Monday, March 31, 2014

Making Me Smile...

I've never seen a smiling face that was not beautiful. 
~Author Unknown


Smiling is my favorite exercise.
 ~Author Unknown


My dad and his mini-me (in the female version)...although she wasn't too sure on the matching hats...



Smiling is infectious,
You can catch it like the flu.
Someone smiled at me today,
And I started smiling too.
~Author Unknown



Above, Madelyn and Dinah...

Below, X and Eloise....


Jaxson and El checking out the crane machine (a family favorite waste-of-money)...


Oh how the girls *loved* Madelyn pushing them around on the trike!


Look at Dinah laughing here (below)! Sheer delight!!!


Time for some creativity!!!




Jaxson's smile in the background makes *me* smile...


What's been making *you* smile lately!? 



It's all about Jesus Christ being first....
and second and third and fourth and fifth. 
 What I'm saying is, don't put Jesus first.
 Jesus is everything. 
 He's not just first in the rank, 
He is everything. 
~Paul Washer

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Chickens = Eggs


Our hens have been laying quite well (despite the still winter-like weather/temps we have been having). We just love having fresh eggs to eat! It is such a blessing! The one funny thing is the varying sizes of eggs that we get! Above you can see a large one we got versus a tiny one...we got them both on the same day! 

Below you can see a average sized egg we get in the middle with the large and tiny ones to compare to! No matter their size, they taste great!


The large one was a double-yoker, which is always cause for cheers in our house! Xavier called this one for his breakfast...


Madelyn is usually the egg-washer in the house (although sometimes I do it). We are getting 15+ eggs per day! Here is a photo of some that have been recently washed. Look at the varying sizes! Sometimes it is hard to get the top of the carton to fit over them!


Do you have chickens? If so, how well are they laying for you? I hope well! Fresh eggs are such a blessing, truly! When we have extra we sell them to friends very inexpensively. (I am convinced good-for-you food does *not* have to be expensive!)

Thanks for stopping by!
Warmly,
Katy


It's all about Jesus Christ being first....
and second and third and fourth and fifth.
 What I'm saying is, don't put Jesus first. 
 Jesus is everything.
 He's not just first in the rank,
 He is everything. 
~Paul Washer

Saturday, March 22, 2014

A Need for Discernment

 Discernment is not a matter of simply telling the difference between right and wrong; 

rather it is telling the difference between right and almost right. 

~Charles Spurgeon



Discernment...oh how this is a matter that weighs heavily upon me. I try so hard not to become disheartened of the fact that so many don't use the gift of discernment that God gives us. People will flock to any new song, movie, book or preacher that tickles their ears. Just because something is almost right...doesn't make it right. The gospel has to be the truth of Scripture...nothing more, nothing less or else it just isn't right.


“How shall a man judge what to do in such times?'
'As he ever has judged,' said Aragorn. 'Good and ill have not changed since yesteryear...It is a man's part to discern them, as much in th Golden Wood as in his own house.” 

~J.R.R. Tolkien

As Christians, we have a responsibility to use discernment in all matters...otherwise it is very easy to fall victim to a wolf in sheep's clothes. First, let's look at the definition of discernment:

Webster's Dictionary says it is a noun meaning:  
the ability to see and understand people, things, or situations clearly and intelligently.

I found some of the synonyms to be telling, as well. They are wisdom, perceptiveness, and insight. So to have discernment is to have wisdom, perceptiveness and insight! How wonderful is that?


Before I go on, let me make it abundantly clear that I am so far from perfect and have so much growing in wisdom to do myself. I do not write out of a vicious (or "know it all") spirit but rather one of concern and sadness. Please understand that my heart cries out for others to be careful because I desire to see the church grow more holy and righteous and pleasing to Christ.

So, after saying that...I now feel I need to address the fact that so many people are falling prey to the likes of "your best life now" and "feel good" preaching. The truth is that we are to take up our cross daily! In the words of Christ: "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.  For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.  What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?" (Luke 9:23-25).

There are new movies coming out (for example, the Noah movie with Russell Crowe in it, the Son of God movie, etc.) that are truly *not* biblical. People make up the argument that it can bring Christianity to people. I say it does more harm than good. I highly encourage you to read some reviews. Here's one on Noah by Ken Ham...and one on Son of God by Tim Challies.

The *only* way to truly convert souls to Christ is:
The working of the Holy Spirit in their hearts due to hearing the gospel shared with them (which is our job...not through movies etc.). They must feel a Godly sorrow of their sins and repent of them and believe in the Christ Who saves their souls. The Word leads people to Christ...not a movie or song. 


Please don't get me wrong...I don't think you are horrible or unintelligent if you go see these movies (although if you are a fan of Joel Osteen, Benny Hinn and the likes, I do want you to dig into God's Word to see that their preaching is not of God. Joel Osteen is about carnality. Watch THIS. Paul Washer says it just as it is. Know it is my concern for your soul that I share this with you. I pray all who need to see this ~ do, for out of love I want to admonish you to use discernment and realize life isn't about getting more stuff, being prettier, and having more friends. It's NOT about your best life now. It's about glorifying God in everything...in our joy, in our suffering).

I just ask that if you *do* go see the movies, read the books, listen to the songs....use wisdom. Measure them to Scripture. Don't just believe all your see/read/hear. If it isn't biblical...realize that and don't endorse it as if it were. This is discernment....to realize when something is of God or if it isn't.

Do you love Him? If you do, then you should feel frustration, sadness, and anger when things misrepresent Him. For example, the Noah movie with Russell Crowe is "based" on the Bible...but they used "artistic license" to make it...which in other words, means: they changed it to make lots of money. So the movie only tells half-truths...if it is less than 100% biblical, it's trash, in my opinion. I have never even watched The Passion of the Christ movie. Maybe one day I will...but as of now, His Word tells me all I need to know. I don't need it grand-ized on the big screen.

I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
~ 2 Timothy 1-4


If you would, please watch THIS video with Piper, Washer and MacArthur. Listen to what they say. They are godly men who desire to show you truth. It is my sincere prayer that, if you are a fan of the Joel Osteens of the world, that you will watch this movie...understand your sin, repent and turn to true Godly preaching from the Word.

Even if you do have discernment and realize the error of these false teachers, I ask that you be in prayer for those who are in their clutches. If God has handed them over to heretical preaching, we must pray for mercy for them to escape this! If we love people, we have a responsibility to warn them and share the gospel with them. Listen to THIS by Todd Friel (from Wretched) as he holds Osteen to the Bible.



 "Salvation is of the Lord. We are to preach it faithfully."
~ Todd Friel

While there is air in our lungs, we are to love one another enough to share the truth. We only have any goodness because God gives it. His grace is what gives us every good and perfect thing. It is what upholds us now, as we live life on this earth when all we deserve is death. Life isn't about our best life now, or how to get a better house, car, job. It's not about our carnal needs...it's about living a life unto God...serving Him and loving others by sharing the gospel. 

Conversation is welcome in the comments section or feel free to email me (link on the sidebar). 
Thanks for letting me share my heart. 

In Christ, 
Katy



It's all about Jesus Christ being first....
and second and third and fourth and fifth. 
 What I'm saying is, don't put Jesus first. 
 Jesus is everything. 
 He's not just first in the rank, 
He is everything.
 ~Paul Washer

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The First Day of Spring & The Academic Fair

 So today marks the official "first day of spring"...unfortunately our weather did *not* get the memo! It's cold and we have a (thankfully minimal) covering of snow on the ground. I am so ready to mow the grass, see the flowers bloom and breathe in that beautiful warm breeze. It's coming....I keep reminding myself that before I succumb to the winter blues!



Another positive thing to note is that the days are longer! I am loving having the light last later! My body still has not adjusted completely to the time change though! I am used to getting up at 4am...but now my body gets up at 5. I suppose, since it is light out later, I am staying up a little later too...so I guess it all evens out! ;)


I'm still loving candlelight when the darkness sets in.


My children really make me laugh sometimes! Madelyn and Xavier needed to reach something up high and this was their solution...


Jaxson is really enjoying his guitar lessons. He loves to practice...



 It's almost been a week since my last post. Sometimes I just can't form words to make a post...and other times, we are just so busy that I don't really set aside the time to post (as it can be quite time consuming depending on how much there is to share!). Today I am kinda combining two posts into one! ;)

So, lately, we have been working on schoolwork, housework, running errands (the usual) as well as co-op class days, an academic fair, visiting with friends etc.

Madelyn participated in our homeschool co-op's Academic Fair this year...


She even did a little presentation on it. She did a great job! She looked at the audience and spoke well. I was so proud of her (she can get shy in front of a large group so I was so impressed how confident she seemed...although she told me later how terribly nervous she was!)...


Here are some of the other displays some of the children did from the co-op. I was so impressed with all of them! They all did such a GREAT job! (There were actually probably 25 or more displays! I didn't get photos of all of them!)...





My boys were there too, although they didn't do a display this year...they did go around and check out all the other displays and learned quite a bit! Xavier *loves* having those braces off...


One display was the History of Legos and the kiddos who did it brought more legos for children to build with. They had a competition for who could build the best lego creation...


If you are a homeschooling family I really encourage you to seek out a local co-op. Ours is a Christian co-op that meets about twice a month. I have made some of the best friends there..as have my children! You grow to love each and every person there...it's like a family. It makes homeschooling fun and gives us some great opportunities...like this Academic Fair for instance. Next week, we are going on a field trip to an environmental learning center (admission: free!! Only have to pay for gas to travel there!!). We have a performance night that all of my children are involved in and even a graduation ceremony for the seniors! It really is such a blessing! Are you part of a co-op? If so, what do you love about it?

Thanks so much for visiting me here today! I need to get moving. We have schoolwork to do...as well as some chores. Then later, we are meeting up with my sister and her girls who are coming to town for a visit! A busy, enjoyable day to be sure! :)

Happy First Day of Spring friends!!

Warmly,
Katy


It's all about Jesus Christ being first....
and second and third and fourth and fifth. 
 What I'm saying is, don't put Jesus first. 
 Jesus is everything. 
 He's not just first in the rank, 
He is everything.
 ~Paul Washer

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Beauty of God's Discipline

God disciplines those He loves. I know I am His and have experienced this discipline. I want to tell you about it. You can also hear an absolutely beautiful sermon about the Father's discipline by Alistair Begg HERE

I have mentioned previously that our van was getting up there in age and we were ready for something newer, lower miles and in good condition. We have been looking but not did not find anything we were really sold on. (I thought the search would just go on and on!). Then while looking at local dealers' websites a chat box popped up and a girl asked if she could help me find anything. I told her some specifics of what we would want and gave her my email to let me know if they have anything that meets our specifics. The next day I get a phone call (I hadn't given her my phone number) and it was an old friend from high school (we graduated together). He had recognized my email and decided to give me a call since he worked for that dealership. 
We talked a few minutes and he informed me that they just had a Honda Pilot come in with seemingly everything we wanted (including price). He emailed me photos and Chris and I talked and looked up reviews. We agreed to go up Thursday night (after Chris was off work) to look at it. Chris told me though that in no uncertain terms...we were *NOT* coming home with a vehicle that night. We were coming home to pray and think it over first. I agreed. 
So we go and the Pilot is quite nice (I was excited that it had a moonroof which I had not been aware of before!). We took it for a test drive and came back and then Josh (the guy I graduated with) crunched numbers for us. We were there a couple hours. It was nice catching up with Josh as well. The numbers he came back with really seemed reasonable (great, actually) and I *tried* to contain my excitement. I was so nervous though that someone would stop in and buy it before we could pray and come back to get it. 
So I just sat there, on the edge of my seat, nervous and hoping we could get it. Chris said we would go home to pray about it (he kept quite calm but he really liked the Pilot too...and the numbers we were given). Josh told us if we put down $100, we could hold the vehicle and go home and pray on it. I agreed. Chris agreed...I think, because I agreed. (I think I was a little too over zealous at that point...but I digress...). So, Chris and I went and had supper and I thanked him *and apologized for being overly-eager*. We stopped at my parents' house to pick up the children and then came home. I went into my files and found the Jeep's title...but *not* the van's title!!! We planned on trading it in and everything depended on that! I started to panic. We sent the children to bed and spent hours searching through other files and papers and anything we could think of. I was sad, crying, angry, frustrated and upset. I was *quite* the grump. I stormed around, terribly sick of going through papers and completely confused as to why the title wasn't exactly where it was suppose to be!? 

So I was nauseous and just had to end up going to bed. I prayed and felt so terrible for my grumpy (sinful) attitude and asked for forgiveness. I also asked the Lord to please help us to find that title. I woke at 5 am...after less than 5 hours of sleep (which is not good for me...I am one of those types who truly requires at least 8!). Ruthie (the dog) was whining at my side of the bed. I had a burning creak in my neck and tried to go back to sleep but Ruth was not relenting. So I rolled out of bed, said another silent prayer and turned on my bedside lamp. I wandered over to my dresser and just looked around (aimlessly....ridiculously hoping to find the title)...and beside my dresser I had a box with some pictures in it and other odds and ends. A small box that really should be dealt with and organized (but one of those projects I always put off). Low and behold, I picked up some pictures and there laying in front of me was the title to the van! My heart lifted and I seriously began rejoicing and praising God. 

I thanked Him for leading me to that title (I mean, what an absolutely random/odd place for it to be!) and praised Him for disciplining me through this (the guilt I had for my unkind behavior, the nauseous stomach, the creak in my neck/bad sleep). I deserved discipline and I know that God loves those He disciplines...which made my heart soar even more!

My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline or be weary of His reproof, for the Lord reproves him who He loves, as a father the son in whom he delights. 
~Proverbs 3: 11-12


So...*all* of that to say that there is a beauty in God's discipline. The beauty is in knowing that He only disciplines those He loves. I wish I had handled this situation better....I am learning and growing every day. I am so very far from perfect and I am so thankful my Lord loves me and teaches me. 

Here are some photos of the new-to-us vehicle that the Lord blessed us with: 







I like the *fun* stuff of the car...you know, the moon roof, leather seats, 4WD, 3rd row seating and the like. My dad and Chris like looking under the hood! ;)


We are so thankful for this and that we were able to work with an old friend and get him a sale at his dealership. I an even more thankful that this experience has taught me much and helped my character to grow more toward holiness (even though I have such a long way to go).

Thank you for sharing in my excitement of the blessing of a new vehicle as well as taking the time to read what I wrote in truth and openness. Admitting your wretchedness is not fun, nor popular. However, it does make much of Christ...and less of me.

He must increase, but I must decrease.
~ John 3:30

In Christ, 
Katy :)
It's all about Jesus Christ being first....
and second and third and fourth and fifth. 
 What I'm saying is, don't put Jesus first. 
 Jesus is everything.
 He's not just first in the rank,
 He is everything.
 ~Paul Washer

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Spring is Coming!


We had some almost-spring-like days earlier this week. Most of the snow melted and you could be outside with a lighter jacket on! It was glorious! Unfortunately, the past few days have come with a drop in temperature and some more snow....I am encouraged though because weather forecasts say warmer temps will be coming back. The snow *will* melt and spring is coming!


I have started some spring cleaning (although I don't feel I can totally get into it until the warmer temps are here to stay and I can open up all the doors and windows and let that fresh air in!). I have been scrubbing nooks and crannies that tend to get ignored through the winter months.

I am keeping everything I do scheduled in my planner. I love writing everything down. I feel like I won't forget things then. That way, I am not up at night stressing over things I have to do the next day. I know I have it written down and that all will be accomplished when it should....


Along with some other books I am reading, I am also reading this little one: The Freedom of Self Forgetfulness: The Path to True Christian Joy. I find that the more I focus on "improving" myself and trying *not* to be selfish, I end up spending even more time thinking about ME. This is not right. This is not how I want it to be! I think I need to focus on Christ and have more self-forgetfulness. This book seems to help explain just that!


We let Pearl run out and about on one of the nicer days. She always wanted to be right where the children or I was!


Notice behind her that the snow *was* melting....


A few of the girls were out and about scratching around...


We're getting a good amount of eggs again each day from the hens. Nothing beats farm fresh eggs!

I've gotta run. The kids are coming in from doing their chores...so next is breakfast and then we gotta hop on the schooling bandwagon. Xavier has an orthodontist appointment later this morning, so it kinda throws our day off but that's the beauty of homeschooling! :) You can get your day thrown off and it's okay! Hope your day is great! :)

Kindly,
Katy

It's all about Jesus Christ being first....
and second and third and fourth and fifth. 
 What I'm saying is, don't put Jesus first. 
 Jesus is everything. 
 He's not just first in the rank, 
He is everything.
 ~Paul Washer