Monthly Archives: April 2011
If you have never checked out a blog carnival of homeschooling, you are missing a real treat. Hats off to Susan over at Corn and Oil for being the blog hostess with the mostess this week. Enjoy!
On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered His words. ~ Luke 24:1-8
thatmom’s Stuffed Peppers
2 pounds ground beef
1TBS. minced garlic
1 onion finely chopped
1 cup chopped zucchini
½ cup frozen corn
1 can chopped tomatoes w / liquid
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 TBS parsley flakes
Coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
3 cups cooked rice
8 peppers, red, green, yellow, orange, or combination, cored and seeded
1 cup shredded cheese
In skillet, brown beef with garlic and onion. Add seasonings, vegetables, and rice. Mix well and drizzle with a little olive oil. In large pot of boiling water, par boil peppers for three minutes or less until peppers are bright colored. Drain well, place in casserole dish. Stuff peppers with mixture, surrounding peppers with any extra rice mixture if desired. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and bake for 5 more minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Delicious served with garlic bread and green salad.
thatmom’s Mexican stuffed peppers: Replace Italian seasonings, salt, and pepper with 1 package taco seasoning, 1/2 cup choped cilantro, and a can of black beans, drained. Top peppers with sour cream and guacamole before serving. Extra rice mixture can also be served the next day with tortillas. For extra kick, add a bit of crushed red pepper flakes or hot peppers.
This basic recipe makes 8 servings depending on the size of the peppers. Try using any variety of vegetables to increase the daily servings of veggies for your family.
My mom in 1942.
When my mom was a little girl, she and her sisters loved it when their Aunt Jennie came to visit from Chicago. Described as a “very elegant lady,” my mom said that Jennie worked as a costume designer for a theater company and had quite the sense of style and flare. Each time she came and opened her suitcases, the girls were delighted to find a number of chic and beautiful hand-me-downs, discards from the wardrobe closets of many famous stage actresses. The older sisters often remade lovely outfits from the better dresses while the younger girls added to their treasury of fine dress-up wear. Who wouldn’t have loved such a treat from a dear aunt?
As spring is nearly here, in spite of the cold weather, I have started sorting through my closets, wishing someone’s Aunt Jennie would swoop down with a collection of costumes for me, preferably from Nancy Drew! I am hoping to simplify and only keep things that I love to wear and am wondering if I can actually pull this off. Seriously, I have clothes that have been hanging in my closet for 15 years and lots of things just need to go!
As I was psyching myself up for this undertaking, a friend posted a You Tube clip on her FB that I found intriguing. I had never heard of Carol Tuttle or her fashion concept that she calls “Dressing Your Truth” but I am amazed at how this notion resonates with me and many women, including other homeschooling moms.
In a nutshell, Carol believes that women often become slaves to either the fashion industry or to peer pressure in determining what they ought to wear and even how they ought to present themselves. She says she has identified 4 different types of women and challenges us to figure out which basic personality and energy type we are so we can match how we dress and even how we decorate with who we are inside. She says that women will age better and be more confident in all areas of life when they are true to themselves and convey who they really are to the watching world.
As I listened to the women in Carol’s interviews share their own stories and saw some of their make-overs, I thought about how often I have been tempted to remake myself in the image of someone who wasn’t just not me, but someone who wasn’t even like me at all. I can remember getting rid of clothing I actually liked and felt comfortable wearing because I felt the burden of either not looking “tailored” enough or “mature” enough or even “feminine” enough according to someone else’s standards. And that’s just since I have been a grown-up; we won’t go back to high school!
I think Carol’s insights have other implications, too. In too many evangelical circles, a woman is often told that to be a truly godly woman, she must seek to have a passive, quiet personality and demeanor. 1 Peter 3:4 that says “Let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious,” is used as the proof text, purposefully confusing inward peace and gentleness with a certain outward personality type. Consequently, those of us who have more exuberant or gregarious personalities find ourselves outside of the scope of godly womanhood and often are misunderstood or even told that we are behaving in sinful ways when actually we are being true to how God created us.
As I have shared before, I spent much of my life trying to stuff myself down into the quiet and gentle box, trying to become someone I am not and I was miserable. It has only been in recent years as the Lord has given me opportunities to express the best of how He has created me and to do so for His glory that I have come to embrace not only my truth about my own personality but also ”His truth” as He has taught me what it means to be a woman made in His image.
The other value to Carol’s message is how it can help us better understand other women, especially our daughters, and can enable us to show genuine love and care for them as sisters in Christ who are also made in the image of God, though perhaps differently than we are made. I think all moms have the tendency to dress their daughters as miniature versions of themselves rather than to take into consideration how unique and creative each of them are. Not long ago I read a mother saying that she and her husband had established the rule that their children would be allowed to make none of their own choices about anything in their home, including their clothing, until they were 9 years of age! I couldn’t help but think of this mother as I listened to Carol’s presentation! I believe the earlier we recognize the individuality of our children, the more opportunities we will have for learning with them and encouraging them as they discover how the Lord has gifted each of them!
I haven’t yet read any of Carol’s books so can’t review her philosophies entirely but I do think she has this wise counsel for all women: be yourself!
Here is the first clip I watched. Let me know what you think.
Joe’s birthday came around again and this time he really wanted me to make chicken strips with honey mustard sauce. I thought he would choose potato salad as a side but surprised me by asking for twice-baked potatoes. These were both yummy and so, so easy to make.
6 boneless,skinless chicken breasts
2 cups flour
1 TBS. garlic powder
1 TBS. paprika
2 tsp. coarse salt
fresh ground pepper
oil for frying
Cut each chicken breast into 3-4 long strips. Rinse and pat dry. In bowl, combine dry ingredients, mixing well. Coat chicken with mixture and fry in hot oil until golden and crispy. Drain well. Makes 6-8 servings, depending on the size of chicken or children!
Honey Mustard Sauce for Dipping
1 1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup stone ground brown mustard
Mix well and chill until serving.
8 medium baking potatoes, scrubbed, baked, and cooled
1 pint sour cream
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 small jar real bacon bits
1 cup shredded cheese, cheddar or Mexican blend
1 TBS. dried chives or fresh equivalent
salt and pepper to taste
Slice a cap off of each potato and remove insides. Place in bowl with rest of ingredients, coarsely chopping potato. Return to the potato cups and warm in oven for 20 minutes or so. 6-8 servings, depending on how coordinated you are at removing potato insides from the skin!
Continuing on my quest to learn one new thing every day, yesterday I made homemade yogurt for the first time. It was amazingly easy and absolutely the best tasting yogurt I have ever eaten! And compared to the price of store yogurt, there is no reason not to make this a staple in our house! Today I will have to whip up a fresh batch of granola to go with it!
Crock Pot Yogurt
8 cups whole milk
½ cup good variety of plain yogurt (I used plain Greek yogurt)
2 tsp. vanilla
½ cup honey (1/4 cup if less sweet preferred)
Pour milk into crock pot with heat on low. Cook for 2 ½ hours. Unplug from wall and leave alone on counter for 3 more hours. Stir in yogurt. Wrap entire crock pot in thick blanket and allow to set on counter, undisturbed, for 8 hours. Stir in vanilla and honey. Place into individual serving cups, cover, and store in fridge. (I used the cheap ziploc one to begin with to see if we are going to like this. They are the perfect size for sending in Clay’s lunches! You can also place fruit in bottom of cups before adding yogurt. For use as sour cream, omit vanilla and honey; add a dash of garlic powder for delicious sour cream topping for baked potatoes. For thicker yogurt, you can drain it using cheese cloth (some recipes suggest a coffee filter).
Me in 1959 heading to first grade.
Yesterday, my mom was reminiscing about her sister, Edith, who passed away a couple years ago and I remembered something I had written about her at the time. I think it is fitting to bring it out again for several reasons. First, those of us who live in Illinois have been feeling some real threats from our legislature regarding homeschooling freedoms over the past few months and they appear to continue during the remaining weeks of this legislative session. We need to keep in mind the real threats to our goals as homeschooling families. Secondly, the disagreements between Ken Ham and Great Homeschool Conventions continue and, whatever the details may be and the alliances that are being made, I have been disappointed in the past couple of years in Ham’s take on the Barna research that he believes points the finger at Sunday schools as the reasons so many young adults abandon the faith when they leave home. I think that is poppycock. And, finally, I can always tell when people have been attending homeschooling and other conferences with those who promote a family integrated church agenda because my downloads of the articles I wrote sharing the pros and cons of the movement start to skyrocket; those numbers have gone out the roof the past couple of weeks! So, here are some thoughts at the point where these issuses intersect, at least in my mind today!
I recently picked up my copy of Raymond and Dorothy Moore’s 1988 Home School Burnout, a book I had not read since the year is was published and I was homeschooling 3 children, had one toddler, and a newborn contributing to my own burnout potential. I will soon be interviewing both the Moore’s daughter, Kathie, and Ellen Dana from the Moore Academy for a series of podcasts, and wanted to refresh my memory about some of the things that had impacted my own early years as a homeschooler, thanks to the Moores and their research.
One point that was made in the early part of the book was the idea that some homeschoolers tend to see the government education system or even public school teachers as the enemy of home education and I must admit that there have been times when it has been difficult not to agree with that. But over the past couple of days I have thought long and hard about whom the real enemy is and why identifying the real threat to home schooling is crucial, especially as we define and seek to participate in multi-generational faithfulness as homeschooling parents. As always happens, the Lord provided me with a real example to teach me what He wanted me to know.
On Sunday afternoon, my Aunt Edith passed away. She was almost 88 years old and spent most of her life as an evangelist to children. Her obituary will be in the paper this week and will say that she taught public school for decades but in reality, she spent those years giving testimony of her faith in Jesus Christ to several generations of children. My Aunt Edith practiced multi-generational faithfulness. While the Lord gave her one physical daughter, she also gave her hundreds of spiritual sons and daughters because of her commitment to proclaiming the Gospel message of Jesus within the school systems of Central Illinois.
My mom, her younger sister, remembers when Edith traveled along miles of gravel and dirt roads to teach K-12 in country schools. Having only graduated from high school at that point, she began taking college classes in order to fulfill the legal requirements for teaching and eventually graduated and received a teaching certificate. Most of her career was spent teaching first graders, the age she most delighted in throughout her entire life.
Edith was married to her first husband for 25 years until he died of cancer. A few years later she remarried and she and her husband, Sam, began to have a vision for Child Evangelism Fellowship. I remember her sharing with me that she had started to see so many little ones in her classrooms who were from broken and dysfunctional homes that her heart was stirred to minister to them any way that she could. So she opened her home to Good News Clubs, each week inviting dozens of neighborhood children into a refurbished basement, complete with small tables and chairs, flannel graph boards, toys, and games. There they were shown the love of Christ, given homemade snacks, and were challenged with the message of God’s grace.
When she and Sam married, Sam, a widower, had moved into her home but had kept his house in a neighborhood of Peoria that was slowly being taken over by drug use and gang violence. Undaunted, Edith decided they ought to open another Good News Club in that neighborhood and so they did, welcoming in dozens more children, sharing the good news of salvation. Many more came to Christ and some brought their parents along to hear, too.
When the Supreme Court ruled in 1962 that prayer was to be banned from public school classrooms, Edith knew that, as a Christian, she could not comply and continued to prayer aloud over her students every day until she retired decades later. God honored her faithfulness and protected her, no student or parent ever questioning her practice. And because of her outspoken proclamation of the Gospel message, several generations of children within her school were introduced to the Savior.
My Aunt Edith had been raised by a mother who read the Word of God, my own grandmother who also shared her love of the Word with me. The Lord gave her a life-long calling to evangelism that she purposed to fulfill whenever and wherever she could, her greatest mission field being the public school system.
But not once in the years we homeschooled did I ever sense or hear a negative word about homeschooling from her. In fact, she treated me as a colleague, often offering curricula or fun projects from her files for me to share with my children. She was excited about homeschooling and the potential she saw that it held for children. She became one of the biggest cheerleaders I had for homeschooling and her encouragement went beyond me to families in her church who also had chosen this path.
One day she shared with me that she had been raking the leaves in her front yard when a middle-aged man with his son stopped by and asked her if she was the same lady who used to have all the children come to her house for Bible lessons. Nodding to him, he went on to tell her that he had attended one of her Good News clubs as a child and how much it had changed his life. Looking at his little boy, my aunt was overwhelmed with God’s goodness and faithfulness in furthering His Kingdom through even another generation.
My Aunt Edith had never heard the phrase “militant fecundity” yet she loved children and welcomed all she could into her home and her life. If she had heard the phrase “multi-generational faithfulness,” I am certain she would also have boldly stated that the faithfulness comes from God’s hand rather than from any works we might do. Yet, in her faithfulness as an evangelist to the little ones in her neighborhood and in her classrooms over the years, the Lord brought many to Himself, not for the glory or agenda of any man but for His glory alone.
As readers of the series of articles I did on the family integrated church movement know, I have a heart for home discipleship and believe it is a vital aspect of what we do as Christian parents, especially as homeschooling parents who are seeking to put Deuteronomy 6 into practice every single day. But I believe that God is so much bigger than what we do or do not do within His redemption plan, including how He chooses to bring others to Himself.
According to some, age segregated Sunday school for little ones flies in the face of multi-generational faithfulness. To them, youth groups of all kinds, Good News Clubs, camps, and AWANA are all part of a Darwinian plot against the family. But I would say emphatically that their definition of multi-generational faithfulness is skewed and is used to define all sorts of things that my Aunt Edith would never have considered as crucial to the lives of those who seek to follow Christ from generation to generation. Preaching Jesus and Him crucified and purposing to make disciples who love Him, reflecting His faithfulness to us, and to love their neighbors as themselves would most likely be her definition. It would be mine as well.
This time of year I am always on the look out for fresh asparagus recipes. This one is wonderful either as a main course or a side dish for chicken or pork along with a fresh green salad and crusty bread. One of my boys also thought it would be good for breakfast and I think it would make a beautiful addition to an Easter brunch. Any type of hard cheese would be good in this quiche but the New York Extra Sharp I used was delicious!
Spring Quiche with Asparagus and Leeks
1 tablespoon butter
1 leek (white and light green parts only), halved and thinly sliced, then well washed
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 bunch (1 pound) asparagus, tough ends removed, thinly sliced on the diagonal
4 large eggs
1 1/4 cups half-and-half
Dash ground nutmeg
1 cup shredded Gruyere or sharp cheddar cheese (4 ounces)
1 single pie crust
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in skillet and sauté leek and asparagus for 6 minutes, retaining the bright green color. Salt and pepper to taste. In a large bowl, whip together eggs and half and half, add dash of salt and nutmeg. Place pie crust on baking sheet. Sprinkle evenly with cheese, top with leek and asparagus mixture, spreading over the cheese. Pour egg mixture on top. Bake for 50 minutes or until quiche is set. Allow to stand 15 minutes before serving.
The Joy of Adult Sons: Reaping the Fruit ~ “One aspect of this is also the joy of the brother and sister in Christ relationship we share, the deeper level of fellowship that goes beyond ordinary every day talk and straight into practicing the one anothers of Scripture. As moms, we are aware when they are struggling in ways that dads cannot see and we know what to say that will immediately encourage them. We understand them better than anyone else, except their wives, and that gives us an extra advantage as we continue to minister to them as our brothers in Christ.”
|April 12, 2011
The Blessing of Raising Sons, Part 7
The final podcast in this series!
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