Thursday, January 30, 2014

Believe on The Lord, Christ Jesus (hymn)







1939 by W. W. Combs

We read in the Bible of miracles wrought,
By Jesus our Savior and Lord,
When many in trouble, in sin and in doubt
Were saved by believing His Word.

Believe on the Lord, Christ Jesus
Believe on the Lord, Christ Jesus
And thou shalt be saved.

The jailer sprang into the prison by night
With fright and in terror he raved
He fell down by Paul as he trembling-ly said,
O what must I do to be saved?

Dear brother, the Savior is calling you now,
There is no other possible way,
Cross over the line, O be saved by God's pow'r
Just simply believe and obey!





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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Rejoice No Matter What!

I was reading through the first Psalms this morning during some quiet time, and noticed the ongoing theme--rejoice and give praises to the Lord!

In reading Psalms 1 through 8 this morning, jotting down various verses that really seemed encouraging, I felt my own spirits lift.  It also served as a quiet, kind reminder of where we stand in the Lord as believers.

Psalm 1:



Psalm 3:8

Psalm 4:8

Psalm 7:17


What has the Lord spoken to you through your quiet reading today?


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Monday, January 27, 2014

It's the Little Things

Today has been a good one.  Granted, I missed church for some issues of health, but that aside, the day has been lovely, with highs around 60, light work to be done, the kids halfway behaving, and so on.

As we speak, the family is watching a dvd from the library, about dogs.  It is nice to hear them all talk to the dogs on the screen, get involved in something together, even if it is a dvd.  For a moment, there is no fussing, no fighting, no arguing.  Looking at them right now, you could not tell any of them had autism.

It's the little things in life that matter.  Like the moments that the kids watch a children's dvd without arguing or fighting.  Like the warmer temperature, if only for a day before it goes back down to the arctic.  Like a loving husband who helped throughout the health issue.

Thank the Lord for those little things in life! Thank Him for each one--they mean more than the "big" things that happen only once in a great while.  The little things, they add up!

Today, I am thankful for the little things.





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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Scents of Home

Today is a very warm day for January, with the temperature nearing 50 here in southeast Kansas after single digits and below zero windchills.  It has been wonderful, with opening up the bathroom window for a nice airing, opening blankets from the doors to let in light from the pretty windows inset into the wood, pulling curtains back to let in lots of natural light.

In the afternoon I donned my apron and started cooking for the evening's meal, as children will be coming in hungry and hubby will be a growly gus without a home cooked meal.  I started with turkey casserole to turn into a pot pie, homemade vegetable soup, homemade breads, and the dessert of cinnamon roll cake with homemade buttercream glaze.


Ah the scent of home cooking!  There's nothing like the fragrance of fresh baked bread right out of the oven.  Tummies rumble at the aroma of a warm cake Mama made herself.  Husbands enjoy the hearty helpings of a home cooked meal.

This is home.  This is what I want my family to remember as they grow older, to look back and think of our home when they smell fresh baked bread and home cooked meals.  In our day it is a rarity anymore for children and father to sit at the table together around a meal that Mama took of her time and talents to prepare.  This is a shame, as it is an important time of the day.

Do you cook from scratch?  If so, what are your favorite recipes?

I gather mine from old Pilsbury cookbooks from the 1950's, from old Betty Crocker books, and a variety of novelty cookbooks I've collected through the years.  My best recipe so far isn't something found in a cookbook, but one thrown together while mixing up dough for a loaf of sourdough bread.  It is a stand by for my family, a love for the kids as they eat homemade garlic toast, breadsticks with spaghetti sauce to dip, a PBJ on homemade bread finely sliced.

This is home.

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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Warm Thoughts on a Cold Day





It is to be much colder in the coming days, with another arctic blast coming from our lovely friends in Canada.  Since we live in Kansas, this is about all we see of Canada.  :)

During these colder days and nights, it is important to keep our thoughts warm, inviting, and our hearts the same, just as we would our bodies to deflect the potential frost bite.  We don't want our heart and mind to be bitten by the cold as well.

Put your mind upon Jesus, let thoughts of Him, His glory, His love, His salvation, permeate through your thoughts as you go about your day.  Whether you be in an office, at home, cooking, taxi driving children, whatever you do through the day, keep your thoughts upon Him.  Your heart will follow.

Keep not only your body warm as the temperatures plummet, but your mind and heart!


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Hugs and Kisses

It is the wee hours of morning as I sit here awake.

I have been praying over my middle child, my Mr. Kevin, as well as our oldest, Mr. Michael.

The two are at the puberty stage, with hormones erupting and bodies changing, with thinking mom and dad don't understand, nor the real ability to effectively communicate what they think and feel.

I pray for more good mornings, with Mr. Kevin waking up happy and well rested, greeting me with a "Hi Mom!" and scaring the blazes out of me.  I look forward to the knuckle bumps we share as he goes through his morning routine as he prepares for school.  I even look forward to the hugs and kisses before he leaves.

And the "awww Mom" when I raspberry his cheek in return.

Not every morning works out this way, but I cherish the ones that do.

Despite the setbacks and upsets of the night, I look forward to the hugs and kisses my "baby boy" still carries.  Despite having autism, he gives them freely to me.

I look forward to Mr. Michael getting dressed in his hurried fashion, arms flailing and feet seldom touching the floor as he chatters 20 miles a minute in a high pitch squeal of enthusiasm.  I pray this morning is a good morning and it's enthusiasm instead of the squall of defiance.  I envy his energy!

Here soon my hugs and kisses should wake up and greet me.

I'm ready!



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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

It Will Be Worth It All

Tonight I failed.

I tried.

I gave it my best effort.

I still failed.

Living in the world of Autism, changes are rough, especially those last minute, whoopsie-wish-I'd-have-known-this-sooner type ones.

It doesn't take much.  It could be something simple, like meal plans changing, a favorite tv show running late due to a ball game, a dvd skipping.  Or, it could be a bit more involved, like complete evening routine changes when a respite attendant who comes often has a family emergency that he had no control over.

Now, changes like that don't do much for most folks.  Things change, no big deal, we move on and think nothing of it.

Not kids with autism.  Not kids with MR.  And not kids with both of those together.

Mr. Kevin had his disappointment, but at the surface acted like he was handling it well.  He watched a dvd, played a bit on the computer, ate supper--all normal activities.  Then, the time rolled around when his beloved attendant arrives.

Things changed.

Mr. Kevin all the sudden had to find a particular toy that he hadn't seen in weeks.  It was absolutely pertinent that he find it or the world would collapse.  So between serving supper, cleaning up myself, and standing on my head looking for a tiny tiny toy amongst literally hundreds of tiny tiny toys, we search for this toy with a flashlight.

No toy.

Hubby and I had already discussed him going to church as it'd be good for him to see friends from there that are his age.  He cheerily agreed, then started above mentioned search.

Anxiety builds in him slowly.

At the appointed time to leave, we all head to church.  Mr. Kevin decides as soon as we get to the parking lot that nope, he's not going in.  It's only 30 degrees and dropping, and windy as can be with a wind chill advisory for -20 tonight.

I tried.  I talked with him.  I listened to him.  Nope, not going in.

So we drive the highway back home.  Once home, he refuses to get out of the car.  It's only 30 degrees and dropping, and windy as can be with a windchill advisory for -20.

With sly trickery (pretending to ignore and be on a phone call inside the house where he could see me in the window) he comes in.  He destroys his room.  Throws books.  Yells.  Screams.  Draws a fist toward me then reconsiders when I use a tone reserved for drill sergeant moments. Throws more toys.  Tells me he hates me.  I stay quiet through it all, simply letting him get his anger and frustration out.  This isn't our first rodeo, nor will it be our last.

After a while, he wears himself out and puts himself to bed, and I wait until he's calmed and pray with him.  At a safe distance.

I tried to cushion the changes of the day.

I failed.

Some days I wonder if the cycle will end.  Will what seem like small changes to us continue to send him reeling?  Will he ever be able to handle changes as they come, or will they always affect him like this?

Until that answer comes, hubby and I continue to love him, continue to support him, continue to be there.  It will be worth it all.

One day Mr. Kevin will see Jesus, and he will have the peace he needs.  It will be worth it all.



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Contentment At Home

Home.

That word brings a feeling of contentment to mind for me.

My mind's eye immediately sees the spacious rooms, painted white and feeling airy and light.  It sees rich burgundy curtains against tall living room windows, pulled back with corded ties to reveal warm sunlight on a snowy winter's day.  It sees a hallway bathed in natural light from the frosted window in the front door.  Scents of lemon come to mind as the lemon oiled new stair case woods stand tall, freshly oiled and gleaming in the hall way's natural light.  Humming from the back of the house, the dryer and washer, provide a comforting backdrop.

Home.

It's quiet during the day as I toil, wiping shelving and doors, baseboards and countertops, mopping floors and vacuuming carpets, folding untold loads of laundry.  It is here that I do what I am called to do, my ministry--keeping my home.

The afternoons become lively as the children arrive home from their schools, bringing with them their chatter and liveliness.  Home work, trips to the library and appointments, and supper preparation abounds in these hours.  Then we move on to creating more laundry as showers start, play time begins, and the family finds the living room once again.

Then bedtime arrives.  Quiet time again, with a needle and thread in hand, working on a hand stitched quilt to use and hand down to the children.  Each child tucked in and prayed over, the busy-ness of the day over and put away for the night, this is time to reflect on the day, and prepare for the day to come.

Home.






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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Just Right For Cold Winter Days--Cinnamon Roll Cake!

Do you love cinnamon rolls?  I think they are the best thing since peanut butter.  I'd even consider putting peanut butter in one of the rolls.

Yesterday while I was cooking for the small army here, I ran across a simple muffin recipe, and I tweaked it a bit to make what I call Cinnamon Roll Cake.  It's not a Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines moist delicious best, but it made 3 pans and over half of the total is gone in under 12 hours.  I count that as a success.

I found the base recipe in A Quilter's Christmas cook book.  You can find this bad boy on Amazon.

It goes:

2 cups flour
2 Tbsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
4 Tsp baking powder
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 eggs
1/2 cup nuts.

Now...MY variation on this beauty:

2 cups flour
half of a small container of cinnamon (like the size you get at Dollar General or Aldi's or the like--don't be stingy on the cinnamon)
a couple shakes of salt
4 tsp baking powder
2 cups brown sugar (trust me, you'll enjoy it)
1 cup milk
2 sticks butter, softened or melted, whatever works 
2 eggs
omit nuts

I doubled this variation and mixed it all in my stand mixer.  It was a thick batter.  I put it into 3 pans, and then baked at 375 until it was done.

The brown sugar, extra butter, and cinnamon really make it taste like a cinnamon roll!

OOOh and the icing is awesome!

Take a full package of powdered sugar, half a can of evaporated milk, and a half stick of butter, and mix it together.  Spoon it over the cakes as they come out of the oven for a nice glaze.  Or wait until they've cooled a bit and it'll be a bit thicker on top.  Let it ooze down the sides, and when you serve a piece, add a little more over the piece to let it really get in.

Yummy!!







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Monday, January 20, 2014

Bitten by Quiltin'


I admit it, I've been bitten by a bug.

Quilting!

Over the years I've established a large amount of fabrics, scraps, notions, to fill industrial shelving, small bags to fit under the shelves, plus totes to line up beside the shelves.  I keep everything, including outgrown clothing and small scraps--they could make a pretty scrap piece!

As I work on a hand stitched Grandma's Flower Garden hexagon quilt made with 1" hexagons and work on a separate log cabin design on the sewing machine, I go looking at quilt ideas.









The hand pieced one means a lot to me, as it contains many pieces from my  mother's dresses.  She passed away in 2003, and I kept her clothing and saved them back to someday make a quilt for my boy.  So far 3 dresses have made their way into hexagon pieces (and 1 apron).  This hexagon quilt top so far also has pieces from my own dress and Miss Jess's shirt in the mix.  I have a reusable tote bag half filled with hexagons ready to stitch and keep it ready to go to the library with the kiddos, a doctor's office, or anywhere I have waiting time.

There are so many beautiful quilts out there, so many talented seamstresses making stunning designs!  I can spend hours looking at sewn masterpieces and dream of making my own as I learn more.

I've been sharing my "eye candy" on Pinterest lately.


I love looking at the vintage pieces, hand stitched with love.  I can picture women sitting by lamp light, by candle light, by oil lamps, a fireplace, stitching away at their labors of love for their family and friends.  I dream of replicating that just once, using the old fashioned hand stitched style for an heirloom to hand down.


Do you enjoy needle work?  If so, what do you prefer to work on?

Shared at Growing Home Time Warp Wife A Wise Woman Builds Her Home



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Miracle Grow for Your Life







Now, don't get upset, this isn't a prosperity gospel thing.  I promise!!

Miracle grow for your life isn't what you think.  It isn't something you can buy.  It's not something you can pick up at the local garden store.

It's something you go through.

Trials!

Yes, trials.

The fastest thing you can come across that makes you grow, makes you deepen your faith, makes you trust in the Lord even more...is a trial.

It doesn't have to be a huge one.  Of course when you're in the middle of one, they all seem huge.  Each one seems like a train tunnel with no light at the end.

We have a choice when we go through trials in life...we can wring our hands, worry, fret...or we can take our problems to the Lord and lean on Him.  He may well have a purpose for what you are going through, and the best place to take any trial is back to Him.

This past year was full of trials for myself and my family.  Some continued on for the entire year, flaring up at various different times, never quite going away, just laying discretely beneath the surface.  Others came and went with the tide.  The only place I had to take my worries, sorrows, tears, was to Jesus.

Trials are what grow you as a Christian.  They try your faith, they make you grow, lean on Him, and find that you can trust Him no matter what.

When God gives you miracle grow, don't toss it away--make the most of it and grow where you are in your walk with the Lord!


Shared at The Modest Mom, Growing Home Time Warp Wife A Wise Woman Builds Her Home

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Friday, January 17, 2014

A Day In The Life of Special Needs


God made sure some folks needed an extra dose of humility, grace, and mercy.

He also made sure some folks enjoyed the little bitty things a lot more.

He made them parents of special needs children.

Today I needed that extra grace and mercy as I fought off a 120 pound child with swinging arms and kicking legs.  I needed the dexterity of an acrobat as I dodged pieces of broken plastic from said child's newly demolished toy box (aka a large plastic tote about 3 feet long).  Patience was in high demand as a screaming banshee sprung forth from my normally docile child's mouth.  Patience started slipping away and hiding as contingency plans seemed to melt away.

The cause of the whole meltdown combined with a huge tantrum?  It was time to get ready for the school bus and let go of awarded computer time.  Each morning that said child gets up on time and gets ready for school in a timely manner, he earns computer time, and then must relinquish the computer afterward to prepare for the bus that transports him to his self contained classroom.  He earned a half hour this morning, and used every minute of it.

At the same time, child number two decided we all needed his gift of high pitch siren yelling as he flapped around the upstairs, ran up and down the stairs, and then around the downstairs, followed by stomping and whining after reminders to check his room and make his bed.  Child number 3 did her own rendition of the stomping hissy fit with reminders to get dressed within 60 minutes, make her bed, pick up her room, and brush her hair.  For good measure she even threw in a few high pitched whines of her own.

Such is a regular school morning here.  We don't have aggression regularly (anymore) from child number one, but instead we have the wild yelling and dancing and jumping of a boy listening to fast beat music on his mp3 player.  The high pitch whines and sirens from children 2 and 3...normal.

The Lord dishes out His grace, mercy, and extra patience in the mornings at our house.  He has to.  As we raise 3 children on the autism spectrum, all 3 with varying degrees of ADHD (ranging from mild to extreme), 1 with mild mental retardation, we pray for wisdom and mercy, patience to handle the day's happenings, and relief when the day is done.

We also learn to enjoy the little things along the way.  Like the moments when our high pitch siren decides to obey on the first time being reminded to pick up his toys, or when child with more passive aggressive tendencies responds instead of shuts down.  Or when the child who is aggressive is able to calm himself down and not raise a finger, but instead work out his problem without hurting himself or others.  Or when they three work together and have an enjoyable evening.

Some days, I feel like the child in the above picture instead of the mom who must maintain composure in order to keep the rest of the troops coordinated.  Other days I can be the drill instructor, "suck it up and let's go!".

But, each day, I must run to the Lord, seek Him out, and lean on Him.

"One day at a time, sweet Jesus, that's all I'm asking from You."




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Where Does the Time Go?

It's been  two months since we moved into this nicer, larger home.  Where did the time go???

It's taken time, unpacking and setting up housekeeping, tending family needs, taking care of appointments, daily life.

Making life normal.

But I think now we're where I can return to writing again, to sewing again, to sharing homemaking ideas, projects, new handmade items.

It's good to be back!

I've missed you all so much!




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Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Little Blood-letting

Blood.  That word along can send shivers down spines.  Folks collapse at the sight of a drop of it.

We even sing about blood in church--seriously!  "Saved by the blood of the crucified One", "Power in the Blood", "When I See the Blood", and so on.

What's so big about blood?

Everything!

Our God demands a blood sacrifice for our sins.  He's demanded this ever since the Garden of Eden, when He Himself killed animals to cover Adam and Eve in furs.  He demanded sacrifices of rams and bulls, sheep and ox, even a turtle dove, for a covering of sin.

Blood had to be shed.

He still demands blood.

Oh, we don't go out and kill a lamb and put it on an alter.  We don't bring up a fatted calf and sacrifice it at a temple, but God still demands a blood sacrifice.

And...He even provided His own!

God provided His own blood sacrifice in His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.  He didn't have to, but the killing of animals only covered sin for a while, never taking them completely off accounts.  God sent Jesus, all God and all man, down to us, to live a perfect, sinless life, to need no sacrifice, and to present Himself as a sacrifice for us.  It was the blood sacrifice God accepted...  Jesus gave His blood, His body, on the tree, a criminal's death, beaten and disfigured, bleeding and torn, as a final sacrifice for us.  He didn't have to.

But He did it.

He did it for you, for me, for every person, as that blood sacrifice that God would accept, so that your sins and mine would be covered forever, forgiven, forgotten, and wiped clean, so that we could be in fellowship with God the Father forever.  You don't have to sacrifice one drop of blood--Jesus did it for you 2000 years ago!

How do you get His blood applied to you?

Ask Him to put your sins on His account, ask Him to save you, to be your Lord and Savior from this day forward.

God loves you so much, He made a way for you to be with Him forever...it is up to you to accept His way!

Won't you put His blood on your account today?



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