Welcome to Marmee's Pantry

Welcome to Marmee's Pantry

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook ~#88~ 8/24/10

For Today...

Outside my window...lovely, lovely blue skies, a few fluffy clouds, breezy, low humidity; green, leafy trees. Ahhh...

I am thinking...that even in the hardest of times, I am blessed.

I am thankful for...opportunities.

From the kitchen...zucchini muffins. :-)

I am wearing...jeans, an old "Out of the Grey" t-shirt (remember them?).

I am rememberinggood family memories.

I am goingto do some housework, go to work tonight.

I am reading..."The Maker's Diet"; Bible: Psalms.

I am hoping...to be a godly influence to all I meet.

On my mindDD#1.

I am creating...a Christ-centered home.

I am hearing...the radio & a Cardinal that won't be quiet!

Noticing thatmy attitude effects EVERYONE around me.

Pondering these words"There IS hope for the 'ruined' life!"

Around the house...house tidying, laundry, baking...

One of my favorite things...our growth group. A group of friends/church family from an old church who have stayed close together. We meet every 4th Sunday at our house. Blessings abound.

A Scripture thought...Jonah 1:17 ~ "But the LORD provided a great fish to swallow Jonah, & Jonah was inside the fish for 3 day & e nights." ~~The fish {NOT a whale! I vote for the Whale Shark :-)} WASN'T punishment, it was an extension of God's GRACE; it kept Jonah safe until the LORD could work on his heart. [from Sunday's sermon]

A few plans for the rest of the week...family time, work, going to the farm stores w/a friend of mine, Sunday on the praise team...worship w/the saints!

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

{I'm having some technical difficulties (AGAIN!) & I will put the picture in when it's fixed.}

Enjoy other Daybooks at: http://thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com/

Blessings from Ohio, Kim Wolf<><

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Top 10 Tips for the Best Bread!

OK...so how many of you LOVE Marilyn Moll a.k.a. The Urban Homemaker? (I do, I do!!!) Although I don't use her recipe for my flaxseed bread, she is who 'taught' me to make it in the best way possible. (Big secret: keep your liquids warm & your yeast cold!) If you don't get her newsletter, or have her catalogue or have never visited her website...you really should.

Here are her tips for the best bread (I think this was from an old newsletter). I've used them for years & they are great tips to follow. Want proof? Ask my family. '-)

Blessings from Ohio...Kim<><
Here are my top tips for yeast bread baking for beginners and experienced bakers alike.

1. Use high quality "hard" white or red whole wheat flour. "Hard" refers to high protein wheat that is used exclusively for yeast breads. Purchase flour that has been refrigerated to minimize nutritional loss and use it promptly, or mill your own wheat flour. Since whole wheat flour contains all of the bran which interferes with gluten activity, it is advisable to add vital wheat gluten to boost the strength of the dough or add a little bread flour (not all purpose flour) as part of your flour. Vital wheat gluten is a natural protein derived from wheat which increases dough strength, improves bread texture and the shelf life of baked goods.

2. Use fresh yeast. Proof the yeast if you are uncertain about the quality of the yeast. Proofing is a baker's term to mean combining one teaspoon or yeast with 1/4 Cup warm water (100 ° F) and a teaspoon of sugar in a one cup measuring cup. If the mixture isn't bubbled up almost to the top of the cup in 10 minutes, discard the yeast and purchase fresh yeast. Store unused yeast in moisture, vapor proof containers in the freezer to promote shelf life. When moisture comes into contact with yeast, it quickly looses its potency. I prefer Saff Instant Yeast for reliability and more live yeast organisms per tablespoon of yeast.

3. Use warmed liquids. The ideal liquid temperature is around 110 degrees for yeast breads. When you add flour and other ingredients the temperature will drop somewhat. If you don't have a thermometer, check the water temperature on your wrist and if it isn't too hot to feed a baby then it should be just right. Yeast organisms thrive in bread dough that is about 85 degrees. Don't worry if you don't have perfect temperature, just lengthen the rising time to compensate if your dough is cooler or shorten the rising time if it is quite warm. Raising bread in a warmed oven will significantly speed rising times but the bread structure will be weak and the loaf may easily fall.If possible, allow enough time for the yeasted dough to rise naturally. Baker's call the rising time fermentation, which is essential for full development of flavor and texture.

4. Use the right amount of flour. The biggest mistake baker's make is adding too much flour while kneading the bread. Too much flour results in a dry, crumbly bread. While kneading your bread, be a little stingy with the flour, the dough should be smooth and elastic, but not sticky. If you use a teaspoon of oil on your kneading surface and on your hands you should be able to keep your dough from being too sticky and using excess flour.

5. Develop the Gluten. Another common mistake in baking bread is not getting the gluten fully developed. Gluten is the protein part of the dough which creates the structure for the dough, holding all the little air bubbles created by the yeast, and allowing the dough to rise. The secret to recognizing if the gluten is developed is to take a golf ball sized portion of dough, hold it between the thumb and index finger of both hands and gently stretch the dough in opposite directions. You should be able to flatten and stretch the dough out thin enough to let light through. If not, and the dough readily tears, you probably need to do a little more kneading. Add vital wheat gluten if your bread is not rising very well to avoid heavy dense loaves.

6. Proof the Dough. Proofing is a baking term for allowing bread dough to rise outside the oven. This crucial step will help develop flavor, and strengthen the gluten framework.

7. Shape the Loaf! There are several ways to shape a loaf but the key is to make sure all the air bubbles are squeezed out before the loaf is set to rise. Also be sure to fill your bread pans only half to two thirds full so that you don't end up with an under or over sized loaf. I have found that loaf pans that measure roughly 8" by 4" make the prettiest, highest rising whole grain loaves of bread. Whole grain doughs just don't rise as tall and pretty if wider loaf pans are used. But use what you have!!!

8. Bake the bread! Generally, bake bread at 350° F or in a moderate oven. If you are baking three or more loaves at once, that I need to rotate the outside loaves about 15 minutes before the bread is completely baked for even browning.

9. Assess the Doneness by one of the following methods. There are a number of tips in determining proper doneness. Some bakers tap the loaf for a "hollow" sound. I prefer the less subjective methods of assessing determining if the loaf is done. An instant read thermometer is invaluable. Set the thermometer for 190 degrees. When the internal temperature of the loaf reaches 190, the bread is done. Others have told me any temperature between 180 and 200° will work. If you don't have the instant read thermometer, the loaf is done when nicely browned top, bottom, and sides! Keep in mind that whole grain loaves will be much darker than white bread.

10. Enjoy! Who can resist a piece of hot, steaming, nutty and fragrant whole grain bread you made yourself now and then? Indulge a little butter on a fresh slice and savor the fruits of your efforts to nourish your family with healthy foods! Wrap cooled bread securely in high quality, re-useable bread bags. Be sure to bless others with the fruits (loaves) of your labor occasionally.

Marilyn Moll, passionate lover of old-fashioned skills, together with her sweet late husband, Duane, and three homeschooled children (now homeschool grads!) have been running urbanhomemaker.com, specializing in grain mills, Bosch mixers and products for better health for many years. Complimentary catalogs are available upon request. Join her newsletter, From the Heart of The Urban Homemaker, for tips, information, recipes, product specials and more!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Word-Filled Wednesday Blog Hop ~#5~ 8/18/10

PASSAGE: Selected verses from Luke 15:11-32 ~ The Prodigal Son ~ [Jesus speaking] "There was a man who had 2 sons. The younger 1 said to his father, 'Father, give me my share of the estate.' So he divided his property between them.

"Not long after that, [he] squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything there was a severe famine in that whole country, & he began to be in need...He longed to fill hsi stomach w/the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

"When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have food to spare, & here I am starving to death! I will set out & go back to my father & say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven & against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son' make me like 1 of your hired men.'

"But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him & was filled w/compassion for him; he RAN to his son, threw his arms around him & kissed him...

"Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music & dancing...

"The older brother became angry & refused to go in...

[The father said to him] "'My son,' the father said, 'you are always w/me, & everything I have isyours. But we HAD to celebrate & be glad, because this brother of yours was dead & is alive again; he was lost & is found!'"

LESSON LEARNED: I agree w/a long-time pastor friend of ours...Jesus' story of The Prodigal Son should really be called "The Parable of the Gracious Father."

In a recent sermon, he went on to say that "so many people wrongly see God as a harsh Judge, a critic, a biggot, a supernatural puppeteer; Someone who remembers ALL wrongs & thinks that we will never be good enough for Him.

"Others wrongly see Him as their cosmic Buddy, their Pal...even as a sort of Santa Claus."

The Biblical view is that of loving Father. As someone who was a daddy's girl, I LOVE being the precious daughter of THE King!!

When we see God as a loving Father ~ not only is He just, but after true justice is met He reassures us by letting us crawl up onto His lap where He reminds us that He forgives us (once again) & He LOVES us SO very, very much!

My favorite part of this parable is that the father (representing God in this story) WATCHED DAILY for His son's return! And when he saw him, HE RAN to met him & hug & & kiss him! Just to TOUCH his son once more! He utterly & completely REJOICED in the return of his son & was extravagant in his love. He rejoiced & threw a party!

GOD IS LIKE THAT FATHER!! Do you know that when we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior that all of heaven - the very angels themselves - rejoice?! Over YOU! Just as this father did, God sings & dances & celebrates when we come home!! ~ Zeph. 3:17 - "The LORD your God is w/you, He is mightly so save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you w/His love, He will rejoice over you w/singing."

God sees us as His dearly loved children. Yes, he is just, but He is also compassionate & forgiving...full of grace & mercy...as any good parent should be.

So...remember this: Don't EVER be afraid to come home to your Daddy!

Enjoy other Word Filled Wednesdays at http://acountrymom.blogspot.com/ Please feel free to grab the WFW button for your blog while you're there!!

Blessings from Ohio...Kim<><

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook ~#87~ 8/17/10

For Today...

Outside my window...beautiful sunshine, wonderfully cool morning temps...in the 60's!! Can't wait for fall!!!

I am thinking...how blessed we are. Even in hard times...compared to so many...we ARE blessed.

I am thankful for...a husband who loves the Lord & his family.

From the kitchen...fresh 'maders' in abundance! I'm so glad b/c the chipmonks got ALL of my cucumbers, squash & zuchinni. :-/ Last year I had abundance, this year it seems that they finally found them. Bummer.

I am wearing...beige capris, green t-shirt, light-weight zip-up hoodie.

I am remembering…homeschool days. Can't believe this will be our 2nd school year since we've graduated our last one! After 16 years of homeschooling, it still feels weird.

I am going…to take DD#2 to work, do a local family's homeschool assessment, finish copying my sermon notes into my notebook, putter around the house, go to work w/the 'night' crew.

I am reading..."The Maker's Diet"; Bible: Psalms.

I am hoping...Hubbie will hear that he got 1 of those jobs he's interviewed for!

On my mind…children, my mom, $$.

I am creating...a Christ-centered home.

I am hearing...the radio, cidadas outside my window.

Noticing that…I forgot to make coffee!! Oh no! '-)

Pondering these words…"Sometimes the Lord's will 'gets in the way' of our own agenda. God's will has a way of taking us in a different direction than where WE think is best." ~from Sunday's sermon.

Around the house...dusting, sweeper, laundry...

One of my favorite things...cooking for my family. Since I've had to return to work outside the home, I only get to cook 2-3 times a week. Some women would think that was great...I really miss it...& so does my family! lol

A Scripture thought...Psalm 5:3 ~ "In the morning, O LORD, You hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you & wait in expectation." ALWAYS EXPECT the Lord to work!!!

A few plans for the rest of the week...home 'stuff', a few people coming over for me to do their homeschool assessments, work...anticipating answered prayer.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

This is a close-up of the photo I use for the little icon that comes up next my comments on your blogs. I enjoy this photo b/c it reminds me of my Grandma's kitchen...very homey. Love all those old cooking impliments!

Enjoy other Daybooks at:

Blessings from Ohio, Kim Wolf<><

Monday, August 16, 2010

Top 10 Predictons for 2011

Another great e-mail (from our dear Auntie in FL). Just couldn't resist sharing this w/all of you!

"I [Jesus] have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." ~John 16:33 [emphasis mine ~KW<><]

Blessings from Ohio...Kim<><



10. Jesus will still save the lost when they come to Him

9. Jesus will still love YOU

8. There will still be room at the cross

7. God will still pour out blessings upon His people

6. There will still be singing of praise to God

5. There will still be God-anointed preaching

4. God will still honor the praises of His people

3. The Holy Spirit will still move

2. Prayer will still be the most powerful thing on Earth

And...drum roll...

1. The Bible will still have ALL the answers!!!!!!

"Therefore encourage each other w/these words." ~I Thessalonians 4:18.

Friday, August 13, 2010

12 Ways to Love Your Wayward Child

I came across this while sorting through some of my saved documents that I haven't looked at for a while. This was originally from 2007 & was written by John Piper's son, Abraham. If your grown child doesn't go through a time of 'waywardness' ~ & I pray they don't ~ then we will surely know someone who's grown child will. This may be something that you can share w/them as you stand beside them in prayer & support.

Blessings from Ohio...Kim<><


My son Abraham, who speaks from the wisdom of experience and Scripture, has written the article that follows. I read it with tears and laughter. It is so compelling that I asked him immediately if I could share it with the church and the wider Christian community. There is no greater joy than to see your children walking in the truth—and expressing it so well. The rest is Abraham’s untouched. -John Piper

Many parents are brokenhearted and completely baffled by their unbelieving son or daughter. They have no clue why the child they raised well is making such awful, destructive decisions. I’ve never been one of these parents, but I have been one of these sons. Reflecting back on that experience, I offer these suggestions to help you reach out to your wayward child.

1. Point them to Christ.

Your rebellious child’s real problem is not drugs or sex or cigarettes or pornography or laziness or crime or cussing or slovenliness or homosexuality or being in a punk rock band. The real problem is that they don’t see Jesus clearly. The best thing you can do for them—and the only reason to do any of the following suggestions—is to show them Christ. It is not a simple or immediate process, but the sins in their life that distress you and destroy them will only begin to fade away when they see Jesus more like he actually is.

2. Pray.
Only God can save your son or daughter, so keep on asking that he will display himself to them in a way they can’t resist worshiping him for.

3. Acknowledge that something is wrong.
If your daughter rejects Jesus, don’t pretend everything is fine.
For every unbelieving child, the details will be different. Each one will require parents to reach out in unique ways. Never acceptable, however, is not reaching out at all. If your child is an unbeliever, don’t ignore it. Holidays might be easier, but eternity won’t be.

4. Don’t expect them to be Christ-like.
If your son is not a Christian, he’s not going to act like one.
You know that he has forsaken the faith, so don’t expect him to live by the standards you raised him with. For example, you might be tempted to say, “I know you’re struggling with believing in Jesus, but can’t you at least admit that getting wasted every day is sin?”

If he’s struggling to believe in Jesus, then there is very little significance in admitting that drunkenness is wrong. You want to protect him, yes. But his unbelief is the most dangerous problem—not partying. No matter how your child’s unbelief exemplifies itself in his behavior, always be sure to focus more on the heart’s sickness than its symptoms.

5. Welcome them home.
Because the deepest concern is not your child’s actions, but his heart, don’t create too many requirements for coming home. If he has any inkling to be with you, it is God giving you a chance to love him back to Jesus. Obviously there are some instances in which parents must give ultimatums: “Don’t come to this house if you are...” But these will be rare. Don’t lessen the likelihood of an opportunity to be with your child by too many rules.

If your daughter smells like weed or an ashtray, spray her jacket with Febreze and change the sheets when she leaves, but let her come home. If you find out she’s pregnant, then buy her folic acid, take her to her twenty-week ultrasound, protect her from Planned Parenthood, and by all means let her come home. If your son is broke because he spent all the money you lent him on loose women and ritzy liquor, then forgive his debt as you’ve been forgiven, don’t give him any more money, and let him come home. If he hasn’t been around for a week and a half because he’s been staying at his girlfriend’s—or boyfriend’s—apartment, plead with him not to go back, and let him come home.

6. Plead with them more than you rebuke them.
Be gentle in your disappointment.

What really concerns you is that your child is destroying herself, not that she’s breaking rules. Treat her in a way that makes this clear. She probably knows—especially if she was raised as a Christian—that what she’s doing is wrong. And she definitely knows you think it is. So she doesn’t need this pointed out. She needs to see how you are going to react to her evil. Your gentle forbearance and sorrowful hope will show her that you really do trust Jesus.

Her conscience can condemn her by itself. Parents ought to stand kindly and firmly, always living in the hope that they want their child to return to.

7. Connect them to believers who have better access to them.
There are two kinds of access that you may not have to your child: geographical and relational. If your wayward son lives far away, try to find a solid believer in his area and ask him to contact your son. This may seem nosy or stupid or embarrassing to him, but it’s worth it—especially if the believer you find can also relate to your son emotionally in a way you can’t.

Relational distance will also be a side effect of your child leaving the faith, so your relationship will be tenuous and should be protected if at all possible. But hard rebuke is still necessary.

This is where another believer who has emotional access to your son may be very helpful. If there is a believer who your son trusts and perhaps even enjoys being around, then that believer has a platform to tell your son—in a way he may actually pay attention to—that he’s being an idiot. This may sound harsh, but it’s a news flash we all need from time to time, and people we trust are usually the only ones who can package a painful rebuke so that it is a gift to us.

A lot of rebellious kids would do well to hear that they’re being fools—and it is rare that this can helpfully be pointed out by their parents—so try to keep other Christians in your kids lives.

8. Respect their friends.
Honor your wayward child in the same way you’d honor any other unbeliever. They may run with crowds you’d never consider talking to or even looking at, but they are your child’s friends. Respect that—even if the relationship is founded on sin. They’re bad for your son, yes. But he’s bad for them, too. Nothing will be solved by making it perfectly evident that you don’t like who he’s hanging around with.

When your son shows up for a family birthday celebration with another girlfriend—one you’ve never seen before and probably won’t see again—be hospitable. She’s also someone’s wayward child, and she needs Jesus, too.

9. Email them.
Praise God for technology that lets you stay in your kids’ lives so easily!

When you read something in the Bible that encourages you and helps you love Jesus more, write it up in a couple lines and send it to your child. The best exhortation for them is positive examples of Christ’s joy in your own life.

Don’t stress out when you’re composing these as if each one needs to be singularly powerful. Just whip them out one after another, and let the cumulative effect of your satisfaction in God gather up in your child’s inbox. God’s word is never proclaimed in vain. [Don't forget text messaging & things like Facebook. ~KW<><]

10. Take them to lunch.
If possible, don’t let your only interaction with your child be electronic. Get together with him face to face if you can. You may think this is stressful and uncomfortable, but trust me that it’s far worse to be in the child’s shoes—he is experiencing all the same discomfort, but compounded by guilt. So if he is willing to get together with you for lunch, praise God, and use the opportunity.
It will feel almost hypocritical to talk about his daily life, since what you really care about is his eternal life, but try to anyway. He needs to know you care about all of him. Then, before lunch is over, pray that the Lord will give you the gumption to ask about his soul. You don’t know how he’ll respond. Will he roll his eyes like you’re an idiot? Will he get mad and leave? Or has God been working in him since you talked last? You don’t know until you risk asking.

(Here’s a note to parents of younger children: Set up regular times to go out to eat with your kids. Not only will this be valuable for its own sake, but also, if they ever enter a season of rebellion, the tradition of meeting with them will already be in place and it won’t feel weird to ask them out to lunch. If a son has been eating out on Saturdays with his dad since he was a tot, it will be much harder for him later in life to say no to his father’s invitation—even as a surly nineteen-year-old.)

11. Take an interest in their pursuits.
Odds are that if your daughter is purposefully rejecting Christ, then the way she spends her time will probably disappoint you. Nevertheless, find the value in her interests, if possible, and encourage her. You went to her school plays and soccer games when she was ten; what can you do now that she’s twenty to show that you still really care about her interests?

Jesus spent time with tax collectors and prostitutes, and he wasn’t even related to them. Imitate Christ by being the kind of parent who will put some earplugs in your pocket and head downtown to that dank little nightclub where your daughter’s CD release show is. Encourage her and never stop praying that she will begin to use her gifts for Jesus’ glory instead her own.

12. Point them to Christ.
This can’t be over-stressed. It is the whole point. No strategy for reaching your son or daughter will have any lasting effect if the underlying goal isn’t to help them know Jesus.


It’s not so that they will be good kids again; it’s not so that they’ll get their hair cut and start taking showers; it’s not so that they’ll like classical music instead of deathcore; it’s not so that you can stop being embarrassed at your weekly Bible study; it’s not so that they’ll vote conservative again by the next election; it’s not even so that you can sleep at night, knowing they’re not going to hell.

The only ultimate reason to pray for them, welcome them, plead with them, email them, eat with them, or take an interest in their interests is so that their eyes will be opened to Christ.

And not only is he the only point—he’s the only hope. When they see the wonder of Jesus, satisfaction will be redefined. He will replace the pathetic vanity of the money, or the praise of man, or the high, or the orgasm that they are staking their eternities on right now. Only his grace can draw them from their perilous pursuits and bind them safely to himself—captive, but satisfied.

He will do this for many. Be faithful and don’t give up.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Some Things Bare Repeating...

Gen. 12:1 ~ "The LORD had said to Abram, 'Leave your country, your people & your father's household & go to the land I will show you."

Sometimes the LORD calls us to travel "The Road Not Taken." Whether it's our initial call to follow Him, to change churches, to start a new ministry, to change jobs, to start a business...even to give a child a name that's 'out of the ordinary'...or to be an "Abraham" & follow the LORD's call to go...you know not where.

But...He uses it all! All in the name of obedience to our LORD & HIS call.

It's been quite a while, but I ran upon this treasured, classic Robert Frost poem & thought how fitting it is to the times we live in. I have always been a person who stood firm in my convictions. One of my most-often repeated sayings is, "Who wants to be like everyone else?" And that always requires stepping out & many times even being the only one standing when everyone else was sitting...or bowing...as in the case of Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego. So, in light of those thoughts that were provoked as I read this wise old poem, & in light of the times we are living in, I thought it could stand to be re-read here...

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I...
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Blessings from Ohio...Kim<><

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Word-Filled Wednesday Blog Hop ~#4~ 8/11/10

PASSAGE: Selected verses from Genesis 39 ~ Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt [after his brothers sold him into slavery]. Potiphar, an Egyptian who was one of Pharaoh's officials, the captain of the guard, bought him from the Ishmaeliztes who had taken him there.

The LORD was with Joseph & he prospered, & he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. When the master saw that the LORD was with him & that the LORD gave him success in everything he did, Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant...From the time he put him in charge of his household & of all that he owned, the LORD blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph...

Now Joseph was well-built & handsome, & after a while his master's wife took notice of Joseph & said, "Come to bed with me!"

But he refused..."How then could I do such a wicked thing & sin against God?"...

One day he went into the house to attend to his duties...She caught him by his cloak & said, "Come to bed with me!" But he left his cloak in her hand & ran out of the house...

She kept his cloak beside her until his master came home. The she told him this story: "That Hebrew slave you brought us came to me to make sport of me. But as soon as I screamed for help, he left his cloak beside me & ran out of the house."...

Joseph's master took him & put him in prison...

But while Joseph was there in the prison, the LORD was with him; He showed him kindness & granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden...the LORD was with Joseph & gave him success in whatever he did.

LESSON: This passage was the topic of a guest preacher at our church on Sunday. He is going through a hard time & he preached on what the LORD was showing him. As some of you may know, we are going through a hard time...in April of '09, my husband was laid off from a really good job. Since then, he has only found temp work for 1/4 of what he was making before. Before the lay off, we had in mind to open a bulk food store (Marmee's Pantry) after we graduated our youngest daughter from our homeschool (June '09). Needless-to-say, all of our savings are gone! They were very quickly spent helping to keep our home, cars & living expenses. My dream of the bulk food store has been put aside because I've had to go back to working outside the home; I work at a local health food store & the LORD has blessed me in that I like it much more than I thought I would.

And with all that having gone on in the past year-&-a-half, the pastor's sermon spoke volumes to my husband & I! Here are some things he showed us...

Hardship IS NOT always punishment for sin!! (We could jump right into a sermon on Job's so-called 'friends' on this one, couldn't we?) We live in a fallen world & bad things happen to good people. BUT...the LORD has promised that He will NEVER leave or forsake us! (Deut. 31: 6, 8)

In the midst of Joseph's slavery AND his imprisonment, God PROSPERED him & gave him SUCCESS (39:2, 23)!! Even though Joseph wasn't where he wanted to be, & he wasn't doing what he wanted to do, the LORD blessed him! The pastor said something very interesting...he said since, in many ways, God's idea of 'success' & mine are different, we need to "redefine 'success'"! **Sometimes we can make a bad situation worse by having the wrong perspective. We need to look at things from God's perspective.

Then he had us notice that while Jospeph was in slavery AND while imprisoned, "the LORD was WITH Joseph." **And not only was God with Joseph, but Joseph was WILLING to recognize God's presence in every circumstance!

Joseph wasn't waiting to see God's "light at the END of the tunnel", he saw God's light even in the darkness. Joseph knew God's faithfulness even in the hard times.

In Gen. 45:1-8, Joseph's faithfulness allowed God to work in him to forgive his brothers AND to save Egypt from famine.

We need to ANTICIPATE redemption!

~Jeremiah 20:11-14(a) ~ "For I know the plans I have you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you & not to harm you, plans to give you hope & a future. Then you will call upon Me & come & pray to Me, & I will listen to you. You will seek Me & find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the LORD.

Enjoy other Word Filled Wednesdays at http://acountrymom.blogspot.com/ Please feel free to grab the WFW button for your blog while you're there!!

Blessings from Ohio...Kim<><

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook ~#86~ 8/10/10

For Today...

Outside my window...The 3 H's: Hot, Humid & Hazy! The heat is do-able, it's the humidity that's the killer!

I am thinking...Decisions, decisions, decisions...& none of them easy. :-/

I am thankful for...a hard-working husband who loves me & our family & works SO very, very hard for us.

From the kitchen...bread baking day!

I am wearing...jeans & my "Healthy Alternative" work t-shirt...in anticipation of what's to come.

I am remembering…carefree days of childhood: friends running around to each other's houses, no shoes until school started, bike rides, well-earned skinned knees, freckles brought out by days in the sun...ahhhhh!

I am going…to take DD#2 to work, do a couple of homeschool assessments, putter around the house & go to work.

I am reading...Bible: Revelation.

I am hoping...for the best of the 2 job leads my husband has to pan out!!!!!!!!!

On my mind…$$$ :-/

I am creating...a Christ-centered home.

I am hearing...the radio, cicadas.

Noticing that…the butterflies & sweet little Goldfinches LOVE my Echinacea. :-)

Pondering these words…"Hardship IS NOT always punishment for sin!" ~ From Sunday's sermon.

Around the house...running sweeper, dusting, bread baking.

One of my favorite things...meeting blog friends in person!

A Scripture thought...Gen. 39:2 ~ In servidtue: "the LORD was WITH Joseph." Gen 39:23 ~ In prison: "the LORD was With Joseph." **Joseph was WILLING to recognize God's presence in the hardest of times!

A few plans for the rest of the week...doing a few more homeschool assessments (love it!), work, family time; our nephew's wedding reception...they were already married a couple of weeks ago on a cruise! WOW!

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...
Choices, choices!

Enjoy other Daybooks at:

Blessings from Ohio, Kim Wolf<><

Monday, August 9, 2010

A Dog-gone Good Dog Story...

Another one of those great e-mail stories w/a great message...

Mary and her husband Jim had a dog, Lucky. Lucky was a real character. Whenever Mary and Jim had company come for a weekend visit they would warn their friends to not leave their luggage open because Lucky would help himself to whatever struck his fancy. Inevitably someone would forget and something would come up missing, Mary or Jim would go to Lucky's toy box in the basement and there the treasure would be, amid all of Lucky's favorite toys. Lucky always stashed his finds in his toy box and he was very particular that his toys stay in the box.

It happened that Mary found out she had breast cancer. Something told her she was going to die of this disease...she was just sure it was fatal. She scheduled the double mastectomy, fear riding her shoulders. The night before she was to go to the hospital she cuddled with Lucky. A thought struck her...what would happen to Lucky? Although the three-year-old dog liked Jim he was Mary's dog through and through. If I die Lucky will be abandoned, Mary thought. He won't understand that I didn't want to leave him.

The thought made her sadder than thinking of her own death. The double mastectomy was harder on Mary than her doctors had anticipated and Mary was hospitalized for over two weeks.

Jim took Lucky for his evening walk faithfully but the dog just drooped, whining and became miserable. But finally the day came for Mary to leave the hospital. When she arrived home, Mary was so exhausted she couldn't even make it up the steps to her bedroom. Jim made his wife comfortable on the couch and left her to nap. Lucky stood watching Mary but he didn't come to her when she called. It made Mary sad but sleep soon overcame her and she dozed. When Mary woke for a second she couldn't understand what was wrong. She couldn't move her head and her body felt heavy and hot. Panic soon gave way to laughter though when Mary realized the problem. She was covered, literally blanketed in every treasure Lucky owned! While she had slept the sorrowing dog had made trip after trip to the basement and back bringing his beloved mistress his favorite things in life. He had covered her with his love. Mary forgot about dying. Instead she and Lucky began living again, walking further and further together every night.

It's been 12 years now and Mary is still cancer-free. Lucky? He still steals treasures and stashes them in his toy box but Mary remains his greatest treasure.

Live everyday to the fullest...because every day is a blessing from God!

Friday, August 6, 2010

10 Tips for Healthy Eating on the Run

Lack of time is a major reason why many people forego healthy eating. Fast food is readily available and it’s just too tempting, and it’s cheap and filling. While eating fast food is never as healthy as a well-planned, balanced diet, if you must eat fast food, you can easily take steps to improve the quality of your nutrition when on the run.

1) Watch portion sizes. Your craving will likely be satisfied after you have finished a small order of fries, and you’ll save over 100 calories when compared with the super-sized order. The same holds true for sandwiches. Order the regular version or even a kid’s meal for yourself.

2) Seek out deli-style fast food chains where you can order a sub or sandwich on whole wheat bread or a wrap, a lower-fat and lower-calorie option than fried food.

3) Many fast food chains now offer healthy sides in place of the ubiquitous French fries. Take the healthy option. Or, if you can’t bear to give up the grease and salt, get the healthy side order too.

4) Always order a side salad when eating at traditional fast-food outlets. You will be less likely to fill up on only the unhealthy items, and the salad will provide some fiber and vitamins to balance an otherwise unhealthy meal.

5) Remember that chicken isn’t always a healthy choice. Many fast food chains offer fried breaded chicken sandwiches on white bread that are actually richer in fat and calories than a burger. Grilled chicken is a better option.

6) Make it a habit to eat a piece of fruit, a bowl of cereal, or some low fat yogurt before you set out to run errands. Regular eating can help you feel full and avoid temptation.

7) Stock your car with bottled water and healthy snacks. Have a small snack before the cravings hit, and you’re less likely to pull into that drive-through fast food outlet.

8) Consider a supermarket for your fast food break. You can pick up precut and washed fresh fruit or vegetables, yogurt, or low fat cheese. Many supermarkets also offer sushi or other healthy prepared items.

9) Hold the mayo. A tablespoon of regular mayonnaise has almost 100 calories!

10) Don’t add a sugary, calorie-rich drink to an already unhealthy meal. Water is available everywhere and is good for you. Drinking a large glass of water with your meal will help you feel fuller earlier.

{Full disclosure: Copied from an e-mail from years back.}

Blessings from Ohio, Kim<><

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Lesson Planner: How Firm a Foundation (Bible Curriculums)

{Originally printed in the Summer 2008 issue of The Old Schoolhouse magazine}

2 Timothy 3:16 ~ “All Scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

As most TOS readers are Christian homeschoolers, most of us understand that the very foundation of all our subjects is God’s Word – the Bible.

As such, we are constantly on the look-out for a ways to cultivate in our family a love for the Lord and His Word; to instill the habit of Bible reading and study and creative ways to help them hide the Word in their hearts. Unfortunately and admittedly, there are times when our children and teens may find learning the finer points of the Bible a little…shall we say…dry.

How do we keep the momentum going and feed their love of the Word? My concerns were: 1) I wanted to stay away from introducing ‘extra’ cartoon characters used to make the Bible seem more “story-bookish” and possibly cause them to associate the Bible with fairy tales as they grew and not as truth, or 2) that in order to keep their attention I may unintentionally use something disrespectful to God’s Word.

Over our 16 years of homeschooling, I have used a multitude of studies…some successful, some not…some interesting, some not…some worthy, some not. In this issue I’ll let you in on a couple that fit all of our criteria.

The More Traditional Route

As our children grew and the longer we homeschooled, we became very eclectic. But there are always a few traditional curriculums that everyone works well with. One of those has been Alpha Omega Publications’ Lifepacs. One of the things I liked the best about the Lifepacs, particularly since we are so eclectic, is that AOP offers the purchase options of either buying a whole set (10 Lifepacs plus the Teacher’s Guide) or you may purchase only the Lifepacs or you may simply purchase only the Lifepacs that cover topics you specifically wish to study! Great options!

AOP’s Bible Lifepacs cover all grades, first through twelfth, and using the King James Version, include the themes of theology, attributes of God, Biblical literature, Biblical background, Christian growth, Christian evidences and other special themes, all at the student’s grade level. Different grades cover different scope and sequence objectives:

First – God and You
Second through fifth – Seven Major Themes
~ Christian Growth
~ Theology Themes
~ Christian Evidences
~ Special Themes
~ Bible Literature
~ Attributes of God
~ Bible Geography and Archaeology
Sixth – O.T. and N.T. Bible Survey
Seventh and Eighth – Seven Major Themes (continued on a deeper, more comprehensive level)
Ninth – N.T. Survey; Sharing Christ; God’s Will
Tenth – O.T. Survey
Eleventh & Twelfth – Seven Major Themes (again, at a deeper level)

To whet your appetite even more, here’s a sampling of just some of the Lifepac subjects according to grade:

~1st – God Created All Things; Jesus, Our Savior
~2nd – God & the Family; God, His Word & You
~3rd – Living for God; Oh Joseph! What Was God’s Plan for You?
~4th – God’s Knowledge; Old Testament Geography
~5th – Angels; Proving What We Believe
~6th – From Creation to Moses; The Life of Jesus
~7th – Worship; The Life of Christ - Parts One, Two and Three
~8th – Prayer; Sin & Salvation
~ 9th – The Gospels; Job & Suffering
~10th – Exodus & Wanderings; The Divided Kingdom
~11th – The Faithfulness of God; Friendship, Dating and Marriage
~12th – Knowing Yourself; Comparative Religions

Since the Lifepacs are in workbook form – and cover all other school subjects, by the way - many children and teens enjoy actually seeing their work completed; closing a completed workbook to move on to another and watching that stack of workbooks pile up can really be an incentive to a child or teen who likes to have some tangible “evidence” of a job well done.

The Road Less Traveled

Now, if you’re looking for something a little more creative, a little more innovative and artistic, and a little more fun without being disrespectful to God’s Word, here’s a really easy, really creative way to keep your students – from K through 12 – interested in their Bible studies. Grapevine Studies – Stick Figuring Through the Bible by Dianna Wiebe.

“Grapevine Studies teaches the Bible as if it were a puzzle, doing the frame first.” That framework is the timeline and individual pieces; those pieces are: Bible passages, characters and events which make the whole Word of God easier to understand.

There are five different levels of Old Testament and New Testament volumes; these may be done together with multi-aged children just like unit studies:

~BEGINNER: 5-6 year olds
~LEVEL 1: 1st and 2nd grades
~LEVEL 2: 3rd and 4th grades
~LEVEL 3: 5th through 8th grades
~LEVEL 4: 9th through 12th grades

Each level has a timeline review/lesson. The student will read the Bible lesson which allows the child to have an understanding of the context of the character or event and where it fits on the timeline. After the reading the student draws using stick figures (who can’t do that!), symbols, colors, charts and words to illustrate the Bible passage. The lessons end with review questions.

Beginning with Level 3, the lessons include map assignments to help the student with Biblical geography. Application is determined by the teacher and each lesson ends with a Bible memory verse.

By the end of the year-long study the student should be able to complete an entire Bible timeline – SOLO! It’s a GREAT year-end project.

Grapevine Studies correctly understands that most students, of all ages, have a higher retention rate when they are taught using reading, hearing and drawing (hands-on) instead of merely being lectured to.


~ Alpha Omega Publications. 1-800-622-3070 or

~ Grapevine Studies/Stick Figuring Through the Bible:

Blessings from Ohio, Kim<><

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Word-Filled Wednesday ~#3~ 8/4/10

PASSAGE: Psalm 63:1-8 ~
  1. O God, You are my God, earnestly I seek You; my soul thirsts for You, my body longs for You, in a dry & weary land where there is no water.

  2. I have seen You in the sanctuary & beheld Your power & Your glory.

  3. Because Your love is better than life, my lips will glorify You.

  4. I will praise you as long as I live, & in Your Name I will lift up my hands.

  5. My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; w/singing lips my mouth will priase You.

  6. On my bed I remember you; I think of You through the watches of the night.

  7. Because You are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.

  8. My soul clings to you; Your right hand upholds me.

LESSON LEARNED: I came to Jesus in the midst of the most sinful time of my life. My soul was thirsting, but I had no idea until I let Jesus into my heart, & He saved my soul, that what - or Who - I was thirsting for was HIM! But He knew. And He sheltered me & kept me safe along my sinful road until, in His good timing, was the day of my salvation. One of the best, most humbling compliments I ever received was from a friend I've had since school days. She was raised in a Christian home, went through a time of back-sliding, but recommitted her life to the Lord after seeing the changes in me a few years after I had become a Christian. I just recently found this out. Incredible. So...don't let anyone tell you that God can't/won't work through Contemporary Christian music or modern versions of the Bible. You sing & read what God has called YOU to, but don't put God in a box...none of us are big enough to say what He will or won't/can or can't use. I serve a mighty God! I serve an awesome God! He sees through my filth & uses even me & He does it in His own way. I have seen His power & His glory & that's why I will praise Him as long as I live.

Oh, this old fallen world is a dry & weary land. There are days when the daily news shows nearly suck the marrow right out of my bones. But THAT is when I feel the call to worship.

I am a worshipper.

The Lord used Contemporary Christian music to lead me to Himself & I am forever grateful to Him for it. I love to praise the Lord! I love to sing praises to my Lord! I owe Him everything & He LETS me do the thing I love the most...opportunity to lead His people to His Throne in song. Worship satisfies my soul like "the richest of foods." I reminds me that both Jesus & the Holy Spirit are interceding ~ they are PRAYING ~ for ME! (AND for YOU!) Oh, how humbling, how precious are His thoughts concerning me! (Ps. 139:17-18)

I fall asleep praying & thinking upon the things of the Lord...reviewing the day, for good or bad, & trying to see the Lord's hand in it all. When the day has been a stress or a disappointment, I try to see where the Lord's hand was in it all...was I used by Him at any point?...Did I block Him here or there?

But through it all I know that He is my Help...that I sing in the shadow of His wings...that my soul clings ever so tightly to Him...& that He will always, ALWAYS up-hold me in His righteous right hand.

Enjoy other Word Filled Wednesdays at http://acountrymom.blogspot.com/
Please feel free to grab the WFW button for your blog while you're there!!

Blessings from Ohio...Kim<><

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook ~#85~ 8/3/10

For Today...

Outside my window...grey skies trying to rain; cicadas & songbirds competing to see who can be the loudest.
I am thinking...of our daughters & the decisions they make...good and bad.
I am thankful for...good health; and that I'm FINALLY able to log onto my blog again!! Just a fluky thing...I got on yesterday, logged off for a little while, tried to log back on before going to work &...THEN...couldn't get back on AGAIN! But I was able to get on this morning...whew! I'll never figure out why this happens. :-/ Just grateful to be on here today.
From the kitchen...a new loaf of bread rising, making laundry detergent. Will probaby stir-fry some lovely squash that Renee gave me.
I am wearing...jeans & a t-shirt.
I am remembering…that the Lord doesn't give me a talent or put a deep desire in my heart unless He plans to do something w/it.
I am going…to take DD#2 to work in a few minutes.
I am reading...Bible: Revelation.
I am hoping...for the swift answer to prayers!

On my mind…my mom...her dimentia is causing more problems. Sad & aggrevating at the same time.
I am creating...a Christ-centered home.
I am hearing...the radio, DD#2 getting ready for work; cicadas so loud that, even outside my window, they sound like they're right next to me. Fortunately, I enjoy the sound. :-)
Noticing that…the joy of the Lord is my strenght & that His joy is far different from being 'happy' all the time. The best part is when they happen at the same time!
Pondering these words…"The destination affects the journey." ~From Sunday's sermon. Whether it's a vacation desitination, or traveling a long way to see a loved-one, or making our way through the trials & tribulations of this fallen world until we go to Heaven...all the miles, all the trials are worth it once we see the faces at the end of the journey!
Around the house...baking, making laundry detergent, laundry, light picking-up, etc.
One of my favorite things...reuniting w/loved ones we haven't seen for far too long. For the last 2 weekends, dear friends of ours came to our church ~ one was one of my best girlfriends from school! ~ and after church this week, we went to visit w/some friends who are up from Florida. A great day.
A Scripture thought...Romans 8:24-25 ~ "For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently." Most people say, "I hope so..." in a way that conveys doubt. Biblical hope is a CERTAINTY! Hope is the ability to live inthe present based on the PROMISE of future realities! ~from Sunday's sermon.
A few plans for the rest of the week...a week of having to squeeze in family time around all of our work schedules. I miss staying at home.
Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...
Reuniting w/old friends is such a treasure!

Enjoy other Daybooks at:

Blessings from Ohio, Kim Wolf<><

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