Life Sunday

Yesterday was Life Sunday to remember the unborn who were murdered in the womb, and to rejoice in the gift of life, as well as pray for pregnant moms who need to choose life for their unborn.

Abortion is a national scourge. It has cost more than lives.  It costs women their peace of mind and costs our nation a wealth of people who would have helped our economy, paid their taxes, and likely developed new technologies for the world’s benefit. Our Pastor noted also that it may have cost us even a cure for cancer, for instance, if the one who was to discover it has been aborted.  My pastor’s message encouraged us to be prayerful and to persevere in helping reach these moms and be willing to offer them truth and hope and even help in whatever way God directs.

I suddenly remembered a poem that I wrote a long while ago and I found it to share.  It speaks clearly to this life issue. Please share it with moms who need the reminder to give their baby the gift of life.

A Tiny Cry for Life

 I’m just a tiny baby
As precious as can be;
Mommy knows I’m in here,
But she does not want me.
 
I heard her telling someone
Of a doctor she will see,
Because she is so certain
It will end her misery.
 
I feel so safe and warm here
Inside my little den,
And, yet, my own dear mommy
Wishes I had never been.
 
Has no one cared to tell her
How special I will be?
“Please, God, do not let
That doctor murder me!”
 
“Dear Mommy, please consider
The grief that you must bare
If you refuse this blessing
And the joy I long to share.”
 
But I can hear the doctor
Now coming like a thief
To take away my precious life
So she can have relief.
 
I squirm and wiggle frantically,
Though I know it’s no use.
The doctor says he’s ready now…
“Dear Mommy, PLEASE refuse!”
 
 
Melanie Lippert
c. 1988
This poem may be freely circulated
when it is distributed free and in
its entire form.
 

 

Sovereignty Victory

I have been following the latest Congressional vote regarding the treaty that would take away our parental right to decide the care of our own children’s needs if they happen to be disabled in any way.  The Democrats would love to sell us down the river and give away America’s sovereignty to an international bureau that does not respect the rights of parents who raise them and love them.

Americans have already got GOOD laws on the books in each state that protect our 4th Amendment rights and offer aid to children for any parent who chooses it.  We don’t need any foreigners telling us how to run our country or how to raise our children.

Thankfully, there were enough clear-thinking Republicans left who will stand strong for American freedom!!  I applaud every one of them! I am sure that there were many prayers being made for wisdom and courage for the Senators.  I know the children and I were praying at five minutes to noon, and rejoiced in the immediate news of Victory.

Our President should realize that the majority of Americans DO CARE about freedom, family, and faith.  I suspect that secretly even some Democrats were not all for this treaty either, but they were just too chicken to vote NO.  Perhaps they will be brave next time and defend their God given rights and ours.

Let freedom ring!

Melanie

June 2012 Finding Joy Article

Finding Joy in Restoring Your Heart

I want to encourage all of you to attend the CHEACT Conference this year! In February, we moved away to a little city in Oklahoma, and how I will miss going to the Conference!  Even though I am a seasoned homeschooler, it was the highlight of my year, every year (besides the Used Book Fair, of course) I usually had to volunteer for my two hours to get in, but it was certainly worth it.  Even if you are a little shy of volunteering and afraid you will make mistakes, I survived both and learned to love it.

Read More…

Granola Bars Recipe

Here is the recipe that I promised.  It has been adapted to a 13 by 9 pan for large families.

Yummy Granola BarsHomemade Granola Bars

Grease 13 by 9 pan. Then mix:

2/3 cup brown sugar,  1/3 cup peanut butter, 1/3 cup honey, 1/3 cup real butter(melted), and 1 tsp. vanilla.  Next, stir in 3 cups quick oats, then add 1 cup mini chocolate chips. Optional, we add 1/3 cup raisins and 1/4 cup dried cranberries.

The mixture should hold together some when pressed. Spread it into the pan and press well.  Bake at 350 for about 18 minutes.  Edges should be slightly browned while the rest is still soft to the touch.  Let cool 1 hour.  Cut into slender bars or squares.  Enjoy!

Thanksgiving

As always, today is a day of great grace and joy in the benefits God has given to every American.  Many do not acknowledge our rights and privileges, but they still exist!

From our first pilgrim fathers to those of our own close family fathers who first came to this land to continue our faith and freedoms, we are so grateful.  Though our current government seeks means to limit or destroy our unalienable rights and freedoms, they can never take what is sincerely held in the heart and conscience of each believer.  Homeschooling  affords the precious opportunity to pass on the sincerely held beliefs that first reigned in this nation, as well as solid academic training to aid this nation’s future.

Even if you have very little of this world’s goods and eat a simple meal this holiday, you are blessed beyond measure with so many special blessings.  Even our testings and crosses to bear are to bring us ultimate good by the Good Hand of God upon us and our free nation.

Today, even in suffering, rejoice for the mercy God has displayed in your life as well as the grace of receiving better than we deserve at all times.  Today, this verse, “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”(I Thess. 5:18) is repeating in my mind over and over.  May you find comfort in this Word to the wise, too.

Wishing you joy and rest today,

Melanie

Homemade Laundry Soap

A few months ago, I tried a fabulous recipe for laundry soap that I found at holyspiritledhomeschooling.net   I encourage you to visit her site.  It is excellent.

The recipe calls for just three ingredients, plus hot water and a clean 5 gallon bucket, so it is best to do this when young children are not around…perhaps when they are asleep.

Warning:  When grated, bar looks similar to shredded cheese, and when melted, it looks similar to lemonade.  Don’t let children near it.

Three Soap IngredientsHere are the ingredients:  4 cups hot tap water, 1 bar Fels-Naptha, 1 cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda, 1/2 cup Borax (I used 3/4 cup myself).   I found all three of these together at my Walmart on the laundry aisle by the stain removal products.  Total cost was under $10.00!  The two boxes will last for months and you only need a new bar of the Fels-Naptha soap (1.00) for each 10 gallon batch that you make.

Grating the Fels-Naptha barStep one:  Grate the Fels-Naptha bar and add it to the four cups hot water in a kettle with plenty of room so it won’t bubble over.  Stir constantly over med-low heat until soap dissolves completely.

 

 

Simmering Soap

Bucket of Cooling Soap

Simmering Soap

 

 

 

 

Next step: Fill a 5 gallon bucket 1/2 full of hot tap water.  Then I added melted soap, 1 cup of the A&H Super Washing Soda, and 3/4 cup of Borax.  Stir it well until all dissolved. It may bubble a little.  Fill bucket with more hot water, stir well and cover overnight to thicken, out of sight and reach of children. ( I put mine in the garage)   It will gel and separate some.

 

Next day:  You can either follow her directions for diluting it by half again or simply stir the 5 gallon container and use a measuring cup to dip out 1/2 to 3/4 cup (for a full load) into a regular washer while filling it.  It will not bubble up, but it works marvelously and smells great. My whole family is happy with it and my allergies have even improved since switching to this, so maybe I was allergic to my old favorite store-bought laundry powder.

I enjoy saving money this way, and so can you!

Melanie

 

 

 

 

Homemade Granola Bars

Wouldn’t you know it… Seth’s success with the pie made him eager to try something new… granola bars.  They turned out so yummy; but before I share the recipe, it needs refining as they were a bit too moist.  Here is a picture.  I never knew they were so easy to make and they taste much fresher than store bought.  He made them with part raisins and part mini chocolate chips.  Great for breakfast or a healthy snack!

Yummy Granola Bars

 

Perfect Apple Pie

It always surprises me when my boys are interested in baking.  It must be the reward of a sweet treat to eat.  Seth started out making cookies at ten. Later, he begged me to let him try cinnamon rolls, which turned out nicely.  Now, at 13, he was eager to try an apple pie.  I was so amazed and pleased with how it turned out. He even did the crust from scratch as well.

I know that some of the best chefs tend to be men.  I am beginning to see why. The eight generous pieces disappeared quickly, but not before I got this picture!

Melanie

Seth's Apple Pie

Perfect Apple Pie

Boys and Chores

Based on the last post, you may be thinking that my plan or method is too relaxed because I help them and they don’t have much to do each week.  Housework, in general, is mom’s duty; teaching the boys to help others at home is needed though, only to develop skills and character until it can be transferred to their noble callings from God. Besides, I want them to still be speaking to me when they are grown. President Reagan’s philosophy of a kinder, gentler nation is Biblical for training at home as well. City dwellers have to use what means are available to teach diligence in work. Kindness in our training of boys and gentleness toward their emerging manhood balances the chores.  They learn to be responsible for their own messes and to appreciate the hard work mom does for them. Based on the success I have had so far with three sons grown and a fourth graduating this year, I feel that they have mostly learned to work well and enjoy it.  Homeschooling itself has helped their college/adult life, but I feel that having responsibility for chores at home has blessed them to be ready for serious work environments with a real boss and a paycheck, (not to mention the white-glove room checks at college.)  All of their employers have praised them even when they were still working at their first real jobs.  Two employers were glad to get the next son to work for them as well. My husband has been glad that training in little things inside made them ready, as teenagers, to learn some challenging work outside of maintaining and repairing cars and lawnmowers and safely learning to use tools also for woodworking, roofing, and other manly deeds around the house.

I do know that some  homeschool families advocate starting children on regular chores as young as 4 or 5 years old.  I am not convinced that it is necessary or productive for an overwhelmed mom of many to expect much at that age.  With my first two boys, I found there is too much teaching and reteaching to do constantly at that age, which, to me, would build more frustration than success. Perfectionist moms might be convinced that it is worth the hassle, but I am not. Now, I have found that sporadic help plus training is better for us.  A young child angry and frustrated over a chore they are made to do often does not make a willing worker. They might do it to obey, but their heart secretly rebelled at work, which I learned later.  Relaxed training and praise helped me more.

Since then, I tried to create a desire for work at a young age, but not daily chore help. If a 2 to 6 year old wants to help or offers to help, I would be inclined to let him do some small things for me each day and praise him for it. They did have to do such things as putting away their own toys or shoes.  I might even ask him to do something special for me like hand baby brother a toy, carry things for me, help someone put the napkins on the table, or use a fun, bubbly sponge on the sink.  This method, I think, builds more pleasant associations with work before any requirement to be a helper at home.  Children under 7 years old can certainly be good helpers.  I just think they should enjoy helping.  By ages 7 to 9, they have, by gradual effort, developed skills so they can work along side me occasionally, learning the basic chores.  The easiest chores which they like are the first ones scheduled on the chart.  The last chores scheduled are the bathroom and kitchen because teenagers clean better and I like them reasonably clean at all times. Once they are on the list, it is time to learn to be diligent  in their duty, so accountability begins.  I work with them to teach and to talk, usually about what interests them.

Cleaning their bedrooms, however, always does begin at a younger age because the tasks are simple, and they learn that clean, neat space is pleasing to all.  Learning to do little things with mom, like putting toys away, dirty clothes in the hamper, and stuffed animals back on the bed begin to build a pattern for living. A bigger brother can ask for help with his own job to share the load if he also trains the younger at the same time nicely, but fair compensation is expected if one completely does the other one’s job for him since “the laborer is worthy of his hire.”  Obviously, any chore that is given, if it needs improvement, must be done again; if it is then done right, praise and age appropriate rewards are helpful to prepare them for real labor in adult life as well.

Boys need to know how to manage to clean a kitchen since many jobs available to guys are in restaurants and they need knowledge of safe and clean practices before employment.  Outdoor skills are important as well in learning to maintain their own home someday. Each of them eagerly began with leaf raking and lawn mowing at home and their skills are soon requested by neighbors. It is also a good recommendation on an application. Boys need to know how to do laundry, too, if they will live on their own or go away to college.  They need to know how to care for an animal or two. These chores are just as important as learning how to use a computer, which my son is waiting for just now.  (I’m infringing a bit on his turn!)

Melanie