Why it's All or Nothing

I believe that when it comes to the Word of God it is all or nothing- all truth or none at all. There is no "that part was written for that culture" or "I don't think God meant that for today." Christians today often say that Scripture- even New Testament mandates should be taken into context of the culture in which they were written and do not apply to modern day.

I'm sorry- to me that is denying the inspiration and inerrancy of the God's Word. To say that God could not preserve His commands throughout thousands of years is to doubt the sovereignty of God.

On the day of judgment when I stand before God, I want to say Lord, you told me your Word was true and flawless, and you told me that I show my love for you by keeping your commandments, and I did what your Word said- rather than, I'm sorry Lord, I thought you only meant that for that culture and time period. Women in our culture were so much different.

I take God's Word at face value. I don't think God left us His Word wrapped up in mystery that we have to figure out what He means. It is clearly laid out for us and applies to our lives today. I am so thankful that I don't have to decipher or interpret what God wants for me.

One Month Old!

My little girl is one month old today! How is that even possible? :) I guess time must go by three times faster when you have three children three and under!

Book Review- Lies Women Believe: and the Truth that Sets Them Free

I was at the Christian bookstore last week and found a great book. I skimmed a chapter or two and called my husband to see if I should buy it. He said yes, and I brought home Lies Women Believe: And the Truth that Sets Them Free by Nancy Leigh Demoss. As I started reading it, I decided to review this book here on Biblical Homemaking. Each week I will do a review of each chapter or two, and post my thoughts on it. My first online book review- how much fun is that!

Here is an excerpt from the back cover:
“This is a most timely and crucial contribution to all women.” -Henry and Marilyn Blackaby

“…a woman of compassion and keen insight…” -Elisabeth Elliot

“One of the most articulate Bible expositors in the Christian world today...” -.Charles Colson

We are like Eve. We have all experienced defeats and failures, trouble and turmoil. We have all experienced a selfish heart, a shrewish spirit, anger, envy and bitterness. And we ache to do things over, to have lives of harmony and peace. In her book, Lies Women Believe, author Nancy Leigh DeMoss exposes those areas of deception most commonly believed by Christian women:

Lies about themselves: I should not have to live with unfulfilled longings.
Lies about sin: I cannot walk in consistent victory over sin.
Lies about their marriage: If I submit to my husband, I will be miserable.
Lies about their emotions: I can’t control my emotions.
Lies about their circumstances: I just can’t take any more.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss sheds light on how we can be delivered from bondage and set free to walk in God’s grace, forgiveness, and abundant life. This book offers the most effective weapon to counter and overcome Satan’s deceptions—God’s truth.

More pictures...

I couldn't resist posting the newest pics- we took them on Saturday.

Isabella 3 1/2 weeks
The boys- best friends (most of the time)
All three of my little ones

Finally tackled the drawers!

It is finally finished!!
After so many interruptions today, I finally finished tackling the bathroom! I threw away so much stuff, and even found a missing earring!


Purging the Clutter

I hate clutter. Unfortunately, I don't hate it enough! I am particularly bad at purging clutter from my bathroom drawers. Half-empty toiletries are apparently my favorite thing to collect! The sad thing is, I did a full cleaning/organization of the bathroom about 6 months ago!

This week my mission is to clean out my bathroom drawers, cabinets and containers. I took a picture so you could see just how bad it gets in 6 months!
Just shameful, isn't it!

I am going to take pictures today as I go through this giant mess and post them periodically. I hope I can get done by tonight! Find more tackling inspiration over at 5minutesformom.

Free Museum Admission on September 29th

This week's frugal tip is to use free museum passes whenever you can! ;)
Museums across the nation are giving away free admission for you and your guest on Saturday, September 29th as part of the Smithsonian Magazine's Museum Day. There are so many cool museums listed by state. I think we might visit the flight museum with these free passes! Just sign up and print out your free admission pass!

Here are more details from Smithsonianmag.com:

Museum Day is a nationwide event taking place on Saturday, September 29, 2007 where participating museums and cultural institutions across the country offer free admission to Smithsonian readers and Smithsonian.com visitors, allowing for one day only, the free-admission policy of Smithsonian's Washington, D.C.-based facilities to be emulated across the country.

Favorite Frugal Friday posts:
Reusing and Fusing Plastic Bags
Free Chocolate, Senseo Coffee Maker, and Chick-fila!
Save Money on your Monthly Cell Phone Bill
Make Extra Money with your Digital Camera and Computer

Apron Giveaway!

Cheri at A Joyful Handmaiden is giving away this beautiful apron! Go on over there and enter by 3 p.m. MST Friday to win it- no blog required to enter!

She's such a sweetie!

Isabella has been such a great baby- she hardly cries and when she does it is not for long. When she is awake, she just looks around at everything and cackles. I don't think I could ask for a better 3rd baby!

The boys just love her so much- I have to watch Noah even more around her because he wants to be right beside her, patting her head or holding her hand. If we are in the car, I will look back there and see him holding her hand. I think he is going to be the big brother that takes care of his sister and wards off the boys in the teenage years :).

I can't believe how much I love her already. I look down at her and can't believe this precious little girl is mine.

Kitchen Tip Tuesday

Since I have been tired lately (the last few months!), one thing I have found that helps me get a meal on the table is having pre-cooked and pre-chopped food in the freezer. I cooked several chicken breasts, hamburger meat and chopped bell peppers and onions in the freezer ready to toss into a casserole or a skillet meal. I just cook or chop up a large amount at once and then portion it out into baggies. It makes life so much easier and helps me to get motivated to cook something. Check out more kitchen tips at Tammy's Recipes!

Menu Planning Monday

Here is my menu for this week. Thankfully I have most of the meat cooked and frozen so the meals should be quick to put together. I plan to make the beans and rice in a snap in my awesome new pressure cooker!
Monday- taco soup, corn bread
Tuesday- beans and rice, home made bread (freeze 1/2)
Wednesday- penne with meat sauce, zucchini/squash, homemade wheat bread
Thursday- creamy chicken and rice, green beans, bread
Friday- pizza
Saturday- Southwest chicken, red bell peppers and rice
Sunday- beans and rice (frozen and heated from Tuesday)

Check out more menus over at Menu Plan Monday!

Losing Weight...Frugally

After nine months of pregnancy and weight gain, I am always eager to return to my prepregnancy size very quickly. My favorite weight loss food has been soup. I eat soup at least once per day as a meal alone- it really fills you up as well as hydrates you (try not to add much salt, that only causes water retention). The trick is to eat only low-fat broth based soups, never creamy soups.I loved the Campbells Select soups Rotini and Penne with Chicken and Chicken Tortilla, although they run a bit more expensive than homemade or mixes. Many soup mixes are very cheap and only require you add water. Also, you can make it from scratch with chicken stock and vegetables and whole grains, and then portion it out in bags and freeze for each meal. Soup is so easy to make in large quantities.

I lost 30 pounds by eating soup frequently after my first baby was born. It is still my favorite diet food, and it is so cheap and filling! Check out more frugal ideas at Biblical Womanhood!

Running a 5k

I am going to run a 5k! I wrote it, so now I am officially committed to it!

I am going to run in my first 5k on November 17th, so I have just about two months to get ready for it (I work better with deadlines!). I am starting training tomorrow. Here is my two month Couch-to-5k Running Plan from coolrunning.com. I am so excited- I used to run back in my pre-child life. I can't wait to get that "I've got muscles in my abs" feeling back again! I hope the consistent exercise will help me return to pre-pregnancy size even faster.

Pressure Cooking

After months of anticipation, I am now the proud owner of a pressure cooker! I used one for the first time yesterday, and in less than 20 minutes I made steamed rice and two chicken breasts. The rice took about 8 minutes total and the chicken took about 7 minutes total. Both tasted like I had been slaving over the stove for hours! I am sooooo excited about this new gadget.

With the new baby and two little ones and between housecleaning, feeding and changing diapers, I am so tired in the evening I just don't feel like cooking, but with the pressure cooker I can whip up something low fat and healthy in less time than it would take in the microwave. Plus, it is a huge electricity saver- I can cook beans in 8-10 minutes when it used to take 2-3 hours to cook them on the stove top. Quick and easy meals and saving money works for me! Check out Shannon's blog for more great ideas!

Amy Wilhoite

I had never heard of Amy until tonight, when I read another blog that said she passed away today. I read through her blog where she wrote about her battle with leukemia with tears streaming down my face. What a courageous woman. I admire her so much, because her focus was on the Lord even as early as her first post right after she found out about her cancer. It reminds me just how short our lives really are, and how grateful I am for each day that I am able to be here with my husband and little ones.

Free Printer Cartridge Refill at Walgreen's Sept. 12th Only

Get a free black or colored ink refill for your empty printer cartridge at Walgreen's with this coupon. I am so excited about this offer, I have been out of colored ink forever and I just won't pay $30 for more! The offer is for Wednesday, Sept. 12th only.

Reusing and Fusing Plastic Bags

I have been wanting to find a good use for all those plastic bags we get from the grocery store. We currently use them for smelly diapers and small trash cans, but we barely make a dent in our supply! I was so excited to see a new way to use the plastic bags: fusing them together to make a thick and durable material for projects like reusable grocery sacks, bibs, aprons, beach totes, and waterproof liners.

I just found this tutorial this week so I haven't gotten to try it yet, but I can hardly wait. You just need some paper, an iron and ironing board and several plastic bags.

Here is one example from the Etsy tutorial:

Check out more frugal ideas at Biblical Womanhood!

Are these all yours?

When I was pregnant (11 days ago now!), I would frequently get the remark, "Wow, you are going to have your hands full." I would always just nod and smile.

Being naive (as I often am), I didn't think the comments would come so soon after her birth. On Tuesday, I took my first solo trip with all three in tow for Isabella's first doctor appointment. As we were leaving the office, a lady in passing asked, "Are these all yours?" Naturally, I give my usual response- I nod and smile.

"My, you have your hands full!"

"Yes," I nod, "in a good way." I smile.

She continues, "How old are they?"

Still smiling, "3, 2, and 1 week."

"Wow. Oh well, at least you got a girl out of it," she says.

I smile, again, my default response. Like I would have been unhappy if she was a boy, I think. This lady has some nerve!

"Are you done now?" she asks.

"Oh no!" (biggest smile here) "I hope not."

"OOh.... " her jaw drops as she walks away.

It is so weird that people think they somehow have a right to say something about the number of children I have! The worst part to me is that my children are going to hear this probably for the rest of their childhood- complete strangers making negative remarks about their very existence! The funny thing is, I don't go up and ask people why they only have one or two children and when are they going to have more!

It doesn't upset me when people ask me these things, I know I am probably an unusual sight- a young mom with three children three and under. I just try to always respond with a smile and an answer that affirms the value of our children because I want my children to know how happy I am to have each one of them.

Funniest Ebay Auction Ever

Okay, this is a must-read, especially if you want or have lots of kids!


My favorite brands

There are some products I use that I just have to buy the brand name. My favorite household product is Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. When you have a preschooler and a toddler you just can't live without a Magic Eraser. It takes off crayon from walls and tables and chairs, it cleans the gunk off the stove and will make scrubbing pots and pans almost delightful (okay, that is exaggerating, but it is that good!). I don't know what I did before they invented those things- I can't remember life before the Magic Eraser!

I also am very brand loyal to Clinique makeup. I have wasted so much money trying to find a comparable makeup at Walmart- now I only buy Clinique. Clinique foundation and eyeliner stay on all day and are smooth and don't dry out the skin. I love it. If they became a person-to-person sales company I would be the first to sign up!

Another personal hygiene favorite is Crest Vivid White toothpaste. It works so well- it really keeps your teeth white.

Tide is yet another brand I can't bear to live without! It smells so good and our clothes stay soft.

I never realized just how brand-loyal I was until I wrote this post! But certain brands do work for me!

Check out more brands others can't live without at Rocks in My Dryer.

In the World or of It?

I am not sure why, but recently I really feel led to pull myself and my little children out away from today's culture. I think that having some cultural influence is unavoidable and should be expected, for instance using the technologies of today is an aspect of our culture that is generally unavoidable and not inherently bad. We are fortunate to have electricity, cell phones, internet, and transportation, and a world of information at our fingertips.
The rest of today's culture is not all good- there are so many societal influences on our children- from their playmates to even a simple McDonald's Happy Meal toy. How can our children be different than the world when all they know is the world? When we feed them tv, movies, video games, magazines, and allow them to have friends that are no different than the rest of the world, how can we expect that they should grow to be anything different than what they see and are confronted with on a daily basis?
The real question is how do we balance being in the world but not of the world? When we have little children that can't see the difference between ourselves and others, how will they come to view Christianity? As something we do as an extracurricular activity on Sundays? As some type of volunteer activity that involves the whole family?
I have had friends throughout my life who were in very "Christian" homes but their friends and activities weren't any different than those who were not "Christians." They were still allowed to date and go to movies and wear the trends, but those "Christian" friends were the ones who seemed to move away from God when they were given independence. They were no different than the rest of the world at that point because they had always desired to be like everyone else- the people they were around.
I used to think that separating children from the world (their world being school or other outside extracurricular activities) was a real mistake because it would cause them to not fit in and generally just not know how to interact with people (thus they would not be able to effectively witness). I have come to realize as I grow older that I had fallen prey to Satan's favorite lie- that fitting in with everyone else is good and being different is not cool.
The older I get, the more I grow in Christ, the more I realize that I was never supposed to fit in. I am not supposed to be "normal" or accepted by the rest of the world (which includes many of today's Christians). God speaks to this so much in His Word. Jesus spent so much of His time telling us to be different. To forgive others when you have the "right" not to. To turn the other cheek. To die for someone else. To love our enemies. The world says you have a right to.... and Jesus says give up your rights for my sake.
If we look and sound and do things like everyone else, how would anyone know we were different? How can our lights shine if we just want to be dark like the rest of the world?
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:2
And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. John 17:13-18

Menu plans... :)

I have taken off the week for menu planning thanks to our Small Group! We have been so blessed to have homemade meals brought for us every other night and a freezer meal for later. It has been so wonderful not to have to cook- by 5 p.m. I am really tired for some reason. Isabella has been sleeping well at night, only waking every 2-3 hours to eat. Maybe the lack of continuous sleep is what is making me so tired in the evenings?