Thursday, August 30, 2018

Energy Food and the power of influence

  Sometimes it baffles me the power of influence that I have as a momma with my children. So it's a very sobering thought to know that the way I handle things and approach things my children will most likely adopt. It makes me so convinced that my attitude needs to be at its best!. It's something to work on that's for sure but I'm enjoying seeing that when I enjoy something my children just about usually do as well.

I decided to take this to heart with breakfast this past week. I woke up the kids and told them I am so excited that I was going to feed them energy cakes. What? I asked them, You've never heard of energy cakes?? :-) I told them it's something amazing and the more you get to put into it the more energy you will feel and the more you'll get accomplished. It makes for a really great day!

They were quite excited! I let them help me whip up some pancake batter that had lots of extra eggs in it. Then I laid out on the counter all kinds of energy ingredients that they could add to their pancakes. I reminded them that the more they added the better it would be! They got to choose from oats, chia seeds, flax seed, honey, Craisins, raisins, and cinnamon. They had so much fun personalizing their energy cakes. It was so cute because after the first bite Micah thought he could already feel the energy. And he was probably right, that kid sure is full of energy all the time! So that day was a success!
 I tried the idea again later in the week with Greek yogurt. They loved making energy cream :-)!
  And then we tried it once again with oatmeal. Now I'm not a fan of oatmeal. But energy oats? I really did like it and they sure did too!

It sure is my desire to influence my kids in the right way. And this sure was a fun way to do it!

Friday, August 24, 2018

Bunches of books on my nightstand!

School time always puts the desire in my heart to start reading in more earnest. To be honest, I have way too many books that I would like to read! I'm trying to keep my focus this year on reading books that will help me. I enjoyed several great fiction books this summer but I'm ready to get my attention focused :o) This is my stack that I've chosen to narrow down.  My goal is to read these by the end of the year. We'll see how it goes! As I read I'll let you know what I think. Anyone else have some great books on their nightstand?

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

On to another school year!

I can always tell when it's time to start school.  My kiddos get antsy.  They don't seem as satisfied with sleeping in and playing all day.  It's a good thing!  We were ready to start school!

We've ordered, planned and prepared, and the first day finally arrived!  I like to start all my kiddos off together with Pledges, Prayer and Bible class.  This year we are doing 4th grade Bible together.

We have tried a few curicullums over the years, and Abeka DVDs is my favorite!  I love that they are getting the BEST education!  I've figured some things that work for us and I'll post those things soon.

Silas - 4th grade

Callie Grace - 3rd Grade

Micah - 1st grade

Beth and Brenna are once again doing online courses with VBC.  Over the summer the college changed the name from Virginia Baptist College to Veritas Baptist College.

Brenna is taking many classes with an emphasis on education.

Beth is staying diligent being our church secretary and handling our church's financial matters such as keeping the books and paying the bills.  She's looking forward to taking more secretarial/business courses this year.  She also decided that through the summer she wanted to read her Bible through.  She started on May 2 and finished the day before school started, August 19th.  That's 3 1/2 months!  Proud of my girl!

Looking forward to a great school year!

Monday, August 20, 2018

I told you so!

In my last post I mentioned how to encourage your Pastor.  I did a little bragging on the people of VSIBC and how encouraging and wonderful they are to my whole family.  Well, they did it again!  Joshua told us to not ask any questions but to arrive at church Sunday night later than usual.  That killed us!  But, we did good and arrived at 5:55 like we were told.  When we got there, everyone was there and as we walked in the church is was decorated and everyone was standing and hollered, "Surpirse!"  They planned a very sweet Pastor Appreciation Service!

Everyone worked very hard, but Joshua led everything.  To say we are proud of our son is an understatement.  He is a model Assistant to the Pastor and Youth Director.  He works tirelessly and has such passion for the Lord!  

They sang our favorite hymns, Haven of Rest and Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.

They gave us a very generous love offering.

Then, they gave testimonies.  Oh me oh my...I boo hooed like crazy!  These people are so dear to our heart, and they are so loving!

God really knew who we needed when He called us to High Springs!

Then, they played a slide show while Tabitha sang a song about "The Man of God"  It was so special and touching.  Such a precious memory!!

Then, Joshua presented Patrick with something he wrote.  It was signed by all the men of our church pledging to stand behind their Pastor and encourage him and pray for him.  This is something we will treasure.  I can't describe the emotion that we felt.  We have an amazing church!

Then, we went to the back for cake and tea.  They had bought groceries for us to fill our pantry.  There was all of our favorites...chocolate, soda....all the goodies!

We are truly blessed with thoughtful people.  I told you they were an encouragement to us!  Isn't it funny how we cry when we are happy!?  My tears are still glistening with joy.  I can't even describe how special these people are to us.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

How To Encourage Your Pastor (From the Pastor's Wife point of view)

Not too long ago, I posted about how encouraging our people are to their pastor, my husband.  Patrick and I have been "in the minstry" for about 21 years.  But out of that time, he's only pastored for 3 1/2 years.  I guess Victory Springs is sort of like having a first born.  They grow as we are learning. :o)  God has truly blessed us with wonderful people that love the Lord and love our family, as well.

  I started thinking about a post on "How to Encourage Your Pastor" when we received several texts from our church members when Patrick was preaching out of town.  I saw how encouraging that was to  my preacher hubby, so I began thinking about posting on this subject.  So much of what I have learned, I learned from the people God has called us to.

I could do a whole post on the WHYS of encouraging your Pastor, but I think most of us know why he needs encouraging.  I thought, as a Pastor's Wife, I would post the "HOW" to encourage him.

1. Pray for your Pastor Satan is after him.  He'd like nothing more than to discourage him throughout the week and especially before he preaches.  Pray for him throughout the week.  Pray for him before he preaches.  We need to hear from God through the preaching of His Word.  Pray for the one God has called to deliver that message to you.

2. Help limit distractions during preaching.  Have you ever gotten up to give a testimony, or sing a special and your eye catches a couple whispering, or someone getting up to go to the bathroom, or papers rattling?'s distracting!  Imagine getting up for 30-45 minutes (or longer ;o) )  and having all sorts of distractions.  It's hard to focus!  Help your preacher by having everything ready to go so that when it's time to hear the preaching, you're all set.  It's not time for finding pens, papers, opening candy, getting coloring pages for your kiddos, etc.  It's time to sit and listen.   Use the restroom beforehand.  Have your children use the restroom beforehand.  Lets be honest.  Most of us can sit through a whole movie without moving or getting up.  I think we can do it for the preaching.  Your kids can, too.

3. Take Notes.  We usually forget what we hear.  I know I do!  If we write it down, we will remember it and put it into action.  Your Preacher is encouraged when you are engaged in the sermon and taking notes.

4.Be faithful and involved.  Nothing discourages a preacher more than people who are hit and miss.  People that aren't dependable to come to church faithfully, every time the doors are open, make the preacher feel he has failed to reach you and encourage you.  You are definitely missing out on the message God ordained to give you for the week.

5. Don't approach the Preacher with an urgent matter before he preaches.  Whatever matter you bring to him will be on his mind throughout the message.  He needs to focus on delivering what God would have him to.  Make an appointment and talk with him during the week. 

6. Remember that he is human.  And humans fail.  There will be times that he may say something he wished he wouldn't have.  Or he may put his foot in his mouth.  Be forgiving.

7. Assume the best.  Preachers are not out to offend you.  They love you.  They do want to bring the message God would have them to.  Don't assume that they are out to "get you" or that they even know the struggles you faced that week.

8. Go to the Preacher If you have something that has hurt you or offended you, try to get over it.  If you can't and it still bothers you, go to the Preacher and talk it over.  Not to others.  Too often we hear that someone is hurt from another person.  That ought not to be so.  If you have a problem, come to him.  That is the Biblical way to handle it.

9.  Find out what he wants to be called.  Your preacher ought to be respected.  Just as you wouldn't call our president, Don, or you wouldn't call your teacher by their first name, you shouldn't call the preacher by his first name.  He may prefer Pastor.  He may prefer Preacher.  Find out what his preference is.

10. Respect that he is a man and wants to protect his marriage and family.  Preachers don't need to counsel woman alone, or have private time with them.  Respect that.

11.  Give the preacher a day off.  For my husband, he tries to take Mondays off.  Try to be mindful of that.  If at all possible, try not to call on those days.  Of course he wants to be notified if someone is in the hospital or there is an emergency.  But, other than that he needs time with his family and to recoop from a busy week.  He really is on call day and night.  It's 
nice to have a day to unwind.

12.  Love his family.  When you love on them, you're loving on him and he is very thankful. Remember also that his wife and kids are human,too.  They don't have it all together. His children disobey sometimes, just like yours do.  His wife burns the dinner sometimes and has laundry on the couch. There are matters they are working on and they are growing closer to the Lord
 just as you are. Give them grace.

13.  Remember, he loves his people.  God has put a special place in his heart for the flock God has called him to. It really is a calling. You are his family and he is blessed to have you!  Love him back.  Write him notes.  Tell him you enjoyed his message.  Bring him his favorite chocolate. (His wife wouldn't mind some of her favorite, too ;o) )  Purpose to be positive about him to others.

I think about the Pastors God has put in my life.  I'm so thankful for each one.  We truly are blessed!

Friday, August 17, 2018

Pig and Goats together?

We decided to change things up a bit for our animals.  We put our pig, Josie Pie, in with our goats for a few days.  It's funny to see them react to each other. Josie Pie is clueless to the goats around her.  She's just enjoying eating everything in sight!

 The goats, on the other hand, aren't very fond of Josie Pie.  They group together and just stare at her.  They can be quite aggressive with one another for their grain.  However when Josie Pie ate their grain, they just stared at her.

After a few days, and many escapes by Josie Pie, we put her back in her pen. Oh well.  It was fun and for a little bit!  The pen we have her in, though, has gotten quite small.  Or I guess I should say that she is growing and getting bigger!  Yay!  She's doing well....she's just truly a little piggy and eats plenty!  And do you notice Courduroy in this picture?  He's growing so much!  What a buck!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

What did I grow?

I've mentioned before...I just don't have a green thumb.  But, I have the desire!!  This year's summer garden wasn't quite the success I hoped for.  I did harvest some vegetables.  I grew cucumbers and eggplants.  We enjoyed those!  And I grew an unexpected blessing...the sweet pepper plant I bought was actually jalepenos.  Hhhhm.  What do I do with those?  I like Jalepeno Poppers.  But, these were quite small and very hot!  So, I looked up a recipe for Jalepeno Jam. 

I whipped up a batch.  It made 4 nice size jars.  And the verdict?  Success!!! I loved it!  Patrick loved it !  Even the kids loved it!!  It has a nice sweetness with a little kick.  And it looks pretty in the jars.:o)
 I used this recipe from jamie cooks it up, but with a little twist to it.  I added 1 cup of brown sugar, 1/2 cup white vinegar and 1 t. of salt.

 Last night I tried it out on our company and they loved it too!  I served it on crackers with some cream cheese. 

So, I now know that I can grow jalepenos.  I think this will be a yearly staple.  Now excuse me please while I go have another cracker with jalepeno jam! :o)

Thursday, August 9, 2018

A Time Away

 It's nice to be able to get away for a vacation. We weren't sure it was going to be possible this summer. But the Lord worked it out for us! And it was a wonderful little getaway. We are so thankful for Pastor Fuentes and the people of Central Baptist Church that opened up their prophet's chamber for us to come and stay for a few days. It was refreshing, relaxing , rejuvenating and just plain wonderful!
 While we were there we were able to visit the science museum. They had a lot of fun activities and aquariums.

 Callie was so excited to touch something that has been in space.
 I guess Irma wasn't enough for them. My kids loved getting in the hurricane simulator.
 And the next day we went to the zoo. I honestly thought this was going to be a teeny tiny zoo that we would finish in an hour or so. We really could have spent a whole lot more time there, but it was so incredibly hot! I was so thankful my friend Rose and her sweet son Matthew could join us for the day and show us around.

 Elisabeth , Silas and Callie, were my brave ones that wanted to feed the lorikeets. That was quite interesting! :-)
 Then it was off to the taco truck for lunch. Oh Me Oh My that was some amazing food! It was so amazing that the next day we had to do it all over again!
So thankful for a wonderful place to stay, wonderful friendship, and a restful vacation. Now it's time for school to start! And for Fall to begin. Where's my pumpkin candles?