Texas and British Columbia, to meet vaqueros, gauchos, baqueanos and cowboys - all part of a single global horse culture, an unbroken trail stretching back 1,500 years.

24.  Read aloud – The Story of God, The Story of Us by Sean Gladding



1.  Horse show with Susan

2.  Deworm the horses

3.  Chain saw work

4.  Sword fighting


5.  Horse back riding

6.  Paintball

7.  Moving hay stacks


8.  Guitar – learning chords

-  book = The Guitar Book: the ultimate guide to playing like the greats

9.  Driver’s education with Gearing Driving School -  (16 hours of class time and 10 hours of driving time)

10.  Passed road test – has his level 1 class 5 licence

He did his parallel park so well he got a handshake from the examiner.  :)

11.  Employed short term with Steve Crawford (saw mill)


12.  GED book = Complete Canadian GED Preparation

13.  Books – Ishbane Conspiracy, Inheritance, Mountain Man Series, various horse magazines (and many others.  Jordan reads so many books and so quickly, that I can’t keep up.)

14.  Ranch Employment

-  haul watering for spraying

-  moving hay stacks

-  various other tasks

15.  Buying a truck – a 1992 GMC Sierra 4x4

16.  Bought himself a new lap top and an iPad2.


1.  Cavalia -


2.  Rabbit breeding project



3.  Dog grooming (Licorice)

4.  Candid photography

5.  Caring for orphan kittens


6.  Pigs

-  New pig – Norton


-  pig breeding --- baby born in Nov


-  new pig from auction


7.  Kijiji shopping  (she is addicted to browsing this website on a regular basis)  :)

8.  Kitten adoptions (had to get rid of all cats due my allergy)  -

9.  Raking hay and other jobs with her summer employment with the ranch

10.  Wicked  -


11.  Sundre Community Choir

-  weekly practices

-  multiple performances


12.  Spent a month in BC

-  baking

-  child care

-  gluten free experiment (now GF fulltime)

-  install trailer hitch and other odd jobs with Warren


13.  Biblical Feasts (my cousin observes the biblical feasts and these are the ones Deanna was able to be a part of while in BC) -

-  Rosh HaShanah (Feast of Trumpets)

-  Weekly Shabbat

-  Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement)

-  Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles)

14.  Purple hair


15.  Considering tiny home project (a great high school project)

No mortgage, no parents. 16 year old Sonoma kid builds his own house -


16.  Goats

-  doctored goats

-  built summer pasture fence for them

-  sold goats – reduced herd

17.  Budgies (pet babysitting for 2 years)

18.  Teaching Textbooks Algebra

dear math

19.  ttp:// 

Wild weather research led to getting to see it in our area -

From my blog:

Well after learning about severe weather this afternoon…

Well after learning about severe weather this afternoon, we got to see it all in action this evening. We did not see a tornado but we did have one touch down on our community -

I think we should learn about winning the lottery tomorrow. 

”(Alex) Good morning, weather fans. For those of you still up (or just getting up!), here are some stats from last night's storms in Alberta:
- 3 tornadoes touched down, near Olds, Bergen and Innisfail
- Tennis ball-sized hail was reported in the Sundre area
- Sundre also received 60 mm of rain in 2 hours
- One cell south of Edmonton produced 2,000 lightning strikes in 25 minutes”


20.  Poems -

Tears fill my eyes
As I lay you to rest
Back to earth you go
I wish you the best...
For a short time you were with me
Now left you have
I believe there's a heaven
For even pigs I have...
My heart fills with sorrow
As you pass away
But always I love you
No matter the day...
Good bye my sweet little pig, I only knew you for a day, but that day was wonderful :)
RIP Miracle ♥


Swoon I do
At thy glorious embrace
As my hands
Caress thy face
Moon and night
Star and fire
Bring forth passion
Fresh desire
Lost in your eye's
Melted by thy touch
Reminders of why
I love YOU so much...


I love Rabbits...
There so soft, so small, so warm...
So annoying, so odd, so sweet...
And most of all I like, there big thumping back feet!


Friends always understand :)
Friends can make you mad:(
Friends make me glad :)
Guy friends don't mind :)
Friends are kind :)
Girl friends know how to party! :)
Best friends are always sorry :)
Guy friends are smarties ;)


Friends again!
Friends forever!
Friends love!
Always and forever!


I like a boy
But I'm to scared to say
Who he is
Or what's his name.
I like a boy
I hope he likes me
He makes me laugh
Tee hee hee!
I like a boy
But what do I say
I think about this
Night and day!
I like a boy
I just wanted to say
He'll tell me his feelings
I hope some day? :)

21.  Deanna installed the program "Real Lives" ( and has been trying out different lives from around the world.

22.  Deanna did data entry for the Ranch (sickness and treatment records).  She seemed to enjoy this task.

23.  Deanna and I had a great talk on the way home one day about what different people’s goals and dreams are.  Her friend wants a high paying job because money is very important to her and she cannot understand why Deanna isn’t chasing the all mighty dollar and wants such a simple lifestyle.  Isn't it  interesting how different things make us tick.  :)

24.  Trapping moles

25.  Deanna has become a voracious reader.  Her current favorite authors are Stephenie Meyer, P.C. Cast and Kirsten Cast, and Kelley Armstrong.