Monday, May 31, 2010

Menu Plan Monday (May 31)

Last week I was M.I.A. for Menu Plan Monday, but I'm back this week. I have decided to try to crack down on how much money I spend on groceries - not because I have to -but because I want to. My husband works hard to provide for our family, and as a homemaker, I see it as my joy and responsibility to wisely spend his hard-earned money. Because I am the one in charge of grocery shopping and cooking around here, this is one area I can work on wiser spending. Although our grocery bill has decreased since I began menu planning, I am pretty sure that I can still cut it down quite significantly. Since we only have one child, I currently have the time to sit down and strategically plan out meals. However, I am not willing to sacrifice taste or nutrition in this challenge. My husband really enjoys the way I cook, so I am planning on him not even noticing a difference in taste or quality.

Here are a few strategies I am going to use in order to hopefully accomplish this:
  • Use the weekly flyers and take advantage of what's on sale
  • Waste less food by freezing veggies and other things that we do not eat
  • Make homemade things like my own veggie stock for soup out of scrap veggie pieces (saves money and is much healthier than store-bought stock)
  • Get creative with using what I have on hand in the pantry and freezer
  • Get creative with using leftovers. Since there are just 2 adults to feed, we usually have lots of leftovers.
  • Make a budget and just stick to it!
Here's my menu plan for this week:

Sunday, May 30
Lunch: Leftover pizza
Supper: BLTs, creamy broccoli salad (will share recipe soon)

Monday, May 31
Crock pot teriyaki steak, stir fry veggies, rice

Tuesday, June 1
Leftover stir fry or chicken enchiladas from freezer if there are no leftovers

Wednesday, June 2
Macaroni Grill penne rustica (adapted from here) (NEW), Caesar salad

Thursday, June 3
Leftover penne rustica

Friday, June 4
Lemon dill pollock (NEW), baked potato wedges, mixed veggies

Saturday, June 5
Chicken enchiladas from freezer (if not already used on Tuesday) OR hot dogs(from freezer) and mac n' cheese (pantry), OR homemade pizza pockets (from freezer -my husband LOVES these!)

*For more great meal ideas, visit Menu Plan Monday hosted by*

Friday, May 28, 2010

My Attempt at Homemade Pizza/Pasta Sauce

I just finished cleaning up the kitchen (finally!) and I am tired now. Attempting to can was much more work than I had originally anticipated. I thought I knew next-to-nothing about canning before I began, but as I discovered once I got started, I actually knew nothing about canning! Thus, what I thought was going to be an afternoon project ended up turning into more of an all-day affair. Ah well, all in all, it was an interesting project and I think I would really enjoy canning if I was more organized next time and had the proper canning equipment. (Oh, and actually knowing something about canning would probably help things goes smoother, too! :-)

To get started, I sterilized a bunch of my free jars and lids in the dishwasher. While that was happening, I chopped up all my veggies and prepped them for the sauce. Then once I had my sauce done and boiling and my lids boiling in water, I ladled the sauce into the jars and attempted to seal them. Well...I soon discovered that the lids were not fitting or sealing properly. Baffled, I went on the internet to learn about canning (something I should have done more of before I got started!) Turns out, you can't (or at least, you shouldn't) reuse the flat lids. They are one-time-use only. So, I poured the sauce back into my pot, packed up my baby girl, and headed off to the store to buy some lids for my sauce. I came back with brand new smaller (pint-sized) jars and lids. Into the dishwasher they went. Then the jars went into a 200F oven to keep hot, which my mother-in-law suggested. Finally, I ladled the sauce into the hot jars and sealed them. According to this recipe, the jars are not processed in a water bath; they just seal themselves. I know of people who use this method and have not had trouble with spoilage. However, after doing a bit more research on the internet, I found that it is recommended that the jars get processed in a hot water bath. Because I am slightly paranoid (and still know virtually nothing about canning), I think I will keep my jars in the fridge, even though I am pretty sure they are sealed okay. Tomorrow I am planning on heading to the store in search of some proper canning supplies - a proper canning pot, jar tongs, and a wide-mouth funnel.

Here are a few pictures I snapped of the ordeal.

Here are all the veggies simmering.

Here's what it looked like after I pureed it through a blender.

Then I added tomato paste to it to thicken it up.Here's the final product.

Here's the recipe I used: (Please note that I am NOT an expert on safe canning practices. You are responsible for researching and following safe canning practices.)

Pizza/Pasta Sauce

12 cups tomatoes, chopped
2 green peppers, chopped
1 1/2 pounds onions, chopped
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup canola oil
3/4 cup sugar (I would use a bit less next time)
2 Tbsp oregano
1 1/2 Tbsp basil
1/4 cup salt
6 5.5 oz cans tomato paste (or add enough to make it to whatever thickness you prefer)

Cook tomatoes, peppers, onions, and garlic until soft (about 15 minutes). Puree in blender, then add other ingredients. Bring to a boil and put hot into sterilized jars. Follow safe canning techniques to seal properly.

Baked Sweet & Sour Chicken with Veggies

Baked Sweet & Sour Chicken with Veggies

1 small onion
4 carrots
1 celery stalk
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1/2 green pepper
3-4 large chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized chunks
2 Tbsp oil
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1 Tbsp cornstarch
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

Cut onions, carrots, celery, and peppers into chunks. Put in casserole dish. Brown cubed chicken in frying pan with oil. Add chicken to veggies in casserole dish. Whisk together remaining ingredients, and pour over chicken and veggies. Cover and bake at 350 F for 45 minutes. Serve over rice.

Kitchen Day

This past week I participated in a mom and baby fitness class with a couple other Christian Mom's, which was lots of fun! It was a good workout and also time to fellowship with some other Christian mom's. One mom, who used to be a phys ed. teacher led a cardio and strength training session and then we had a devotional and prayer time. Hopefully I'll be able to attend this class regularly. It's only an hour once a week, and I can walk there, too, which is an added bonus.

We're out of homemade bread, so I decided that today would be a good day to bake some. It is a rainy/cold/windy day here, and I always feel like spending time in the kitchen on those days. Due to a few changes around here, I'm thinking about switching my usual kitchen day (Thursday) to a different day, maybe Tuesday or Friday. Also, tomatoes were on a good sale this week at .96/lb, so I decided it would be a good time to try out a recipe for homemade pizza/pasta sauce. I am going to "can" them, which I'm kind of nervous about since I've never really canned anything before. I got a bunch of free jars and lids, so I figure I should try to make good use out of them. To get started with canning, I'm breaking myself in slowly. This recipe does not require processing them in a water bath. The hot tomato sauce put into hot jars seals itself, apparently :-). I don't have any typical canning supplies, so this is a good recipe to start with. My mother-in-law has used this recipe before, and I really like the way hers turns out. I hope to get a few of the basic canning supplies in the near future. I have bags and bags of berries in the freezer and am hoping to eventually try making some jam with them.

Anyway, I'm off to go finish my bread and finish prepping my pizza/pasta sauce. If it turns out okay, maybe I'll post some pictures and the recipe.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

My Mom's Cabbage Salad

This is a much-requested salad at family gatherings. It's got some zip, but that's why I like it! This recipe can be adapted to suit your own preference, but the following version is my favourite. For it, you really must use red wine vinegar. It just isn't the same without it, in my opinion.

Mom's Famous Cabbage Salad

1 small head of cabbage, finely chopped (enough to fill a large salad bowl)
3 green onions, sliced
1/2 package of oriental noodles, broken up
1/2 cup slivered (not sliced) almonds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds

Spread broken up noodles and slivered almonds onto a cookie sheet and toast in the oven at 350 F for a few minutes. Watch closely so they don't burn. Set aside to cool. Mix finely chopped cabbage and sliced green onions in a salad bowl and set aside or refrigerate ahead of time.

1/4 cup canola oil
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar (this is the "key ingredient", in my opinion)
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp chicken in a mug flavouring
1 tsp soy sauce

Whisk dressing ingredients together. Immediately (as in, minutes) before serving, add enough dressing to lightly coat the salad and toss in toasted noodles, sunflower seeds, and almonds. It is important that you add the dressing and noodles, etc. only RIGHT before serving to keep the salad crunchy.

When I make this salad for just the two of us, I only mix up enough salad to serve the two of us and then keep the leftover chopped cabbage/green onions in a bowl in the fridge, the dressing in the fridge, and the toasted things in a container. I just mix them together as needed because the leftover salad all mixed together isn't near as good as when you mix it right before serving. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Books, Books, Books!

Sometimes I get on these "kicks" where I get a little...shall we say...crazy about certain things. For example, all of a sudden I'll get into this organizing mode where I have to organize everything from top to bottom and I'll do that for a whole week. Or, I'll decide I want to try new recipes and then go crazy making new things for an entire week. Then, I'll decide that I want to learn about canning and spend a long time researching everything there is to know about canning. It seems I just want to know about so many things, but there is only so much time in a day! The challenge is making sure I take care of my household tasks and keep my husband and my daughter's needs #1 and not get too carried away with learning new things.

Lately, I've been on this reading kick. There are WAY too many books that I really want to read. Pretty much all of them are non-fiction. I don't know why I want to read all of them at once, though. LOL. So, this afternoon I took a walk to our library and took out the book Nourishing Traditions. I can hardly wait to get started on it, but it is really thick. The only problem is that I have also recently started reading a book by Warren Smith and am in the middle of reading Preparing to be a Help Meet (although I already am a help meet :-) ) by Debi Pearl. In fact, Preparing to be a Help Meet has a list of Mrs. Pearl's recommended books for young women to read to expand their knowledge on various topics. Now I have even more books I want to read! Too many books - not enough time!
Well, it's a beautiful spring day right smack in the middle of a very rainy forecast, so I'm off to help hubby set up our patio set.

Then maybe I'll enjoy one of my books while sitting outside on the deck with our patio set! :-)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Lots to Catch Up On

Wow, we have had a VERY busy past few days. Hubby had 5 days off, so we spent lots of time as a family, visited with a lot of extended family, and even went on a little holiday.

Here's a summary of the events of our last 5 days.

  • Last day of hubby's 10 day work stretch! YAY!!
  • We decided to go on a last-minute planned holiday and got a few details sorted out.
  • We rushed to plant our garden in the evening. (Hope it turns out!)
  • Left early in the morning for a little family holiday
  • Arrived at destination and did some shopping
  • Went out to eat and then relaxed at the hotel
  • Went hot tubbing at the hotel
  • Started having some car trouble :-(
  • My sweet hubby brought me breakfast in bed (pancakes, yogurt, coffee) at the hotel
  • Did a bit more shopping
  • Ate out again
  • Played in the kiddies pool with baby and used hot tub again
  • Did lots of praying that the car would get us around the city and home again
  • I got breakfast in bed... again!! :-)
  • Left for home in morning
  • Had an extra long trip with our car trouble
  • Prayed going up every hill that we would make it to the next town as we were often driving in the middle of nowhere!
  • Thankfully made it home safely (around supper time) without the car breaking down! Praise the Lord!
  • Took 15 minutes to unpack and unwind and then headed out again to visit with my husband's extended family who were visiting over the long weekend
  • Got home late and crashed into bed

  • Went to church in the morning
  • Borrowed my parents' truck to use while our car is out of commission
  • Went out to eat after church with my family and some extended family that were visiting
  • Went out to visit my grandparents to see some extended family that we hadn't seen in a very long time (it had been 4-5 years since we had seen some of them)
  • Went out to my parent's farm to see my other grandparents who were visiting this weekend, too! (Hadn't seen them in over a year!)
  • Went back to my grandparents' house for about an hour
  • Headed home very late and crashed into bed again!
  • Slept in a bit
  • Bought a patio set for our deck to enjoy in the summer
  • Fiddled around with the car a bit
  • Headed out to visit some family
  • Watched the Flyers beat the Montreal Canadiens and win the series (YAY!)
  • Played a game and visited with family
  • Headed home and went to bed
It's been such a busy past few days that I feel like I need a holiday from our holidays! :-) Today I'm just trying to catch up on laundry, finish unpacking, and hopefully bake some cookies tonight. Tomorrow we are getting our car looked at.
Also in family news, our baby recently started pulling herself up and waving back to us! She is crawling around like crazy and is keeping me on my toes!

Today is a very yucky day outside. It's been windy, cold, and rainy lately. I really hope my tomatoes and peppers are okay since it has been below freezing the last 2 nights. I still have a few left inside to plant just in case the ones outside die.
Well, I think my laundry load is done now, so my break is up!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

My First Sewing Project

I finally finished my first sewing project with my own sewing machine - curtains for our bedroom. They are very, very simple curtains sewn out of two bedsheets. Far from perfect, but I'm pretty happy with how they turned out. I hardly had any clue as to what I was doing. I just "winged it" for the most part with a few tips from my Mom along the way. I had to read through my manual to refresh my memory as to how to thread the sewing machine, but once I got going, I really enjoyed it. One thing I did learn - make good use of the iron and press as you go as it makes sewing much easier. I'll probably have a few pairs of pants to hem and then after that, maybe I'll try sewing an outfit for my baby girl.

Well, my husband is off work for 5 days now after working 26 out of the past 29 days (I think), so I'll be taking a short blogging break and enjoying our time together. He told me today, "Our holidays start today, so don't be afraid to have a treat!" LOL.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Red & White Tortellini

This is a very easy and fairly quick pasta dish to make. It was a huge hit with my husband and a pasta dish I will definitely make again. Here's the recipe, which would serve 5-6.

Red & White Tortellini

680 mL can or jar of pasta sauce
2 Tbsp butter
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp flour
2 Cups milk (I used 1%)
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella or cheddar cheese
600 g tortellini, cooked (I used 3 cheese tri-colour tortellini)

Mushroom Sauce: Melt butter; saute mushrooms and onion with garlic until tender. Sprinkle with flour and gradually stir in milk. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture thickens. (I added a handful of mozza cheese to this and let it melt.) Remove from heat, stir in Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to taste. Add the sauce to cooked, drained, tortellini.

Spread spaghetti sauce over bottom of 9 x 13 inch casserole dish. Spoon tortellini mushroom mixture on top. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Place in 300 F oven for about 30 minutes to heat through and melt cheese. Serves 5-6

Printable Grocery List

Monday, May 17, 2010

Menu Plan Monday (May 17)

Last week's new recipes (Chicken Enchiladas, Undone Stuffed Pepper Casserole, and Red and White Tortellini) were all VERY good, and I will try to get the recipes on here soon. I'm pretty sure the enchiladas and pepper casserole would freeze well, so that is an added bonus.

I decided to stop posting my lunch plans; I don't seem to follow them much anyway since it's usually just me and the baby home for lunch. I'll probably just go back to planning one main meal for each day to eat when my husband is home, whether that be for lunch or supper.

It's supposed to be gorgeous outside this week, so I'm definitely planning on putting the barbecue to use. My husband is also off for a few days later on this week, so I'm planning simple and easy meals for those days. Here's the plan for this week:

Sunday, May 16
My parents brought pizza to watch during the Flyers game (They won 6-0!!)

Monday, May 17
Sausage potato soup, quick cheese biscuits (NEW)

Tuesday, May 18
BBQed steak, baked potatoes (on bbq), veggie kabobs

Wednesday, May 19
Chicken enchiladas (from freezer), corn

Thursday, May 20
Fish sticks, potato wedges, salad

Friday, May 21
Cheesearoni Beef Casserole (from freezer), mixed veggies)

Saturday, May 22

*For more great meal ideas, visit Menu Plan Monday hosted by*

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Go Flyers!

Yes, this is perhaps a very lame and oh-so-not-meaningful post, but I wanted to post it, nonetheless.

I must confess that I am a bit of a hockey fan. Watching and playing sports is something my husband and I enjoy doing together. My husband has been a Philadelphia Flyers fan for a very long time (even though we're Canadian), and so when I married him I went from a Leafs fan to a Flyers fan. Any avid hockey fans out there know just how amazing it is the Flyers beat out the Bruins yesterday after they had been down 3-0 in the series. Besides that, they were down 3-0 in the first period yesterday and came back and scored 4 unanswered goals to win the game and series 4-3 in game 7. Unfortunately, we had to miss all of this. Yes, it's true. Although we are big Flyers fans, hockey does not control our life, and my husband was scheduled to work the evening yesterday, so he missed the game. Furthermore, we do not have cable or satellite tv, so we didn't get the game at home here, so I missed the game, too. I did, however, check the internet for the score update and actually "watched" the last 2 minutes count down (not really watching, but reading the live play-by-play and time tick down). My baby was laughing like crazy as she saw her nervously excited mother act very...well...nervously excited. LOL.

Now the two worst teams in the East will play each other in the eastern conference finals in, what has been, one of the strangest NHL playoffs of all time. The Philadelphia Flyers will be playing the only Canadian team remaining, the Montreal Canadiens, who have had an incredible playoff run this year, too, knocking off the overwhelming favourite to win the Cup (the Washington Capitals) in the first round. Enough of my hockey analysis.

I can hardly wait until Thursday. After Wednesday, my husband will have worked 26 out of the past 29 days! He has been SO busy at work. But then after Wednesday, he gets 5 days off!!! YAY! Hopefully we will get our garden planted then. It is finally nice weather around here again and all the snow is gone. Speaking of nice weather, I want to do some yard work today, so I need to get going.

Go Flyers!

Monday, May 10, 2010

What I'm Reading

I really do enjoy reading but have a hard time making time for it. Mostly I read non-fiction, but I do read the occasional fiction book once in awhile - usually a classic or a Christian book. I have, however, found it difficult to find good Christian fiction books. I personally do not care for and do not read most Christian romance novels because I have found most of them to be quite sensual in nature. Unfortunately, they are often so sensationalized and unrealistic that they remind me of nothing more than a "cleaner" soap opera. In the past, I have found that reading Christian romance novels sowed seeds of discontentment and ungratefulness in my heart as my life often seemed so dull and boring compared to the dramatic and exciting lives of the heroines. Thus, I tend to avoid reading them. That is not to say that there are not some decent ones out there, but my personal experience has been that finding a good, edifying, Christian romance novel has been difficult.

I had been reading the first book in the Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers, but after reading almost half the first book, I had to stop reading it because something about it just didn't sit well with me. I personally found it to be too sensual and unnecessarily descriptive. I think I would enjoy Christian historical fiction as I enjoy learning about history, but like so many Christian romance novels, I have found that many of them are just too sensual for me.

So, what am I reading now? Currently, I am reading a non-fiction book by Warren Smith called A "Wonderful" Deception. Smith, who was formerly into the new-age but is now a born again Christian, has written several books exposing the new age teachings going on in many popular so-called Christian circles these days. I have read a few of his other books and they are well-researched and biblically sound. I am also on the library waiting list for the Duggar's book called The Duggars: 20 and Counting! I have heard that it is an excellent book and can't wait to read it.

Menu Plan Monday (May 10)

Last week's new recipes were all pretty good. The Tortellini soup was especially good and very easy to make. I will definitely be making it again. My oven was out of commission for a few days last week, which affected last week's menu plan, so the Undone Stuffed Pepper Casserole got bumped up to this week. I have the casserole partially assembled in the freezer already, so it should be easy to put together. This week features 3 new recipes as I am in the mood for some kitchen experimenting again this week.

Sunday, May 9
Lunch: Eating out for Mother's Day
Supper: Ordering take-out for Mother's Day

Monday, May 10
Lunch: Homemade pizza pocket, veggies and dip
Supper: Red and White Tortellini (NEW), Caesar salad

Tuesday, May 11
Lunch: Leftover tortellini
Supper: Tuna on rye crisps

Wednesday, May 12
Lunch: Tuna sandwich
Supper: Chicken Enchiladas (NEW), Corn

Thursday, May 13
Lunch: Undone Stuffed Pepper Casserole (NEW), mixed veggies
Supper: Leftovers

Friday, May 14
Lunch: Leftover casserole
Supper: Egg Salad sandwich

Saturday, May 15
Lunch: Perogies
Supper: Pizza

*For more great meal ideas, visit Menu Plan Monday hosted by*

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Christians' Attitudes Regarding Children

I have been wanting to write about something that has been on my heart for a long time now. This blog post has been whirling around my head for weeks, so I thought it was time I take the time to write some of my thoughts down.

I want to talk about Christians' attitudes toward having children.

The Bible is very clear about how God views children. Children are a blessing and reward from the LORD.

Psalm 127:3-5 (KJV)

3Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. 4As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. 5Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.

Now here are two views on having children, and I personally disagree with both.

First, there are those who do not view children as a blessing but rather as a burden. You might hear them say something like the following:

"What? She's pregnant again? You'd think 5 kids would be enough!" or

"Look at those people. They are selfish to have so many children. Don't they know that the planet is already overpopulated? It's because of people like them that there ought to be limits on the number of children one can have."

Those statements really make me cringe, especially when I hear them coming out of a Christian's mouth.

Then there are those who believe that if a couple has only 2 or 3 children, then they must be selfish or are viewing children as a burden. Although that might be true of someone who has only 2 or 3 children, it is not necessarily true, so I also cringe when I hear Christians say things like this:

"What? They only have 2 children? What's wrong with them? They must not be trusting the Lord...They must be selfish...

There are also some Christians who believe that Christians should give God complete sovereignty over one's womb and will equate that to mean that Christians should not practice any form of family planning whatsoever. For Christians who choose to not use any form of family planning and believe God has called them to that, I respect that. After all, children are a blessing, and in fact, the Bible shows that in certain circumstances God opened and closed the wombs of some women in the Bible. However, I think that using those examples to prove that the Bible forbids family planning is a misuse of those passages. To my knowledge, there is no passage in the Bible that tells us exactly how many children we are to have. To my knowledge, there is also no passage in the Bible that forbids the practice of family planning unless, of course, the method used is taking a human life.

Side Note: Obviously, any method of birth control after conception is the taking of a human life. We know from passages like Psalm 139:13, Isaiah 44:2, and Luke 1:36 that the Bible teaches that life begins at conception. Please realize that there are some birth control methods (not just abortion) that act after conception and take a human life. I won't get into those methods here, though.

Most people I have come into contact with, however, seem to view children the following way: They claim to view children as a blessing but yet look upon those who have large families as being "strange" or "weird" wondering why on earth would they want so many? Generally, they would consider families with 2-4 children as being "normal" but any more than that to be "abnormal."

But here is my question: Who determines what is a "normal" number of children to have? We only have to look back a couple generations to see that in our great-grandparents' days, having ten children was considered quite "normal." Those with only a couple children would have been viewed as "abnormal" in their time.

I am not telling you how many children you should have. Let's not play the numbers game. What I am asking is that we examine our hearts regarding children, myself included. Do we have a biblical worldview of children, or have we been brainwashed by the world? We know that Satan and the world hate human life. Abortion is rampant in our society. We know that God deeply values human life and loves children. We know the world tells us to focus on "me me me", while God calls us to deny ourselves and set our hearts and minds on things above.

If you were to ask me how many children I want, I would probably respond with this. I don't know how many children the Lord has planned for us. He has not revealed to us a specific number, and my husband and I do not have a set number in mind. Our hearts' desire is to have several children. How many is "several", I do not know. We also know that if I have another C-section, I will probably be medically limited as to the number of children we can have. We can only trust the Lord with these things, and we try to seek His will in all things, including the number of children He wants to bless us with.

If you have a set number of children you desire to have, why? Why would you want 3 children as opposed to 4, for example? I think these are good questions to ask ourselves. Are our motives selfish or godly? And for Christian women, are we submitting to our own husband with regard to how many children he wants? Are we seeking the Lord's will or our own will? Have we prayed and asked God what His will is for our lives in the area of child-bearing?

Ecclesiastes 12:13 (KJV)

13Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

Matthew 6:33 (KJV)

33But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Ultimately, it is a heart issue. Fear God and keep His commandments. Seek first the kingdom of God. He will faithfully work out the rest. :-)

When the Lost Come to Your Door

What do you do when those who are lost and desperately deceived come knocking at your door?

We are told to always be ready to give an answer for the hope that we profess.

They were nice ladies, well-dressed and kind, but desperately deceived. It was just last night during our Bible Study one of my friends had mentioned that a Jehovah's Witness came to her business the other day, so we had discussed a bit about what JW's believe and how to biblically respond to them and had prayed for opportunities to share. Then this morning two Jehovah's Witnesses came to my door! In the 4 months we've lived here, this is the first visit I've had from them.

I was upfront right away that I am a Bible-believing, born again Christian, and so I invited them in to talk. I saw it as an opportunity to try to share with these poor ladies who the true Jesus is.

Our talk was fairly brief, about 10-15 minutes. We read several passages from the Bible. I tried to think off the top of my head as many passages as I could that refer to the Trinity and the deity of Christ. I also mention the failed prophecies of the Watchtower Society, proving that the Society is not from God. I notice that they basically ignore that and all the passages that we read referring to Christ's deity and just try to focus my attention to a few verses either taken out of context or referring to Jesus's nature as man (which are correct - Jesus is both man AND God).

Then, my baby starts getting fussy, my timer for my bread is going off, and things just don't seem to be getting anywhere, so I offer them a Bible tract for JW's, which they politely refuse, and they leave. They said they might come back again sometime. Whether or not they will, I don't know. So, I offer up a prayer to the Lord Jesus Christ, praying that perhaps something I said or read from the Bible would stir up doubt in their heart about their false religion. I also get busy - studying the Bible more, learning about how to biblically respond to JW's, and trying to get a tract put together with Bible verses for the next time the lost come right to my door.

Read this to find out if you have the true Jesus.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Rainy/Snowy Tuesday

It's another rainy ***Correction** I just checked outside.... make that rainy/SNOWY day - the kind of day when all you (as in, I) feel like doing is staying inside and baking or cooking all day. Anyway, here's what I'm hoping to get done today:

  • Clean bathrooms (done)
  • Scrub tub/shower (done)
  • Wash baby's laundry/Fold/Put away (done)
  • Wash bedding (done)
  • Brown 2 lbs ground beef for tomorrow's Tortellini Soup, Thursday's Undone Pepper Casserole, and baby food (now done)
  • Make up a batch of squash and beef baby food (now done plus some with chicken)
  • Make a batch of homemade pizza pockets
  • Make a batch of mini pies with same pizza pocket dough
  • Listen to a homeschooling session
  • Pack husband's lunch for tomorrow
  • Exercise
  • Empty and take out garbage
  • Play around with sewing machine (if I have time today)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Menu Plan Monday (May 3)

I usually plan my menu on Fridays. This is because our flyers come out on Thursdays. I like to look through the flyers and then use them to plan my menus partially based on what is on sale for the week. The new week of sales usually starts on Saturday for most grocery stores, so planning my menu on Friday means that I can choose to do my grocery shopping that day (Friday, last day of sales for that week) based on last week's flyer, or I can wait a few days to shop and take advantage of the upcoming week's sales and plan my menu accordingly. Did that make any sense? LOL.

Anyway, what I really wanted to say is that grocery shopping this week was SO frustrating! First of all, in the afternoon I had a little "accident" at home and fell flat on my face!! I had been taking a Sunday nap after church, and I got up to answer the phone (I don't remember getting out of bed at all). The next thing I knew..BAM! I was flat on my face crying for my husband to come to my rescue. I do believe I tripped on nothing. Yes, that's right - nothing! (Well, maybe the carpet, does that count?) In the end, I came away with a half broken toenail, a majorly swollen and bleeding lip, a rug burn under my nose, a very sore shoulder and neck, and a whopper of a headache. Thus, as you can imagine, I did not really feel like going grocery shopping after that, but I did.

I had planned my menu on Friday based on what was coming on sale this next week. Asparagus and green peppers were 2 of the main ingredients for a couple of my upcoming planned meals because they were on a great sale. Well, I got to the store, and lo and behold, they were out of the asparagus AND green peppers!, not wanting to have to re-plan all my meals, I purchased the rest of the things on my list that they had in stock, opted to buy a mix of yellow, red, and green pepper instead of the planned pack of 4 green peppers that was on sale, and then headed to a more expensive grocery chain to get my asparagus. I suppose this is when menu planning might become a little frustrating. LOL. Anyway, I'm happy to report that after 2 stops at 2 different stores, I came home with all my ingredients for the next 2 weeks of meals.

This week's menu plan features 3 new recipes! I have been anxious to try several new recipes, so I thought I'd have a week of mostly new things to try. How exciting!! (At least, I'm excited!)

Sunday, May 2 (husband made food as I recovered from my injury!)
Lunch: hot dogs, mac n' cheese (Note to self: Avoid mustard next time I have a rug burn on my face. Can you say...feel the burn?)
Supper: Beef Borscht for me (from freezer) and Beef Barley Soup for my husband (from freezer)

Monday, May 3
Lunch: Tuna sandwich on whole wheat, pickled beets
Supper: Primavera Pesto Pasta (NEW), Caesar salad

Tuesday, May 4
Lunch: Leftover pasta
Supper: Smoothie, Mushroom and Cheese Omelet

Wednesday, May 5
Lunch: Homemade Pizza Pocket, veggies and dip
Supper: Tortellini Soup (NEW), Parmesan crescent rolls

Thursday, May 6
Lunch: Leftover soup and roll
Supper: Undone Stuffed Pepper Casserole (NEW), tossed salad

Friday, May 7
Lunch: Fish sticks (from freezer) and homemade potato wedges, veggies and dip
Supper: Leftover casserole

Saturday, May 8

*For more great meal ideas, visit Menu Plan Monday, hosted by*

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Thoughts on Homeschooling (Part 3)

In case you missed my other posts on this, you can find Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

I don't know if there was ever a specific moment in time when we decided that we are definitely home schooling our children. It seemed to be more of a process of the Lord gently directing our hearts toward homeschooling until we just started assuming and talking about how we are home schooling our children. Maybe it's strange that I can't recall a specific "moment of decision" about it, I don't know. However, I do know that the Lord has clearly spoken to both me and my husband that He wants us to teach and train our children at home in His way in every way.

I want you to know that I do mean to share my views in love and truth. I realize that I am very passionate about my beliefs about homeschooling, which may come across as harsh and unloving at times. If I come across as harsh, I hope you will forgive me. Yes, there are still some Christian teachers in the public school system who, thankfully, are not teaching the religion of relativism in their classrooms, but it looks to me that the days of religious freedom are becoming shorter and shorter as the world is becoming increasingly antagonistic toward biblical Christianity. It seems to me that it is only a matter of time before it will be nearly impossible for a Christian teacher who refuses to teach the religion of relativism to hold a job in the public school system. The government tells the public school system what to teach, and we know that the Bible predicts there will one day be a one-world government headed up by the Antichrist. Everything is headed that way, and it seems evident to me that the world is very much pro one-world government and globalization already - Take political organizations such as the United Nations and the European Union, for example. We also know that the "spirit of antichrist" is already in the world because the Bible tell us so in 1 John.

I intend to be an advocate for homeschooling and pray that the Lord would grant us much wisdom in this so that we might be a positive example of a homeschooling family. Even though our daughter is not even a year old yet, I already consider our family to be a homeschooling family. My daughter is learning things at home every day. Whether intentionally or unintentionally, we parents are training and teaching our children from the moment they are born. The question is are we teaching and training them in the ways of God, or are we leaving it up to the world to do this by default? Satan, whom the Bible calls "the god of this world" tries many things to get Christian parents to let the world train up their children by default.

My husband and I choose to not send our children to the church of relativism to be taught for 6 hours a day, 5 days a week, for 13 years of their lives to be indoctrinated with the things God detests. We will not send them to a place trying to rob them of their childhood innocence by teaching them s-x education and explaining to them perverted s-x acts detestable in the sight of God.
Side note: Did you know the Ontario government almost forced schools to start teaching s-x ed in GRADE 3??? Thank the Lord that it did not pass after many parents threatened to pull their kids out of school. But let me ask you this, regardless of what age s-x ed is taught in schools, do you think God intended for your children to learn about one of the most precious gifts of marriage from some adult hired by the government who believes who-knows-what, reads who-knows-what, and watches who-knows-what???
We will not send our children to be taught that we evolved from nothing and the world started with a bang when the Bible teaches "In the beginning, God...". We will not send our children to be "socialized" so that they are expected to act like every other misbehaving 6 year old in the classroom; I would rather have my 6 year old be able to hold a decent conversation and know how to interact with both a 2 year old and an adult.

Let us never forget that we are in a spiritual battle. The Bible tells us that we "wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." Satan hopes that you will let the television and government-run day cares and schools babysit your children so their minds can be filled with filth from Hollywood and all the satanic ideas of this world (because as the Bible teaches, if you aren't for Christ, you are against Christ). Satan really does not want Christians to train their children to be effective witnesses for Jesus Christ. Satan hopes that your children will be indoctrinated with the belief system of the church of relativism so that they will be ever-doubting the authority of the Bible and always questioning the truth. I believe we are in a battle for the souls of our children. My children's souls are precious; they are precious to me and my husband and even more precious to God. With the Lord's help, we will strive to do everything we can to train our children in the ways of the Lord so that by the grace of God, each of our children will make a personal decision to place his or her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. This is our most earnest prayer and this is the reason behind the decisions we make with regards to our children. Each child represents a soul that will one day enter either heaven or hell. Oh, how I pray that I might see all of my children in heaven some day.

Yes, we will make mistakes as parents. No, we are not perfect. However, with God's help and wisdom that comes only from Him, I believe Christian parents can raise godly children in this very ungodly age to be effective witnesses, unafraid to profess the truth and share the never-changing gospel of Jesus Christ, who is The Truth. God has called us to a higher standard than the world expects of us. Children are precious in the sight of the Lord.

How I pray that Christians today might prayerfully consider what God would have them do in respect to raising, training, and educating their precious children.
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