What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

~~~~~~~Strawberries~~~~~~~~~~~ Posted by Hello

Currently Reading: The Big Book of Preserving the Harvest by Carol Costanbader

This is such a great book! I want to buy it in the worst way! I had seen it and told Matt I wanted it for my collection but hadn't gotten it. SO-last time I went to the library, I borrowed it and sure enough it exceeded all of my expectations...and I am only 10 pages into it. It is definately a resource I hope to get sometime. Maybe for Christmas or something...hint, hint Mattie!

Last night I cleaned out the freezer to make room for some freezer jam. I have had the strawberries but didn't have room to make any so I finally buckled down and did it. It was so much fun and VERY easy to make! I love the taste of Strawberry freezer jam and felt so accomplished to finally have made some myself! I made six 8-oz jars and I have enough strawberries to make probably two more jars worth. I hope to freeze some strawberries too. I do have to be somewhat picky as far as what I freeze since we only have a small freezer inside our fridge. When we get a home of our own, a seperate freezer is a must, especially when we can have a garden the size we would like it to be.
So-that's all I wanted to say. :-) Have a good day!

Monday, June 27, 2005

Our dear friends John and Abby joined us for some WONDERFUL fellowship on Sunday and Corynn had a ball with their girls Millie and Annika. As you can see here.... Posted by Hello

Who.......ME????? Posted by Hello

The Browns invited me to go on a cookout with them at Hickories Park, Owego. We had a blast!!!! Here is Samantha and Corynn going on a water walk...sometimes I think they love each other so much they could be sisters. Posted by Hello

Wayne (red shirt) catching crawfish....he caught a total of 16 before dinner! (And I had my first glimpse of one...) Posted by Hello

Corynn eating SMORES (her first sampling) while sporting Samuel's COOL shades. Posted by Hello

Thursday, June 23, 2005

We went to pick strawberries today-only to find out that the fields were closed for the day-grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. So we hung our heads, sad and miserable, until we went to see the barns full of animals. Posted by Hello

Up close and personal Posted by Hello

Samuel's first pony experience....he didn't seem too interested. Posted by Hello

Corynn and the pony... Posted by Hello

Matt hard at work building a hutch for the bunnies. He is so handy-he even built his own sawhorses! (He worked from sun-up to sun-down with only a 3 1/2 hour break. He finished by flashlight. Talk about love!) Posted by Hello

Matt looking very patriotic while getting some input from FooFoo...a sort of, bunny consultation. Posted by Hello

The finished product...just as nice as in the stores...but a whole lot cheaper. It is so nice to be married to a handy man! Posted by Hello

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Troubling Times and the Terrible Two's?

We have begun having a terrible time with Corynn these days. She seems always to be pushing the limits, seeing how far she can go with disobedience, and trying out her independance and free will at no cost. She can be so insufferable! She really tries my patience sometimes. We were at the library today and she kept running away from me. When I would tell her to come-she would run the other way. When I told her to sit on the stool, she would go and sit on the floor. When I told her stop, she would laugh and run away. I spanked her twice in the aisle, then took her to the bathroom where I gave her a harder spank, and when that didn't work-I finally left...my left arm brimful with books and my right arm carrying a little girl. I was a bit miffed. She has also started to cover her face or say 'no' when she doesn't want to hear something or do something. When I tell her to come, she waits until I make a move to her before she makes a step.

Though I can get very discouraged about it, it WILL stop. I have been consistent and firm-but obviously, she needs me to be more so. It is ever so important to nip these things in the bud now. I will NOT stand for a child telling me no. I will NOT stand for children not listening to their elders (as a situation this past weekend is fresh on my mind..). I will not have delayed obedience (also known as disobedience).
I am happy to be experiencing this though, because I hope that in the end, it will serve as an eye-opener to godly parenting methods. I will laugh in peoples' faces when they say to me (as they have in the past) "Wait until you have difficult one, a stubborn one, a hard to manage one or even...wait until you have a boy!" Corynn is no pushover...she is no complacent little girl. She wants her way as any child does. She is stubborn in her efforts, zealous for control, and does not want authority-much like any other child. I am happy to admit this because then people will know that when she grows old and she is obedient and she brings us delight, they will know it was not due to her disposition but rather to diligence in her training as a child.

Rereading Disciplining Little Ones was actually a great encouragement to me, and I have needed it. I am reminded of a quote from another of D.Wilson's articles called The Long-Run. In it, he says....
The most important returns from child-rearing in this life do not come in the first five years. There is necessarily a heavy investment of time and energy when the children are little. But if they are disciplined and taught well, as they grow they will begin to contribute far more to the family than they receive from it. We are born into this world with one mouth and two hands. So when obedient to God, we produce more than we consume. But initially, as newborns and toddlers, children merely contribute to the workload.
He goes on to speak about the rewards not only in this life, but the eternal value of what we do each day as parents.
I certainly need that reminder and the sinful ways of my child rear their ugly little heads.

Happy Father's Day (a day or two late...)

While I had already spent time writing a big long post only to be interrupted by the needs of my husband and child and by doing so, I left my post vulnerable to deletion (which did occur); here I am...at 10:30 at night, retyping remnants of what was already thoughtfully written. (Parden the big long run-on sentence full of grammatical errors Abby...)

Happy Father's Day! In honor of such a day, I am posting two articles I recently read in Doug Wilson's Credenda Agenda. Much like the rabbit scenario, I liked them both so instead of choosing one-why not choose both?!?! Read on....

Disciplining Little Ones
Douglas Wilson

As a father pities his children, so the LORD pities those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust (Psalm 103:13-14).

Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged (Col. 3:21).

God the Father is a good father to us. As Christians we fear and honor Him; and as we do, He remembers our frame. The Lord, our text says, pities us and accommodates our frail capacity. In doing this, the Lord is like a good father, watching over His children.

The important principle here, which parents should consistently remember and apply, is that God knows our frame, He remembers that we are dust. In this, He is like a human father. So as we seek to be good parents, we must know our children's frame. This can only come about through carefully studying and considering our children. A special area of importance in this is considering how our children respond to us as we exercise disciplinary authority over them.

We can forget our children's frame in different ways. Some parents have gotten caught in the trap of countless rules. Taking their cue from some federal agency, they surround their children with a constant, bewildering stream of requirements. But when laws multiply, so does non-compliance. In contrast to humanistic law, God's law is plain, simple, and to the point. Humanistic law is complex, devious, twisted, contradictory, and endless. Rules in a godly house should therefore be basic and easy to understand. "You must always tell the truth. You must always obey us immediately. You must always respect your mother." This does not cover every situation, but it actually comes close.

Another problem is that of unnecessary requirements. Take the example of a mother with a toddler, visiting a friend. The child is happily playing. When it is time to go, the mother should not thoughtlessly create a showdown. "Come here. Put on your coat." If she gives a command which is disregarded, then discipline becomes necessary. Commands should therefore not be given thoughtlessly, thrown out in an offhand way. The mother will save herself a lot of grief if she just goes over and picks her child up. If at that point the child resists, discipline is fully appropriate and necessary. This is not catering to the child; it is simply a matter of picking the battles carefully. Multitudes of occasions which require swift and effective discipline will always be available. No home has a shortage of such times. So why create more such occasions than you really need?

Yet another problem occurs when parents unnecessarily blindside the kids with a requirement. For example, suppose the kids are playing outside after dinner, when one of the parents goes to the door, and calls, "Time to come in!" This is just asking for static. A better way is to give some advance warning. "Ten more minutes!" Then when they are called ten minutes later, they have had ample time to mentally adjust and spiritually prepare.

Another, very serious problem arises when parents exercise their authority over their children in a sinful way, and then (for the sake of "maintaining authority") refuse to apologize and make restitution. We can characterize this as the problem of stubborn requirements. One of the best ways to teach the sovereignty of God over the home is for the children to see the parents submit to God's authority in practical ways. This can occur in many areas, but one of the most important is that of apologies offered to children by parents. This teaches the children that the requirements of the home are not the result of random neuron-firings in the parental brain. Instead, God has given the requirements, and the parents are under that authority as much as the children are. A besetting sin of anyone in authority is the reluctance to confess sin for fear of jeopardizing their position. Parents must especially guard against this; so if you messed up, say so.

We can also discourage children under the burden of requirements when we impose those requirements without an environment of love, grace, acceptance, sweetness, and light. One of the reasons that the discipline of many parents does not succeed in restoring the child to fellowship is because often there is no fellowship in the first place. For example, when children are disciplined effectively, they will afterwards turn back to the parents for comfort and restoration. But if the discipline causes them to turn away, the parents need to take a hard look at the overall tone of the home. In a warm home, the disruption of that warmth through the turmoil of discipline is intolerable to a child. In a home where this warmth is missing, the acute pain of discipline is simply added to the chronic pain of no fellowship.

Some parents are hard on their children because that is the personality type of the parents. Some parents are soft for the same reason. But as Christians we must reject the implicit pagan determinism of "personality types." God charges us all with the task of being wise parents, no matter who we are. This means that when we take a hard line, we do so biblically and thoughtfully. And when we remember "the frame" of our children, we do so biblically and thoughtfully.

The results will be families which are honoring to God and to the cause of the gospel. Our children will grow up in a home with high disciplinary standards, but those standards will not be burdensome. God says to us that this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome (1 John 5:3). We should say something very similar to our children.

As if that were not enough......

Hard and Soft
Douglas Wilson

Peace in the home is built upon the foundation of a biblical masculinity. At the center of each home should be a dependable man—a godly husband to the wife, and an immovable rock of a father for the children. He establishes and maintains his dominion through service, and not through domineering (Mark 9:35). In the home, one of the most important ways a man can sacrifice his own interests is through providing the leadership which the family needs from him. In this context, a servant’s heart does not drift about, saying, “Gosh, I don’t know. What do you want to do?”

Men should of course be kind and pleasant to their wives and children, and the Scripture sternly forbids harshness in the home (Col. 3:19-21). But being nice does not exhaust the duties placed upon a man by the Lord. Many nice men, through lack of leadership, have driven their wives and children to the point of exasperation.

Soft leadership produces hard people. Hard leadership, provided it is biblically hard, results in tender people. Soft leadership never rebukes, never disciplines, and the results for the home are often gross. David was an indulgent father, and his son Amnon raped his half-sister. His son Absalom killed Amnon and later rebelled against his father, and Adonijah plotted for the throne. A soft father sired hard sons (I Kgs. 1:6). Eli was another indulgent father and had sons who would sleep with the women who gathered at the tabernacle of the Lord. Soft leadership led to the harshness of rape, murder, and incest. In the modern world, we may add the fruit of drug abuse, divorce, sodomy, insolence, immorality, suicide, and the rest of the list.

In the same way, men should lead and protect their wives. When men neglect their wives, the world often sees the results of the husband's sin in the wife. When the results of this neglect show up in an obvious way through the wife's infidelity, drunkenness, gluttony, etc., everyone shakes his head and wonders what got into her . But the hardness of sin in her was brought into the world through the softness of his abdication. Men must be masculine for their wives and children.

But at the same time, our culture is at war with this masculinity. This means that the men who are equipped to maintain peace in their homes will be men at war beyond the front door. A man who has what it takes to provide peace, stability and security in his home will be just the kind of man who is embattled outside. Our world system is hostile to the kind of masculinity which is capable of guiding and protecting the godly home. Centuries ago, in the great battle over the Trinity, Athanasius was told at one time that the whole world was against him. Then let it be known, he said, that Athanasius is contra mundum against the whole world. In the same way, the biblical man should know that his scriptural hardness, the necessary protective fence for his family, will always provoke a hostile response whenever he is out in the world.

The points of battle will obviously varybusiness, academia, union meetings, political campaigns, the op-ed page of the local newspaper, etc . As a result, there will be many who take a dim view of your uncompromising stand, and they will assume that at home, you must be an ogre right out of Grimm's Fairy Tales . One time my wife was visiting with a woman in our community and slowly the light of identification began to go on in the other woman's head. The woman then asked my wife if she were married to the present writer of this column. When my wife said she in fact was, the woman said, "But you seem so nice !"

Jesus taught us that if everyone thinks we are wonderful, then we are doing something seriously wrong (Luke 6:26). Unfortunately, the false identification of truth and haughtiness can be found in the church as well. Because the culture at large considers the emasculation of men to be the norm, effeminate expectations for men have inundated the church.

So confusion reigns. Because there is a dearth of godly examples, some within the church have resorted to chest-pounding substitutes for biblical masculinity. Instead of a biblically confident leadership, we see arrogance, pride, overweening conceit, self-centered financial habits, boasting, and so forth. This sort of counterfeiting is from men who are not mature in their masculinity; they are blowhards.

To complicate matters further, a Christian man who is living out a biblical masculinity will be slanderously accused of being proud, arrogant, too logical, self-willed, etc . In a very real way (and this is a central part of the tragedy of our modern church), we are put off by masculinity. We insist upon being led by women, or, if that cannot be done, by men who are like women. Isaiah spoke of the problem this way. "As for My people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O My people! Those who lead you cause you to err, and destroy the way of your paths" (Is. 3:12). A mark of how thoroughly we have been propagandized can be seen in how we react to such passages. Instead of seeing such biblical language as a slap at cotqueans, we think it is an insult to women . We've come a long way, baby.

So men who are men before the Lord will seek, by His grace, to establish homes which are havens of peace in a world which declares war on all who will not cave at the knees.

Credenda/Agenda Vol. 7, No. 2

I was going to cut and paste the things that pertained mostly to "Fathering" but decided against it considering all the 'good stuff' I would leave out. I hope you don't feel bombarded with too much information. Though they are two quite different topics, I hope you will see the continuity of concepts that fall within the great responsibility of being a godly father. At Father's Day (and any other holiday for that matter...), reality becomes ideal and observation is through rose colored glasses (or is Scott's or John's cases...with beer goggles on. hehehe). One must be reminded, especially at this time, fathering is not just playing ball with your children or milking cows with them, or working to give them the things they need. Fathering is not even just leading devotions or singing in the home. Fathering is at times, unpleasant. At times, daunting. As it should be...it is,after all, a great responsibility-but the Lord God has provided our men with the perfect example to look to. Anyhow. I hope you like the articles. I am well pleased with my hubby and very thankful indeed for the man the Lord has chosen for me. He is a wonderful husband and father...my cup runneth over.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Our Family is Growing...

Well, we got our 'boys' today! Not boys as in boys but boys as in boy bunny babies. (*Did you know baby bunnies are called kittens?) Anyway. I picked them up today. Following are some pictures. I already told you that one of the bunnies has only three legs. Matt insisted that he be the one to name that one (much to my dismay!) and he did at that. He chose the name Mephibosheth (I had to look that one up!). Of course we all know (hehehe) that Mephibosheth was a man of the old testament who was dropped by his Nanny and became cripple all his life. (2 Samuel 4:4) Since it takes all my energy just to try and SAY the name, we shortened it to 'Fibby'. So it is Foo Foo and Fibby. Foo Foo is the tan one and Fibby is the the grey one with white on it's chest. Come meet the babies......

Meet the Boys, Fibby and Foo Foo. Posted by Hello

Getting to know you...getting to know all about you. Posted by Hello

Matt, Corynn, and Foo Foo. There aren't many pictures of Fibby because he was running around trying to size the place up. Posted by Hello

Let's try this again...next time with my head in the picture... Posted by Hello

Hi. Posted by Hello

Here is Corynn trying to give Foo Foo a 'toy'let paper roll. Foo Foo came for the toilet paper roll but wouldn't come for a carrot. Hmmmm... Posted by Hello

Corynn and the 'boys' Posted by Hello

Tired out from exploration.... Posted by Hello

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

1. Lettuce
3. Squash
5.Orange Bell Peppers
6. Beets
7. Habanero Plants
8.Wax Beans
9. Tomato
10. Cukes
11. Green Beans
12. Stepping Stones
13. Scallions Posted by Hello

An exciting day all the way around!

Good news! Since Matt got compost yesterday for me, I woke up with Matt this morning to put the garden in before the blazing sun was at it's hottest. While it WAS nice and cool, the bugs were HORRIBLE! I have no complaints though. I am just so happy to finally have it all in. I got all of it in before Corynn woke up this morning, with the exception of the Habanero plants I got for Matt. I decided to be creative and try a layout that was functional as well as styled. I included some marigolds to add color and used shapes for dimension. Since it is just the three of us and we were already limited in space, I figured now was the time to have fun with it. I plan on doing some succession planting in the next few weeks for the lettuce, spinach, cukes, and beets. Not that I NEED to, I just want to try my hand at it.

In other news...WOO HOO! Matt gave me permission to get a rabbit. I have been longing for a pet but we are limited in what we can have. I just think it is so important for children (and me!) to have access to animals. Bunnies are clean, quiet, and loving. The part that is (hopefully) a seller is that if you weren't looking-you wouldn't even know they were there. I still haven't run it by the landlady-as you can tell. I am holding my breath. Please, please, please! But wait-there's more! Matt gave me permission for one bunny. The pet shops all want $30.00 for bunnies (which is RIDICULOUS!) Matt and I wanted to buy from someone local-to help them out AND us (with lower prices.) Just down the road, Matt spotted a sign for one and told me to check them out. This morning I went. I was so excited, I left right after Corynn ate her breakfast. Well, the poor lady had her pj's on....ooops. Anyway. It turns out-she supplies the local malls and Tractor supply stores with bunnies...they buy them from her for $10.00 and they sell them for $30.00! I fell in love with two of them. One is sandy colored and the other a grey color that goes from light to dark as you look from head to toe. Well, both were sweet and cuddled right into my neck and both were active when put down so I just couldn't decide which one I wanted. I asked her what gender they were, in hopes that that would help me make a decision. Both were boys as we found out (which didn't help me at all), but we found out something VERY important...that the gray bunny was missing a foot! The lady didn't even know that it had happened but apparently, the poor thing's foot got stuck in the cage and tore off at the joint! She said, "Well, I guess you don't want that one!" I said, "On the contrary-it makes me want it more!" I asked her if she would give me both bunnies for $15.00 (which is a bargain since she was going KILL the poor little guy!) and she agreed. I knew it would be nearly impossible for Matt to agree to Corynn and I getting two bunnies, but I called anyway. Do you know what? He said "Sure. If you want two bunnies, go ahead!!!!" I still can't believe it. I am in shock. Tomorrow, I go and pick them up. They will live inside until Matt can build them a hutch this weekend. And someone on freecycle has offered me a water bottle! Everything is coming together so nicely, I am floating on air. I just hope Jackie doesn't pop this balloon.
So-when Matt first said I could get a bunny-Corynn and I decided upon "Foo Foo" for it. There are TWO now, though, and I am faced with a predicament. I am going to pull a Scott, and though there is no soap in the bargain, I AM hoping for a good name for the other. I am not even sure which one will be Foo-Foo. If you can think of anything pertaining to three-footed-hey, that might be just the ticket!
Tomorrow I will post some pictures of our new favorite bunny babies....

ahhhhhhh...sweet contentment. The garden is IN-and now the rains can come! Posted by Hello

Garden 1 of 2: The Raised Bed. The selection is great, offering two slicing tomato plants, four habanero pepper plants, five yellow squash, and some marigolds I added for color. What is not showing is the luscious green of spinach and lettuce, and the Newman favorites-beets and cucumbers.  Posted by Hello

Garden number 2-of the container type. Here we have four cherry tomato plants, two slicing tomato plants, six green pepper plants, two 'oriole' orange bell pepper plants, and a choice selection of flowers, many of which I started myself. Posted by Hello