Notebook 1.23.11

Boys –

This post has inspired me to study my own boys – and I really want to read this book.

LOVE the idea behind this website and this one!

Craft Room –

Heading to AC Moore’s right now to pick up some things for this project — a little bit of prettiness for this cold, cold winter

Kitchen –

Can’t wait until the next snowfall to try this with the boys!

I’ve already made these rolls for dinner twice — so easy & so very yummy.

 

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Holiness of God

Tonight, we we read the Bible to the boys before bedtime. Each boy snuggling closely on our laps.  It had been a long day and their tired bodies were anxious for sleep.  We come to the point in the Bible where Moses comes to Pharaoh and asks him to let God’s people go.  As you know,  Pharaoh adamantly refuses and the Lord sends plague after plague to not only ‘persuade’ Pharaoh but to show the people that He is the One, True God.  My sweet husband then reads the next part about how Moses tells Pharaoh that He is going to kill each first-born in all of Egypt.  At this point, I feel slightly nervous as I go from looking at the illustrations in the children’s Bible to intently watching my boy’s faces.  This is the first time we have intentionally told them that God is anything other than loving and kind.  How will they react to the news that God kills?  Landon’s face doesn’t change at all, but Nathaniel’s jaw seems to clench and I can see that his eyebrows have started to furrow.  My husband must feel the same way that I do at this point.  He continues to explain that the Lord has promised to save the households who slaughter a lamb and smear the lamb’s blood on the door.  Nathaniel interrupts, pressing his tiny little finger on the illustration of the stained door.

“Why is there blood on there?”

“God has promised not to kill their son if He sees the blood on the doorway”, his daddy patiently explains.

Nathaniel looks nervously to the right.  To the front of our house.  To our front door.  His voice becomes a whisper.

“Will God kill our son? ‘Cause we don’t have any blood on our door?”

My heart aches.  Oh, I want to hold him close and reassure Him that God would never do such a thing.  I jump right in, quickly talking.  I tell him that the people who didn’t put blood on the door didn’t love God, and that we love God…and that we are God’s children and He has promised to love us, to care for us…that He is the One we pray to after a bad dream and after we fall down and scrape our knee…He would never kill ‘our son’.

But, I think about it now, and I know that hard as it may be, this is a conversation I want to continue to have.  Yes, I want my boys to feel loved by the Lord, but I want them, too, to know, and to even fear, His justice and His holiness.  I don’t want them to think that our God was once the wrath-filled and vengeful God of the Old Testament and now He is simply loving and gracious.  The One, True God does not change.  He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.  Our God is holy and cannot have anything to do with sin.  I want my boys to understand that God is just, and that left to ourselves, we are worthy of His wrath.  But, God in His incredible mercy chose the nation of Israel to receive His lovingkindness and show the rest of mankind how a relationship with Him could be.  And He chose to show that same mercy to us, His children and His church, through the blood of Jesus Christ.  If my boys don’t understand that, their view of the Lord will be skewed.  Gosh, if I don’t know that, and even if I don’t remind myself everyday, my view of the Lord will be faulty and my devotion will be half-hearted.

Pray with me today?  That our children will know the fear of the Lord and that our hearts will be reminded of the One who is both Holy and so, so good.  I think I know what books I need to pull of the shelf :)

“Ooh!” said Susan. “I’d thought he was a man. Is he—quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.”

“That you will dearie, and no mistake,” said Mrs. Beaver; “if there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.”

“Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy.

“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.” – CS Lewis

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Reflection

Wahooh!  We just got home last night from a week of visiting family.  It’s always so nice to get together, but it is so nice to come home and get back into a normal schedule.  I am sitting here thinking about taking down our Christmas decorations (and wondering what to put on the empty wall in my living room!).

Oh, our Christmas was so nice this year.  Simple and restful and full of the Prince of Peace.  I am so thankful we were really able to think through the  holiday and eliminate the things that would bring us more stress and less joy.  I wanted to be intentional about teaching my children the real reason for our celebration.  And in doing that, I feel like my heart was prepared in new ways to welcome the Christ-child & to realize I am eagerly awaiting His promised coming!

With the new year upon us, I am excited to see what the Lord has planned for our little family.  My husband and I are getting ready to memorize Philippians, I just started my 90 Day Bible program and our family is making plans for something HUGE that is happening later this year.  I’ll write more about it when some of the details have come together.  And as happy as I am with all our dreams & plans, one verse is on the forefront of my thoughts:

The heart of man plans his way,
but the Lord establishes his steps.  Proverbs 16:9 ESV

Let all our steps be established by Him this new year.

51.  good travelers over long, long roads

52.  house filled with family

53.  tins & tins of homemade goodies

54.  five cousins running through the living room giggling

55.  daddies crawling around on the floor, carrying their little ‘cubs’

56.  New Year’s Eve at 9:00 with balloons and silly string

57.  sweet reminders of a long lost love

58.  red cardinals & smooth stones, hairbrushes & a jar of vaseline

59.  little ones rubbing noses good bye

60.  watching snow fall out large, picture windows

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Lights & Evergreen

Oh, so thankful…

41.  boys dressed in home sewn red vests & ties — so handsome!

42.  little hands clutching candles during the eve service

43.  hugs & laughter from dear old friends

44.  white lights & pine tree branches

45.  a spiral of lit candles celebrating the sweet little baby — our long hoped for Messiah!

46.  dish of clementines

47.  precious toothy smiles & squeals of delight

48.  a birthday party fit for a King — our King!

49.  Word written on hearts

50.  inches of lovely snow — that rosy my boy’s cheeks & assure long, peaceful naps

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Hiding it in my Heart

As I have worked through our ABC verses with the boys, I find that I have been blessed and convicted to memorize more Scripture on my own.  One of my goals for the new year is to memorize an entire book of the Bible (I know, I know…a little intimidating!).  Well, much to my excitement, Timmy Brister has started a project to do just that!  Using his “memory moleskine”, Timmy is challenging readers to memorize the book of Philippians by Easter Sunday.  He is offering a free pdf that breaks down the book into a manageable schedule of verses to memorize.   Katie Orr is also hosting a project for memorizing Philippians over at her blog, and since I “see” her first thing in the morning on Twitter, I am taking advantage of her accountability!  Great news, too, my husband said he would join me!  I ordered our moleskins and they are on the way.  More to come in the next few weeks.

Will you join me?

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Joyful Heart

Jumping right in…

31.  laughing with my sister & mother in the kitchen

32.  stacks of peppermint bark & roasted pecans

33.  softly singing carols, with hearts that know all the words

34.  lit candles that look like the “top of a birthday cake” (it is little one, it is!)

35.  cotton ball sheep lined up in the kitchen

36.  first time making homemade dinner rolls — & they were delicious!

37.  our church’s Christmas cantata

38.  sipping chai tea by the light of the Christmas tree

39.  the Babe all nestled in the straw

40.  that He’s returning again, just like He promised!

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Christmas Baking

Over the weekend, I spent tons of time in my kitchen with my family making special goodies for Christmas.  Baking is one of my favorite things, especially when it’s with & for people I love.

Here is a peek at some of our treats:

Buttermilk Tenders

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbs vanilla
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 6 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda

Combine butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla & buttermilk in one bowl.  Next, combine the rest of the ingredients in another bowl.  Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet mixture.  Mix until it becomes a heavy dough.  Roll out the dough until it is about 1/2 inch thick (I think I may have done it a little thicker than that!).  Use cookie cutters or a drinking glass to cut out shapes in the dough.  Place the cookies on a baking sheet and bake at 350 until they are slightly brown on top, 12-13 minutes.  After they cool, frost* the tops & decorate.

Now, either give them away or put them in a cupboard somewhere so you and your family will not see them if you want any hope of having them near Christmas — they are delicious & very addicting!

* The boys and I used this buttercream icing & it was perfect!  We tinted a couple colors & added some cinnamon extract (but you can also use vanilla) — very yummy!

Cinnamon Roasted Pecans

1 lb pecans
1 egg white
1 tbsp water
3/4 c sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 275 degrees.  Beat egg white and water.  Add pecans.  Mix all other ingredients in a separate bowl.  Then add pecans and dry mixture together.  Spread on a cookie sheet and bake at 275 degrees for 45 minutes, turning pecans every 15 minutes.

Again, so tasty and addicting — & super easy!  This is another one you’ll want to hide in the cupboard right next to the cookies.

Do you have something you love to make when this time of year comes around?

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