Welcome!

I'm so glad you stopped by. Whatcha see is whatcha get. I value your comments! Together we can be great.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Incognito

SORRY!

I have been out of the loop this week...
or two.

I am behind on my quilt-along.
Well, I am behind on POSTING
the quilt-along blocks.

I have blocks 3 and 4 finished.
I just need to post the pictures.

Every block I finish is my new favorite!

I will probably take a break from the blocks then
until after the holidays.



After the Holidays, I have
SEVERAL
projects to announce for the New Year!

But no announcements yet...
 SOON.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Fasting Day One

I am HOURS into my first fast ever...
and I'm totally
MODIFYING

First of all, I just don't feel that juice
and milk is going to cut it.
Perhaps if I had access to pure, raw milk
right out of the cow I would not have a
problem.
But this ULTRA PASTEURIZED crap is,
frankly, not even milk.
All the good stuff is missing.
By good, I mean nutritious.

I decided this wasn't going to work when
I picked up Orange Juice to counter-act
the fact that I can't get REAL milk...
only to find that

EVEN ORANGE JUICE IS PASTEURIZED!

I don't have a juicer and I don't have the
money to buy enough oranges to squeeze
into juice anyway...

So I'm modifying.

Just a minor tweak, really.
I'm including anything liquid (well,
except alcohol...I think that would kind of
defeat the purpose of spiritual purity...)
If I can liquefy it, I'm gonna drink it.
SMOOTHIES ARE IN!!

Thank God for that.

Another reason the whole milk only thing caused me
concern is...well...

MY BODY IS PERSNICKETY.

Headaches are my body's symptom of choice.
I get headaches for ANY reason:
Stress
Too much sleep
Too little sleep
Too little food
Too much caffeine
Too little caffeine
Sustained loud noises
Thinking too hard
Low barometric pressure (I'm serious)
High humidity
Low humidity
Sitting on the couch funny...
if you can think it, it'll probably cause me a headache.

You can imagine my concern about feeling
like crap for the next 25 days.

I did the math on the milk and at only 130 calories
a cup, I'd have to drink 9 glasses of milk
just to reach 1200 calories.
If I am awake for 16 hours,
I'd have to drink 8oz of milk
EVERY HALF HOUR
from waking to sleeping.

Can my body even assimilate all that milk?

I just don't think I can do that.
What else would I even be able to do?
I'd be constantly drinking milk.
And peeing...

Then, let's face it, there is the boredom
factor.
While I thought it would be fun to abstain
from food so I didn't have to fret over what to eat
all day...
I like food.  AND I have to fret
anyway because I'm the feeder of the fam.

The last concern hit me this morning.
My daughter.
She didn't want to eat her breakfast
until I ate my breakfast.
That kind of threw me for a loop.
Should I not be doing this?
It's kind of hard to hide from the people I live with.
I don't want her thinking I'm doing it for
weight reasons - because I AM NOT.
Does it matter WHY I am doing it?
I think it does. 
And fasting practices are in the bible.
I should probably find them.

Those are my concerns...

But I still want to focus on GOD
and for some reason I feel that fasting is
tied to me focusing on God...
So here are my modified rules:

1. Nutritious liquids only
milk, fruit juice, homemade smoothies, broth, etc
2.  If I start feeling sick or head-achy
I am outta here!
Being violently ill isn't spiritual.  lol.
3. If my daughter doesn't "get" what I am doing
and refuses to eat, I'm done.
I do not want her mis-understanding
my motives in any way or getting
stressed about this.

This will probably be the last
post about the actual
fast...
If I'm really taking a spiritual
journey, I am not to draw
attention to myself...
so...
Toodles!
Just Amy

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Is God Calling...or Am I Just Crazy?

Ever have a completely
HAIRBRAINED
idea and wonder if
you're losing your marbles
or
if God is calling you to
do something odd?

I HAVE

Then I start wondering:
If I did it, would it not end up
being odd at all?

I really hate when people do weird
stuff and say God called them to do it.

But here I sit wondering if I'm
about to be one of them!

What is this hairbrained idea, you ask?

Well, it's like this...
This crazy idea keeps surfacing.
It keeps coming up.
I keep wanting to research it.
I keep wondering if I could do it...
If I SHOULD do it...

GO ON A MILK AND JUICE FAST

I'm not sure if that's what I would call it.
Milk and juice FAST
makes it sound like I am going
to abstain from milk and juice.
What I'm considering is
ONLY consuming milk and juice

UNTIL CHRISTMAS.

Before you go weird on me,
I want you to know I've already
gone weird
on myself!

One reason I am wondering if God
wants me to do this is because, well,
I kinda LIKE FOOD.
I have NO SELF CONTROL.
and
I can't imagine being able to
actually do it - NOT EAT
for almost a month.

THERE IS NO WAY.

I've looked into it a little bit.
There is a diet out there called
the Milk Diet
where people literally only drink milk.
But they drink raw milk, which is
not practical for me, so I would
need to drink O.J. to compensate.

The other important part about the
"diet" is that I am supposed to rest
as much as possible while on it;
as if recovering from illness.

This piqued my curiosity.
This is the point where my engines
started working overtime and the idea
started getting obsessive.

WHAT A MARVELOUS IDEA!

What better way to prepare my heart
for Christmas!?
REST and reflection
on the past year.
REST and single-minded focus
on the year to come.

I've often admired various
religions for their emphasis
on
NO DISTRACTIONS.

The Amish
and
Tibetan Monks
for example.

Without having to wonder what I'm
going to be eating every moment of the day
I will free up that part of my brain
to focus on God
and the birth of his only son.

By AGGRESSIVELY resting, I am
taking care of and listening to
my body,
which (in theory) should help me
to differentiate between my own
HAIRBRAINED
ideas...

and God's.

I think I may have just
talked myself into this
CRAZY JOURNEY.

I'll start December 1,
and I'll end with Christmas Eve dinner
(because no way am I missing
potato dumplings!)

Maybe I'll blog about it.
Maybe I won't.

So what do you think?
Hairbrained?
Or God?

What would YOU do?
Just Amy

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Prim Stacking Boxes Giveaway!

Head on over to
for this cute Christmas
stacking Box giveaway.

Then stick around just because
the eye-candy is SOOOO yummy!

Click To Enter My Giveaway!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Quilt-along Block Two FINISHED!

I am done with block two!!

AND EARLY EVEN

I know...don't faint.
Maybe blogging the progress
was a good idea after all.

Guess what?
Not only did I get Block Two finished,
But
I made a BONUS block too!
Doesn' that just take the cake?

Hope I don't need those pieces later
or I may cry...
and you will have to listen to me.

So here are the pictures:


Block number Two

I actually like this block even better than
the first one:

Block number One

However, I do not like them TOGETHER,
if that makes any sense.
I put them next to each other and
I didn't like it.
So NOW I am working strictly on
FAITH
that the finished product will have
a cohesiveness that I do not
yet see!
It HAS to...I am using a Jelly Roll
after all.

Then after I was done with the block,
I noticed several elements left over.
SEW...

I tossed 'em together to create
THIS
(and have NO idea what I'm going
to do with it)

Bonus block

There were SEW many ways
to fiddle with the left-overs,
but this way won.

I love to play spin the block!
How about you?
Did you finish?
Did you make a bonus block from the
left-overs?
Are you saving the left-overs until
a later time?
DO TELL!

For those of you following
along...(chirp, chirp...awkward silence)
find Block Three in 
the series

Thank you so much to
Moose on the Porch Quilts

for coming up with the
idea and blogging this first!
You rock, girlfriend!

Really, you should check her out.
Toodles for now.


Just Amy

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Soap Making 101

I was running low on the laundry soap
and had to make more.
SO...

I thought, why not try to document the
very simple process and
post it for all of you who say you
can't do it.

First of all, I got my "recipe" here.
I also got the soap from them as well.
There is a recipe for powdered soap - which
would be even less time consuming than
liquid soap, but I don't make it that way
because I have a machine that wouldn't
be able to use powdered soap.  Just
FYI.

I actually do all the grating and measuring
of the product one time.  I just place the grated
soap in a quart size baggie, the powders in another
baggie and toss them all together into a gallon
freezer baggie. 
I probably should have taken a picture of it
all together, but I'm new at this and
didn't think of it.

Next time it's a cinch!

So here we go:
I take my bar of grated fells naptha...



Not that you care, but next time I am going to use
ZOTE.  It's pink and more fatty and smells a little
like citronella.  I currently use it only on stains,
but I am going to try it in place of the Fells...

ANYWAY...

I put it in a medium sized saucepan and cover with water.
Do not freak out about how much water like I did
the first time. 
Just cover the soap by an inch - like you're
making chicken stock or something.

I put it on the stove on low.
You don't want to COOK the soap, just
melt it.

After a few minutes it looks like this:



Yum!  Fight the urge to whisk it.  Just gently stir or
you will end up with too much foam on top and
won't be able to see if the soap is melted.

Once the soap is melted into a clean-smelling watery
concoction, it's time to mix it all together.
I haven't looked at the actual recipe for probably
a year, so I do this step differently every time.
It usually turns out the same.

What I do at this point is:

I take my Borax


 you can find this at your grocery store laundry isle.

and I take my Washing Soda, which is in the same area.  I
am sorry I don't have a picture...I don't
currently have a box handy.
DO NOT CONFUSE WASHING SODA WITH BAKING SODA!
It is NOT the same thing.

I dissolve them with very hot water from my tea kettle in
this bucket:


I DO use a whisk here just to make sure it's good and dissolved.

While I'm doing the whisking, I am simultaneously filling up
my clean dishpan with hot tap water.

When the powders are dissolved or when my pan is overflowing
(whichever happens first)
I add the melted soap to the powder,
give it a few whisks to make sure it's
combined well...

And then add the dishpan full of hot water to the bucket.
I usually have to fill up a couple of pitchers too...
to get it nice and full.



And stir, stir, stir to make sure everything is all combined.
How do you like my fancy stir stick? 
Hubby made it for me.  It's a 1X4 (I think)
and he was nice enough to duct-tape the other end
so I don't get splinters when I am stirring my "cauldron"
as he says. 
We are all about SIMPLE here. 

At this point you could use it right now if you want to.
I usually do not need it immediately, so I cover it and let it sit
in my kitchen until someone big and strong comes home to
move it to my second story laundry room...
OR
sometimes it will sit there until I trip over it one too many times
and I will carry it up myself, cursing all the way up
and apologising to my Lord all the way down...
But that's just my house.
You are surely more organized and less
LAZY
than I am!

I am not quite organized enough to be able to tell you exactly how long
it takes us to get through a 5-gallon bucket of laundry soap.
I would say it's more than a month...but less than 6?  I should really
keep track.  But I won't.  I just know that
I have been doing this for over a year and I have only
had to purchase more washing soda and Borax
once.

With this last batch, I did use up the Borax, so I will
go get that and washing soda again.
I ran out of Fells Naptha as well, but as I said at the beginning,
I will be using another bar of laundry soap
next time, and if it works I will
have 8 more batches ahead of me before I need
to purchase any more soap.

I really like making my own laundry soap.
I hope you found this at least a little helpful...
if not, well, you can always follow the directions. 
Hehe.
Toodles for now!
Just Amy

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Maximize Your Mornings Challenge Week Two

UGH!

I know it is only the second day
of the second week, but
I am ready to

THROW IN THE TOWEL!

First of all, I get up, uh, well...

GROUCHY
INCOHERANT
and
HATING THE WORLD

That's just how I am. 
I need at least 30 minutes
to resemble a human being.
I doesn't matter WHAT TIME
I get up...

Second of all, this is not the first
time I have tried to work through
the maximize your mornings program.
I've tried numerous times on my own
and twice with Kat.

Because I know that for me to be a good mom,
I need to be up before my kids. 
I do not want them to see me
acting like The Beast.

SO, there are two options I am going
to try before I completely give up

FOREVER.

One option is that I will just get up
at 6 or 6:30, but not plan to do
anything until the kids go to
school.
Kat promised me that my kids
would learn to respect my
quiet time, but that ain't happening!
I can't even get to the quiet
time without losing it.

I've tried going outside.
I've tried LOCKING MYSELF outside.
I've tried planning my day in bed
so I can pretend to be sleeping
when they come check on me...
It all just makes me ANGRY
because the kids are pounding
on the door or lifting up
my eyelds "Mommy?  Are you awake?"

People laugh and think I'm kidding.

I AM NOT.

So I thought if I just get out of bed,
make lunches and breakfast,
dress myself and take them to school...
and save the planning and the God and
 the exercise until they're gone,
maybe that would work.

AND IT MAY.

But thats Plan B for now.
This is because not only am I useless
when I arise in the morning...
I also peeter out in the early afternoon!
So if I'm gonna get stuff done,
I need to start as soon as I'm human
and haul tail, or I won't get
anything done.

That means: waiting until the kids
are in school to start my day is
the equivalent to waking up at noon.

Personally, my most productive hours are
from the time after dinner to about
2-3 in the morning.
THEN I'm like the energizer bunny.
But for obvious reasons, that doesn't work
in this life I've chosen.

Plan A will be (for now):
Da da daaaaa:

I'm going to get up at 5 with the hubby.
He's been complaining that he needs
a good breakfast anyway...
I figure, I don't even have to do anything
until 6-ish, so I should be my
regular good-natured self by then, right?
(unless I make him breakfast, but I can do that
half-dead as long as he doesn't talk to me)

I may even have my planning and God
out of the way...and I can
exercise with the kids

I just need that half hour to become
human...and the kids REFUSE
to allow me that.

So there you have it.
5am tomorrow.  No easing into it.

5AM
I'm going to do a lot of planning
before bed!

Toodles for now.
Just Amy

Monday, November 15, 2010

Quilt-along Block Two

Here is the information
for our next block,
courtesy of


Block Two, here I come!

Follow along with me.
It's more fun with friends.
Whatever you do,
Be sure to check out


She's WAY more inspiring
than I am.


Just Amy

Quilt-along Week One DONE!

Check ME out!
I finished my first block.

I think I am in love! 
She's so purdy.

The 9-patch in the middle is
accidentally made with the same
print on dark and light fabrics.
I didn't notice that until
I was done.
Then the border is almost
a blown-up version
of the darker squares.

SEW PRETTY!

If you're following along,
you will notice my version
is less scrappy than the original.
I'm all for scrapy, but
I liked it this way better.  lol.

Now we have two weeks
to complete block number two.
I'll post that info next.

Toodles for now!
Just Amy

Friday, November 12, 2010

Discoveries of the day


  1. Sandwiching a quilt makes me feel like an old lady.
  2. I really love the color combination of pink and brown.
  3. or mint and brown
  4. or turquoise and brown...I'm quite possibly obsessed.
  5. I am more like my grandmother than I care to admit.
  6. The back of the van (where the kids sit) is disgusting.
  7. I eat entirely too much sugar and sugar-like products.
  8. To get a "mother's ring" like my grandma's, we'll have to save for awhile.
  9. I have way too much stuff.
  10. I am SO tired of the "alpha male contest" in my house.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Maximize Your Mornings, Step One

Inspired To Action Button

Well, I did it!
Drum roll please...

I got up at 6 a.m.!

For the first time since...
uh...high school?

Surely I've gotten up that early
since, but this is the first time
I've done it WILLINGLY...ish.

I plan to get up even earlier,
but the book says I don't have
to just yet.
I already did more than
the book recommended
for week one...so
I don't want to take on too much,
get overwhelmed and give up.

Like I did last time.

The ultimate goal is 5:30.
Then I will spend a half hour
with God,
A half hour exercising, and
a half hour planning my day.
Then the kids will be in my hair
Then my perfect spawn
will arise to make my day
complete.

Get the book, get your purpose...
and stop by Kat's awesome and
inspiring website too.

Jelly Roll Quilt Along Block 1

Okay, I have my
material picked out!





The Jelly roll is from Moda's
Civil War Homefront
by
Barbara Brackman.

LOVE IT
I kinda have a "thing"
with Civil War era fabrics.
And furnishings.
And life...

I may have to get
another one for a
disappearing 9-patch quilt...

ANYWAY

The background fabric
is going to be
unbleached muslin.
I have what I believe
will be enough, but
if I get stuck, it's
only a couple of bucks
a yard AND easy to
match if I need more.

I have not picked a border
yet, but I have a possible one
in my stash.
Never occurred to me to take a
picture, but it's a red toile
printed on off-white.
I LOVE TOILE!

Also have not picked a backing,
but will more than likely
go with more muslin.

So there you have it.
And what did YOU choose?

Here is the link for the
materials list.

See you in a week with the finished
block!!  Whoo-hoo!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Jelly Roll Quilt-A-Long

I am going to do it.
The actual quilt-a-long is actually over.
It ended in August.
She does have a new one going now,
But I have the materials for THIS one.
So here it is.
I'm going to do the

[JellyRollSampler.jpg]

I can't wait!
I looked ahead at all the different blocks.
I'm a little nervous about one or two,
But like mama always said:
I'm "taking it one step at a time!"

How about you quilt along with me?
We can be the Quilt Along Procrastinators Club!
each week so we can be on the same page
and I'll blog about my progress...
and YOU comment about YOUR progress!
Okay?  Okay!
Cheers!
Just Amy

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Coming soon...

Thanks for stopping by!
Just a few notes on things
to come in

November

Don't expect this EVERY month...
I'm generally not this
"organized"...
That's right. I consider this
to be organized!

First, in a few days I'll let
you all in on a little secret.
I'll give you a teensy hint:
Jelly Roll Sampler Quilt Along 2010

Okay, that was probably MORE
than teensy...but that's all
you get.

Second, I will be working through
to hopefully add some
PURPOSE
to the holidays.
Love that site...check it out!

Third, I will also be working through
a couple ebooks from Kat

free ebook for moms - maximize your mornings

AND


Let me just insert here
how much Kat has
truly inspired me
and dare I say...even
changed my life!
There.  I said it.

I originally wanted to do the
"mornings" one first,
because that's the one
she is focusing on
over at her BLOG.

I have, however; decided to do the
Mission Statement
first because
that should help me focus
my time wisely when I'm
attempting to get up before
my rugrats children
every morning.  Right?

RIGHT!

This is all a little
scary for a self-professed
lazy procrastinator.
Telling you what I plan to do.
Now I'll have to do it
or you will find out I'm really
not joking when I call myself
that...

This cannot happen!
That's why I'm doing it!

ACCOUNTABILITY!

GO ME!
Anyway...stay tuned.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Mom-iversity Week Three: Parents Don't Need Permission!

You're back!
Thanks for stopping by.
As a re-cap:

I am reading the book
I got the digital copy at:

Here are the nuggets:
(there weren't as many because
a lot of the subject matter
didn't pertain to my circumstances...)

Children should wake up to an alarm clock, not a parent

The reason for this IS partly for responsibility reasons.  I mean, are you going to wake up your 20 year old son for work every day?  I don't think so.  But also to avoid YOU being the one to drag them from their warm, cozy nest and sweet dreams right away in the morning.  Then you are the bad guy and FIGHTING ENSUES!  Tsk. Tsk.

"When children are hurried, they take their time"

I have been whining about this one for 13 years!  The faster you need them to go, the slower they move.  It is not your imagination!  It's good old passive-aggressiveness at work, people.

"It's important not to let a child decide the parent's response or mood"

Yeah. I have a tough time with that one.  It makes sense, it's just hard for me.  I let EVERYONE determine my mood...my kids, my husband, the postman... Now I know better and I will do better, right? 

Respond to complaints by acknowledging the child's complaint.
I guess it bears repeating here:  DO NOT ARGUE! (I repeat this only because I personally need to remember it!) If you try to "fix" or even offer your opinion, it will likely end in an argument.  If you acknowledge, you leave the impression that you understand...and leave it up to the child whether to enter into a discussion.  Plus I wonder if you just keep acknowledging and mirroring...the child will probably figure out her own solution to the complaint...maybe even while thinking YOU did all the work!!

Here's an example of acknowledging the complaint:

Child: you NEVER buy me anything
Parent:  There is something you would like me to buy you.

To be honest, I sometimes wonder if this is going to come off sounding a little FAKE and maybe a little INSULTING to the child...but I am willing to give it a try as an experiment.

It is not realistic to expect a child to put cleanliness ahead of playfulness.

This was already a no-brainer in my observation...but I was maybe a little bit disappointed by this statement. It burst my bubble.  I've always suspected that I'd have to wait until the children were 18 before I got to have a nice, neat house with everything in it's place...and everything coordinating and beautiful.  Now my hopes are dashed.  Now I just want to remove the furniture, buy cushions and bean-bag chairs and embrace ugly once and for all. Plus, it makes me really angry when I see another mother's house looking worthy of a spread in Better Homes, while I'm still trying to work the "Hand-me-down-chic" look because I don't dare buy anything lest it get ruined, pronto.

Helping is better than haranguing.

Uh-huh.  I'm guilty of this.  My instinct is to say: "I didn't get the blocks out or play with them.  Why should I help you clean them up?"  That unfortunately turns into my children saying that to each other...and then me having to play the detective game to find out who got them out so I could harass the correct child to pick them up...fighting and arguing ensues...and I go to bed with a migraine.  That was really draining - and the detective stuff was just too much work.

It's just easier to pick up the stupid blocks...WITH the child of course.  And don't keep track of how many you pick up versus how many they pick up.  I'm pretty sure that won't end well either.

After school, instead of asking "How was your day, dear", make statements that convey your understanding of the trials and tribulations at school.

For example:  "You look like you had a hard day" or "You seem glad to be home"

Those were the two I thought sounded most plausible for me to say.  There were more examples, but I just couldn't see them sounding genuine coming out of my mouth. 

 Again, these chapters challenged my acting skills a little bit.  I want to be comfortable in my home.  I do not want to be one of those mothers (and I know you've seen them) who are constantly "ON". You know what I mean.  They are the sing-song-y mothers who always operate in a perpetual excited state...as if everything they do is SO MUCH FUN!  Come and join me!  

"C'mon!  Let's scoop the dog doo from the back yard!  Yay!" 
"Whoo-hoo!  It's laundry time!  Who wants to sort the underwear!?" 

 I half expect them to bust out with a cheer or do a back flip.  I am not one of those.  I was BARELY one of those when my children were babies...when it's just natural to talk that way to your kids.  So, some of the things they suggested were a little bit "ON" for my taste.  I couldn't even bring myself to pass them on to you.

In case you haven't figured this out yet:

"In most situations, making statements is preferable to asking questions"

Questions make children feel as if you are interrogating rather than trying to understand.  This is a good  example of how it is different talking to children than to adults. 

"It hurts to share a parent"

Because:  "in a child's experience, sharing means getting less, like sharing an apple or a piece of gum."

Really?  It's that simple?  Who would have thought?

When a child's desire for our undivided love is acknowledged, the child is reassured.

That is about the only "technique" offered in the fight against sibling rivalry.  There either weren't a lot of examples here or I need to go back and read it again. 

It seems simplistic.

It is important that a child's life not be ruled by the adult's need for efficiency.  It drains the child's resources, prevents growth, stifles interests, and may lead to emotional meltdowns.

This is another area I would like to go back to read again.  I'm not an ultra-efficient person by nature, so I think I skipped over most of this thinking it didn't apply to me, and now I have questions. 

This last statement I really thought was a gem.  Especially now, in this parenting culture.  I actually have issues with today's parenting culture...but I'll save that for another post.  I just think that the line is blurred a lot between parent and child these days.  Parents are trying so hard to be EVERYTHING to their children...and I think sometimes children are permitted to make decisions they have no business making...whether overtly or inadvertently.  So here it is.  Feel free to write it on a post-it and carry it around with you when you need back up.  And remember, don't talk too much.  it shows weakness. 

"Parents do not need permission or agreement from children on how to live their lives!"
So there you have it.
I will probably go back and read
these three chapters again.
It was very challenging and
overly simplistic to me...
on subjects that aren't simple.
On to next week's assignment...

Progressive Dinner, Blog Style!

Remember
The blog hop tomorrow!


whole-foods-for-the-holidays-button

Sunday, October 24, 2010

It Wouldn't Be Fall Without Pumpkin Patch Pictures!

Click to play this Smilebox collage
Create your own collage - Powered by Smilebox
Personalize a free photo collage

Lydia's trip was rainy and cold...and muddy.  It didn't stop the class from having fun though.  We learned that the pigs are employed at the farm to buldoze certain areas so Miller's can plant more apple trees...how awesome is that?  I couldn't get a picture of the cows, whose job it is to "mow the grass" because they were too far away.  I love that everything on the farm has a job and a purpose.
Click to play this Smilebox collage
Create your own collage - Powered by Smilebox
Create your own free collage

Nate's trip was sunny and chilly, but not too cold.  It had rained the previous few days, so there were still muddy spots...again:  mud=fun, so the kids didn't mind a bit!

Friday, October 22, 2010

We Are Called To Love. We Are Not Called To Harass.



I am going through something...
CORRECTION:  I am not going through it.
I am witnessing someone I love
very dearly go through it.
It just FEELS like it is happening to me
sometimes.

As a Christian (a follower of Christ and his teachings), I am called to "love others as myself".  He even went so far as to call this the greatest commandment only after putting him first and foremost.  So:
  1. Love God first and most
  2. Love others AT LEAST as much as you love yourself.

Seems simple and straightforward, right?
Love is all we need
Love makes the world go round...
I'm feeling very loving and fluffy now.

It CAN be very straightforward and simple.  But it can also get complicated.  For example, under the "love umbrella" I am called to do some pretty hard, often unpopular things.

Like point out to my fellow Christians when they are sinning or about to sin.

Ouch.  That feels a little like a
picker in my fluffy cotton ball.
I dislike conflict.
But I'm all about the love...

Doing this should never assume or imply that I am sin-less myself, or that I am "better than" anyone.  We quite literally are all equal in God's eyes. 

If you mull that over a bit...
it's a hard pill to swallow.
I want to be SPECIAL!
I want to be MORE special than...
SOMEone...
I feed the poor. 
Surely that makes me
"BETTER THAN"
Someone, right?

So, where do you draw the line?

I'm supposed to point out when my sister in Christ is sinning.  Fine.  I'll do it.  I'll be grudgingly obedient to my Lord and Savior.

But how many times do I point this out?  OnceTwice?  Do I point it out every time I see her commit this sin?  Do I call her in the middle of the night when I have another example/argument/idea about how to MAKE HER STOP this train wreck?  Do I text her this one last time to DRIVE THE POINT HOME?

Does this remind you of any
Christians in your life?
Bible thumpers?
Jesus Freaks?

STOP THE MADNESS!

Here is what I think.  Take it or leave it...or you can comment and pass this along to your friends so someone will actually READ this blog...and we can discuss.
  1. I am to love others as myself.
  2. I am NOT to point out to a non-Christian her sins (that is a whole other rant, my friends)
  3. I AM called to point out the sins of my fellow sisters in Christ
  4. The above point assumes that I have a RELATIONSHIP with said sister that is intimate enough to have any business opening such a discussion in the first place.
  5. IT IS NOT UP TO ME TO SAVE MY FELLOW CHRISTIAN FROM THE SIN!!!
  6. Repeat number 5 while banging your head into a wall because it is THAT IMPORTANT to remember.
  7. Maybe repeat number 4 too...and think about that.  Hard.

My own interpretation of people who continually bring up the same sin over and over again?

visions of rabid pit-bulls
are dancing in my head
now.  So much for
fluffy love.

  1. It is harassment
  2. It demonstrates a complete lack of faith in God
  3. It takes the focus off God and puts it on you.
Just FYI, #3
is a no-no.
To God be the glory
and all that.
(Christian etiquette 101)

Hold on a minute!  Harassment is a pretty strong word to be using, don't you think?  Where do you get off?

Harass:  –verb (used with object)
1.
to disturb persistently; torment, as with troubles or cares; bother continually; pester; persecute.
2.
to trouble by repeated attacks, incursions, etc., as in war or hostilities; harry; raid.
 
Thank you Webster's Dictionary.  I love you.  http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Harass
 
Hey!  Love is a verb too!
Funny.
 
Do you think harassment fits the bill now?  I thought so.
 
Have the discussion.  Then let it go, and let God do what God does.  It is not up to you to stop the sin...it is up to God.  Get out of his way.
 
...and get out of MY way
'cause I'm looking
for the fluffy
love.
Just Amy

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I am The Curious Quilter, and I Approved This Message. | The Curious Quilter

Okay people...I follow the Curious Quilter through my Google Reader...and today her entry was JUST TOO MUCH!! If you are sick and tired of political ads...or if you love fabric....or love quilting - you MUST click this link and visit this particular blog entry. My favorite (of course) is the last one...

Click it. You know you want to.
I am The Curious Quilter, and I Approved This Message. The Curious Quilter

Mom-iversity, Week Two - Parents talk too much!

Mom-iversity!
So glad to see you again.
These are my week two "nuggets"

I've been reading the book

"In discipline, whatever generates rage should be avoided.  Anything that enhances self-confidence and respect for one's self and others is to be fostered"

     Bossiness: Bad
     Understanding:  Good

Can I just point out here that THE BIBLE corroborates this theory in the book of Ephesians, Chapter 6, Verse 4:

4Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

Some versions say "provoke"...basically means, do not cause your children to rage and become angry.

"Misbehavior and punishment are not opposites that cancel each other; on the contrary, they breed and reinforce each other"
  • Raising your voice to end noise
  • Using force to break up a fight
  • Being rude to impolite child
I don't know about you, but this one was a lightbulb moment for me!  It was a little like Deja Vu...didn't I know this already?  Doesn't it make sense!?  Now why didn't I think of that?  What happens in your house when you yell at the kids to shut up?  Does everyone suddenly become quiet?  Sometimes that happens in my house...because I become a raving lunatic and they all stop yelling to watch the show!

Here's a good one (that I already knew...)

"When children are punished, they resolve to be more careful NOT more obedient or responsible"

Tell me you have seen this one with your own eyes.  If you haven't, you will.  You catch Jr. coloring on the walls and spank him (or yell, or...whatever).  You don't catch him coloring on the walls again...but when you move his dresser you see lots of pretty artwork!!  BEEN THERE!!!

Permissiveness = the willingness to accept the childishness of children.
Over-Permissiveness = allowing undesirable acts.

Children cannot be held responsible for their feelings but only for their behavior.

Got that? Feelings happen.  It's your reaction to those feelings that you can choose. 

"We set limits on acts; we do not restrict wishes or feelings"

So, we limit our son from hitting his sister, but we do not limit him from feeling hatred or ill-feelings toward her.  I think we do this a lot as parents.  I dare say that CHRISTIAN PARENTS suffer from this one more than the average.  We don't WANT our children to hate their siblings (or anyone, really) but can you honestly say that YOU have never hated SOMEONE in your life?  Really?  So can you imagine what we do to our children when we punish them for something they really have no control over?  It's like punishing a newborn for peeing in her diaper. 

Limits should be stated so the child knows clearly
  1. what constitutes unacceptable conduct
  2. what is an acceptable alternative
Different ways of stating limits
  1. Recognize the childs wish and put it in simple terms
  2. Clearly state the limits on a specific act
  3. State examples showing how the wish can at least partially be fulfilled
  4. Help child express resentment that will probably arise
An example for an instance when your daughter wants to go to the movies on a school night:
  1. "You wish you could go to the movies"
  2. "But the rule in our house is 'no movies on school nights'"
  3. "You may go to the movies on Friday or Saturday"
  4. "It is obvious you don't like the rule"
I'm not sure #4 is a home run comment...I can see a lot of eye-rolling and "well deh" on the part of the daughter after that...but I'm willing to try it when the time comes!  Do YOU have a better suggestion?  (love your comments!)

Young children's motor activities should not be over-restrained
     - it results in emotional tension and may lead to aggression

This was yet ANOTHER "well deh" moment.  I especially notice this with my boys.  I can tell when my Kindergardener has not had a good opportunity to run around at school because he generally comes home ready to blow.

Okay, so we've stated the limits...but what happens when a child violates those limits (which we all know is right around the corner)

DO NOT ARGUE!!

I know, I know...you do it.  I do it.  BECAUSE WE'RE RIGHT!!!  And I want to win...and point it out to you that I am right...because I AM RIGHT!  lol.
  • don't get sucked in to a long, drawn-out discussion about how fair or unfair the limit was in the first place (you know they'll get you to this place in two seconds FLAT)
  • Do not invoke long explanations for the limit or the enforcement of it.
Short and to the point:

"People are not for hitting"
"Windows are not for breaking"

STOP TALKING NOW!!!  lol.

And here is the big one.  The one that just made me sit back in my chair and go: "I've been doing it all wrong"....and yet again...DEH.

"IF PARENTS TALK TOO MUCH, THEY CONVEY WEAKNESS"

Seriously.  Can I just point out again where the bible agrees with this?  It's one of my favorite Proverbs 'cause I'm a guilty, guilty party in this area (in case the blog hasn't convinced you)

Proverbs 10:19 says:

19 The more talk, the less truth;
   the wise measure their words.

This is "The Message" translation...I thought there was a translation out there that actually said "shut your mouth"...but maybe that was my own little translation.  hehe.

What about spanking?  Well, here is an interesting take on spanking:

"Spanking relieves guilt too easily"

The child feels that after the spanking he has paid for the misbehavior and is now free to repeat it.  Again, made lots of sense to me.  I hit my sister and get a spanking....next time I feel angry, I will say to myself....I can take the spanking.  It's worth it.  I think I have actually seen this at work in my middle son!  I've seen him think about it, weigh the consequence and belly up to the couch to repent and absolve himself until next time....

So there you have it!
My nuggets of parenting wisdom
Gleaned from a great resource.
Hope it was helpful.
Even if it just makes you feel like
you and your family are
PERFECTLY NORMAL! 

Until next time...

Just Amy