October 2003

Go ahead and get a cup of coffee or tea
and enjoy today’s blog!
Hug your children… love them today;
today is all you have.

BACK UP YOUR FILES!  IF YOU’VE GOT A BUNCH OF IMPORTANT INFORMATION ON YOUR COMPUTER, MAKE A COPY (AND UPDATE IT FROM TIME TO TIME) AND STORE IT IN A SAFE-DEPOSIT BOX AND/OR AT A FRIEND’s OR RELATIVE’s HOME.  In light of the floods, fires, etc., it would be very good to make copies of your important papers, documents, policies and take them or the originals and file them in the safe-deposit box, too.  I have some other notes that our friend Laura sent me today that I’ll share tomorrow.  It’s too late for bloggin’ and my time is up!  😉

October 31, 2003    Happy Birthday, Laura!!
Ahhhh… no bloggin’ yesterday!  Too many things to do around our home and too many people on this system 😉 I’ve been watching the news on the net regarding the California fires.  Our hearts go out to those who’re in desperate situations… all the uncertainties, the grief, fear and loss from the relentless fires.  We commend all the Firefighters, all the volunteers, Police & Rescue and the courageous citizens who’ve selflessly done whatever it takes to help others.  My mom sent me a neat link this morning—fire update—it’s quite something to see the far-reaching effects of this fire.  I was born in San Bernardino and raised in Redlands so I’ve been sort of tracking what’s been happening in those areas.  Our friend here told of a relatives devastating loss of their home.  My sister in law lives near Saddleback Mountain and called my mother-in-law last night to let the family know that they’re all “fine” but everything is covered with ash. As a result of the fires she’s been working “a ton of extra hours” because all the hospitals (one of which is where she works) in the area are full and busy.  Oh, how many lives are touched one way or another by the tragedies.

I love to hear results of something I’ve written or links I’ve highlighted here… my friend wrote yesterday and shared her delight in finding links for her patterns of dishes and china.  I was thrilled to see the patterns—and amazed that her pattern of china is the same as our son & daughter-in-law’s china.   Now… when I’m at their home, and I see their china, I’ll be thinking of my friend.  I’ll continue to look at Replacements or on Ebay for dishes for our daughter.  I never see my pattern on Ebay, but you never know…  In the scheme of things, this is a very very low priority.

I had another beautiful letter this morning from the owner of the Simply Graceful website where you may purchase beautifully modest dresses for little girls—“Handmade with care for Special little girls.”  You know what I was pleased to see… she’s offering a jumper for mama’s!  Go and see… I  love home industry!

October 29, 2003 Now tonight I was looking at a wonderful needlework website! As a matter of fact, just today I was showing my daughters some stamped cotton-linen placemats that my grandmother was in the process of making.  I think I’ll ask my mom to finish them with our oldest daughter.  She’s been busily arranging her closet and looking over the things in her hope-chest and yesterday was looking through my mother’s china which is being stored in boxes for her.  I decided to take a look at Replacements to see what they have available in that pattern.  I was pleased to see all the different pieces they had!  Whew! The prices are high, though!  Then I decided to take a look on Ebay… there, I was not so successful!  I did, however, browse through the different sets and patterns of china and smiled as I saw all sorts of different sets of china and remembered different friends and family members as I saw ‘their china’ patterns.

Dealing with loss… oh, the things I’ve remembered as the days have passed… things that were on this computer.  Much like an address book which I have on my desk, I had a nicely set up address book and personal info files that I’m regretful to have lost.  I have been sorry about this today.  But, as my friend wrote this morning… my loss was NOthing like the losses being faced and experienced in California (and, obviously elsewhere!).  Oh, the devastation of those fires.  My very small disruption is as nothing compared to the losses they face.  It’s a good thing to see things in proper perspective.  I’m so grateful to have been reminded of this!

October 28, 2003  What a blessing to fellowship with other believers around the “‘net table” here!  I’m grateful for the opportunity the LORD’s given and His working in our lives.  It’s a blessing to have the good of the ‘net at our disposal—but we must be ever careful, ever vigilant to the downside or dangers of this great tool.  One thing about not having anything to work with over the last week, was the reality of the time grabber this machine is!  Actually, it’s both a time and attention siphon! I am more keenly aware that every moment I’m facing this box is a moment I’m not facing my children.  Likewise, every moment they’re using the machine, they’re not doing something else. So… perspective was gained by the loss of the files and use of this machine. Debbie G once wrote about the dangers of email lists… I’d sure echo that and add, the ‘net in general.  It’s a tool—and like all tools, in it’s proper place and purpose it’s marvelous—I pray we never lose sight of this or else our expensive lesson will have been just that: expensive. 

October 27-8, 2003                             Good Good Morning!! 

We’re up and running!  After losing all the files on my system, It is with great thanks to the LORD that this site was on a server and is restored.  I am grateful for the salvaging of these files as they are the only files I have of the 139,000 files lost when my computer crashed.  I am grateful to my husband and to our friend Sean for their patience and kindness… yes, and time and finances to get new components, programs and all that went into reinstalling them.  This was a very very expensive lesson for me… my prayer has been that in all of this the LORD would be glorified and I would be gracious and accept as of His Hand all that transpires. I’m sorry to have lost five years of files… sorrier that I never backed them up properly and now have lost thousands of important records, files, orders, etc. that I cannot replace.  Some of the more important lessons I’ve learned in life have come at great expense, but I’ve also seen the LORD bring rich and lasting fruit from the difficult plowing I’ve experienced.  I’m sorry to have lost beautiful letters of correspondence, marvelous articles I always intended to post on the site… pictures and chronologies through e-mail of events and phases family and friends have gone through.  I’m regretful that I don’t have addresses, and journals and letters to my children that I’ve been keeping over the last five years… because as you know, I’m a saver-of-quite-a-lot.

One neat blessing that’s come of this loss is MORE ADVICE!
In addition to my standard admonitions:
Get right with the LORD.
Brush and floss your teeth today so that you’ll have teeth to brush and floss tomorrow.
Drink MORE Water.
Try to cut down on BSF foods.
Life is too long to fret about everything.

And NOW… here’s my new mantra:

If you don’t know how…
Don’t remain ignorant… find someone to teach you how.
You may live to regret NOT doing it.

October 16-17, 2003  
Now HERE’s something f-u-n-n-y considering the negative report CBS on Homeschooling.  This spoof is as ridiculous as the CBS piece.  Don’t you wish you could invite the CBS crew in for a week and show them how a homeschooling family works?!?!   In addition to seeing how much teamwork goes into each day… they’d be treated respectfully, treated to beautiful music, great stories, tasty food, lots of story books, trips to the library, taste-testing new creations in the kitchen, prayer time and Bible study and lots and lots of questions and more stories… and maybe a little too much socializing.  It’s too bad they won’t be coming tomorrow… it’ll be another full day here in the life of a teaching home.  It’s sad what’s happened to some people—but to label it: the sinister side of Homeschooling… hundreds of prisons are packed with inmates who’ve committed heinous crimes, do we call this the sinister side of government education?  Will there be a sequel to the “Dark Side of Homeschooling” presentation?  Public Schooling Nightmares: A report, how children nationwide have been put in danger, even killed, while public schooling.  O, but then… by other names & descriptions, these reports fill newspapers every week, don’t they.

We receive a bi-monthly newsletter called Pen & Sword, published by the Amy Foundation. This, from the Amy Foundation site: “The Amy Foundation, founded in 1976 by W. James Russell and his wife Phyllis, was named after their daughter. The Foundation is best known for its Amy Writing Awards, which is a call to present biblical truth reinforced with scripture in secular, non-religious publications. First prize is $10,000 with a total of $34,000 given annually. It is acclaimed as the most popular journalism contest in the nation.” 

We so appreciate the timely and well written articles.   In fact, our children recently recalled that Daddy was reading one of the newsletter feature articles the night before our Ami was born.  At that time, there was no preparation for a girls-name, nor did the “amy” newsletter prompt her naming, it was simply a sweet coincidence.  [She’s named for a precious saint of the LORD, a woman named Amelia who’s been a spiritual mentor in our lives.]  You can take a look at theAmy Foundation Home Pageand read past article contributions.

Looking for good eats????  I forget to suggest great cooking websites that we’ve really enjoyed—so here’s one for you today! This site has terrific recipes and a great search tool, plus you can set up a personal recipe box.  Try Epicurious today!!  Then, you might want to go to Our Favourite Cooking Websites page.  It’s loaded with links for you.



NEWS  Terri Schindler-Schiavo’s feeding tube has been removed. “The tube removal came just hours after Gov. Jeb Bush told Bob Schindler and his wife, Mary, that he was instructing his legal staff to find some means to block the court order allowing Michael Schiavo to end his wife’s life. “I am not a doctor, I am not a lawyer. But I know that if a person can be able to sustain life without life support, that should be tried,” the governor said, adding the “ultimate decision of this is in the courts.” The father of the woman said the family was heartened by the governor’s last-minute effort. “The family has not given up hope on Terri,” Bob Schindler Jr. said following the meeting with Bush.” [FoxNews]


October 15, 2003  I’m reading  The Family Meal Table and Hospitality by Nancy Campbell.  What a valuable manual it is!  It’s a blessing to me because I’ve allowed busy-ness to creep in and steal time and ‘tradition’ away from the gathering at the table for meals.  O, how much is lost when, as the family goes many directions, the mealtime is reduced to merely refueling.   So… I’ve just begun reading the book and will be quoting some of the rich truths and suggestions for the family meal table.

In our ‘welcome page’ I have listed a request to pray for our friend Diana.  What a blessing it was to me to recently be able to see her and the miraculous way the LORD is using this illness to His glory.  She’s absolutely radiant—another testimony of the grace of God!  I’d still request prayer on her behalf as the road ahead is quite difficult and she daily faces challenges associated with her illness.  What a precious and courageous sister in the LORD she is!

Do you have GRAMMAR questions? Need to know proper sentence structure or any other answer pertaining to grammar?  This site’s for you!!

Don’t forget the case of Terri Schindler-Schiavo.  It’s such a sad situation that could’ve been improved in so many ways!   Worldnet Daily is also reporting the story.

And it goes on…  HOMESCHOOLERS: SEND CBS NEWS BACK TO THE BOOKS! Click on the “Hot News” on the right side-bar.

October 14, 2003   Oh, the media has a heyday with it’s twisting of stories and scandalous news, doesn’t it!  CBS aired a two-part program on “the dark side of homeschooling” last night, concluding tonight.  One thing I try to remember in all of this is to not get all hyped up or ruffled… that media thrive on sensational stories to get ratings and ratings—not complete stories or truth—are paramount in that industry. We don’t hear all the evils linked to government education, just as we’re not being told the truth on what really goes on in the schools today and the brainwashing of the humanist agenda.  Home educators, take heart… press on, study hard, learn all you can, serve all you can, be obedient to the Word (Deuteronomy 6) and teach well!  All this threatening news has temporarily cast a dark shadow on homeschooling… but we know the truth.  The enemy of our souls is at enmity with God and will never relent—but he is a defeated —defeated— foe.  On the other side of the coin, there’s a very interesting, great article regarding homeschoolers in World magazine.   This is HSLDA’s alert for today:


October 14, 2003

Dear HSLDA Members and friends:

CBS National News ran a negative homeschooling report last night titled “The Dark Side of Homeschooling” and will run a further report this evening. The reports focus on a handful of child abuse cases during the past 5 to 10 years involving families claiming to be homeschoolers.

Last night’s segment discussed the murder of Kyle, 13, and Marnie Warren, 19, by their brother Brandon, 14, and his subsequent suicide. The Warren family is from Johnston County North Carolina.

To view the CBS story go to:  http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=1139

Missing from the CBS story was that: Social Services had contacted the family eleven times, were well aware of the condition of the home and had been working with the family.

However, to any fair-minded reader the story leaves the impression that homeschooling equals child abuse.

We are outraged that CBS would ignore the obvious facts and draw the erroneous conclusion that homeschoolers need to be strictly regulated. The story is a shameless attempt to smear an entire community of committed, dedicated parents.

The real story is CBS’s bias against homeschooling and it is using this distorted story to encourage the regulation of homeschoolers.

Please call Viacom (parent company of CBS) and CBS to express your opposition to the biased reporting and smear campaign against homeschooling. Highlight the fact that homeschooling was not the cause of the childrens’ deaths and that you expect CBS to have higher journalistic standards.

Viacom President and CEO – Mel Karmazin
P – 212-258-6000

CBS Evening News – LA Bureau
P – (323) 575-2202

J. Michael Smith
HSLDA President


October 13, 2003   Home from retreat… what a blessed time it was!  What inspiration, what affirmation for what we know and what the LORD has taught us through His Word.  It’s a blessing to be able to spend time under the teaching of a woman who’s walked with God—trusted in God and has a testimony of a pattern of good works.  I’d like to spend some time reflecting and then write a bit about it.  My initial thought is that I am so grateful to God that He didn’t allow my early [and erroneous] assessment of Nancy Campbell to remain but allowed me to see and hear the message behind the messenger.  O, we can be so critical sometimes—so quick to judge, so quick to misinterpret actions, words, inflections, manner or appearance of an individual and perhaps totally miss the great blessing God intended us to receive.  Oh, am I glad to have not missed the blessing of the Above Rubies retreat and all the marvelous affirmations of God’s Word—His precious and marvelous plan for wives and mothers… the utmost—really— was that I was able to share it all with my daughter; it was wonderful.  What a great and awe-inspiring God we serve and how gracious He is to provide these opportunities for us. 

Oh, the great blessing of faith… the strength of faith.  I loved reading this story in the local paper… an inspiration to me… a church member who, early in her life, endured great dishonor: judged by the colour of her skin—not the content of her character— and yet she pressed on, she kept the faith—her church was a refuge.

Now, while I was away, I had a letter in the email from a reader who was wondering the fate of the case of Terri Schindler-Schiavo—it’s a discouraging conclusion.  Worldnet Daily also reported on the story.  Now, why does this matter, or why should we care?  You see this is just as dreadful as abortion and yet another act of mocking God by the enemy–the sanctity of human life is at stake. Already, millions of babies are killed at the request of mothers to  whom these babies are inconvenient, unplanned, unwanted.  Now this decision to allow the starvation of Terri Schindler-Schiavo is yet another turn in the slide of degradation of life… who’s next? The elderly?  The disabled?  The no-longer-useful?  The inconvenient?  Who chooses life?  Is it ours to decide?  Is it any wonder that there is judgment on America—or other nations who forget God. 

October 9-12, 2003   Retreating to Olympia… no time for bloggin’ so we’re off to listen and learn what the LORD has for us!    I’ll blog details when we return!!  Blessings! —ps

But first, one more thing…… this story —-the case of Terri Schindler-Schiavo is unbelievable.  Even so, we cry, Come, LORD Jesus.

October 8, 2003   Only a couple of days till the Olympia, Washington Above Rubies retreat!  There may still be some room… so if you want/need to attend, make plans right away—today!  Click on Above Rubies and go to the  “American Retreats & Seminars” link on the menu bar. From there, look at the info for the Olympia retreat set for this weekend!

Well, so, Cal-eeee-fornia has a new governor—amazing.  His speech was gracious, and history will declare his genuine sincerity in his determination to make Cal-eee-fornia “again the greatest state of the greatest country in the world.  Thank you very much. Thank you. And God bless all of you. Thank you.”  What’ll his stand be on God’s place and role in our nation.

The rally for preservation of the “Ten Commandments” continues; The ‘Spirit of Montgomery‘ caravan stopped at U.S. Supreme Court on Monday!

It’s getting wet & chilly here!  And chilly means it gets dark earlier and that means the family is gathered inside earlier and that means we have more ‘sit-down’ meals t-o-g-e-t-h-e-r!  So when it comes to autumn, my mind turns to autumn recipes like soups and stews.  I decided on a few meals this week that I’ve not prepared in a while… meatball stew, baked chicken & rice and lasagňa!  Need some ideas or fall recipes?  Here you go!

Some more on: The Open Church—I received an encouraging letter by email this morning and a caution regarding open church  getting ‘out of control’ (which I heartily agree could be/become a real problem but can be firmly addressed in the formation of the “open church” plan of the worship service—much like families have ‘boundaries’ or behavioral guidelines/suggestions for how different functions/events are handled—and the Bible is pretty clear on these).   Anyway, I thought it important to reflect on an aspect of the “open church” that may be misunderstood and that is the dissolving or doing away with a traditional Sunday worship service—and that’s *not* what’s desired or intended here (or in the book, The Open Church) at all.  What *is* desired is a plurality of messengers of the Word, a plurality of bringing fresh bread to the congregation.  What’s desired here is the liberation of pastors from the position they hold of being the only vessel in the bunch to share the Word *AND* running the church show, so to speak.  Most pastors are so involved with the day to day working of the ‘church’ that they don’t have genuine time in quiet study, prayer and meditation on the Word and so they succumb to following whatever trend they can follow in order to prosper the way driven churches are [seemingly!] prospering—but if lives are to truly be changed, set apart for the Master’s use, then a more biblical model of ‘church’ must be sought—for the worship of God, for the equipping of the body and edification of the saints—saints, being those who are chosen in Him from the foundation of the world.  Very little true equipping and truly very little edification’s going on in the ‘church today.

October 7, 2003   Stuff in the old and new News…  What’s to become of the Episcopal church in America?  The Headline: Conservatives Rally as Episcopal Church Faces Possible Split   Another one; a bit older:   Marriage: the union between one man and one woman  A CNN poll  It’s dated 07/03   An article quoting Bush… on Marriage

So, lots of contemplating “Open Church” and what it would be like in our local assembly.  It’s continually a grievous situation to me here and I suppose all over America—perhaps the world as the Sunday ride is taken by millions.  I imagine that church parking lots all over are as local “Park ‘n Ride’s” where each car pulls in, locates their usual parking space, nods at the others in theirs, goes in to the local church sanctuary [read: bus] and takes the weekly ride on the church bus.  O, for many it’s a thrill—what’ll it be this week? entertainment? new songs? slides? a tear jerker? a memorable day? O, for many it may be a combination of all these every week.  But for many, there’ll also be another common phenomena: one of the loneliest places in the world is a seat in the sanctuary of a church full of people.  Everyone on the bus knows they’re there to observe the ride: the Sunday Show, they know in their heart they’ve got fresh Bread: things they’re aching to contribute, prayer requests or answers(!) they’re aching to share—but they won’t, they don’t, they never will—it’s the Sunday show, you know.  So… dutifully, as if scripted to do so, the seats are taken, the ride is endured and afterward the proper exit, kind words spoken, and parting gestures are made before returning to the lot of the Park ‘n Ride with obligatory or customary waves and nods to the oh-so-familiar(?) faces before the departure and weekly journey homeward. Alone.    An interesting page from Open Church ministries: Start Now!

On our son’s birthday… I love it when our sons come home and the kitchen if filled with family again!

October 6, 2003   Another Monday, a new week… a new week with endless possibilities but clouded with memories of days gone by, memories of faces and tears, grief and sorrow over what was and what could have been. If someone you know has been visited with tragedy or sorrow, why not write them a note today; let them know that the God of all comfort, the God of all strength, the God of Peace and Hope will carry them, will guide them through the valley and that there is peace, there is joy, there is hope in Jesus.

Nancy Campbell has been an inspiration to me and so I very much look forward to taking our oldest daughter to a retreat this coming weekend, where Nancy will be the main speaker and two of her daughters will contribute as well.  I’m always refreshed when spending time with like-minded women, women who’re seeking the LORD in their lives, desiring to know, understand and obey Him and live in accordance with His Word.  In this world there is such contradiction, such disobedience to the Word—to Christ; that when one would stand against the tide and proclaim His faithfulness, there is great anticipation and joy and great value—this isn’t a time to “get away” to hang out with girlfriends to avoid responsibility—rather, quite the opposite: it’s a time of anticipation of what the LORD will do and how He will direct through prayer, through the messages, through His Word and through conversations with sisters in Christ.  This retreat is well attended and is likely full already… It will be held at the Black Lake Conference Center in Olympia. For information contact: Robin LeClair, robinleclair@juno.com and for further information, see the Above Rubies site.

I receive Nancy’s devotional newsletter… and maybe you or someone you know would be blessed by the encouragement of an older woman in the LORD and would like to receive her newsletters by email.  If you know others who would be blessed by these devotions, you are welcome to forward them or let them know they can subscribe by sending a blank email to subscribers-on@aboverubies.org   If your husband would like to receive the Bi-weekly Message to Men, (written Colin Campbell) they can send a blank email to menslist-on@aboverubies.org  Colin is currently writing a series called, WHERE ARE THE REAL MEN OF GOD? All men will be blessed and challenged by receiving this series.

It’s time to think about the planting of the winter garden… it’s not too early to think about SPRING!!  Dutch Gardens has some beautiful tulips and many other flowers… so beautiful!  Costco has a wonderful selection of bulbs for the spring garden and the prices are really incredible.  I bought my husband different types for his birthday and in a few weeks I’ll plant them—but first I’ll remove all the geraniums in the ring around our front light.  I’m going to try a few new (to me) techniques for preserving and propagating the plants through the winter.

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. Titus 2.11-14

October 4, 2003
     “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.” Hebrews 3.12

 October 3, 2003   Today our thoughts and prayers are for family friends who’re grieving the death of their son… a tragic loss… a seemingly senseless loss—but nothing is senseless with the LORD, and so we ask: LORD, what is the lesson here?  What are we to make of this?  This was a very very expensive lesson…

Over the years we’ve collected and read books and materials for the encouragement and strengthening of marriage and family.  Many things we’ve collected are scattered throughout our site for the purpose of edification and instruction.   It was great to discover another neat site: Christian Marriage & Family Ministry.  A great marriage takes work and it’s worth it—it’s worth it for today and it’s worth it because of the legacy left to the children and to society… it’s never a 50-50 deal; it’s always 100%-100% on both sides… I wrote an article a number of years ago —a message that I continue to wish to convey to our children as well as to others.  It all began with a thought that one day all our children will have is memories… one day they’ll be married with lives and homes of their own… what am I going to leave them?  What are the heirlooms we’ll leave our children?  We don’t have a lot in terms of valuable “material” things to leave them—but what we DO have is faith… hope… and love… and we’re working on a someday an heirloom marriage… a legacy of faithful love for the LORD and each other.

October 2, 2003    I’ve recently lost weight and am continuing to maintain and lose slowly by continuing to eliminate (as much as possible) BSF foods.  One of the hardest things, though, is to find alternatives to our “normal foods.”  I just made a special low carb page and I’ll try to fill it with good alternatives.  Probably the best or easiest thing to do though is to get some Atkins books or some Zone books as they are filled with recipes, the philosophy behind low-carbing and suggestions for alternatives and substitutions for foods you like.  I don’t know what’s best for everyone… I just know this has worked very well for me.  O, and another thing I know… my mom’s advice would simply be  Drink water—low carb your diet… eat less, move more and drink more water 😉 
For one of my meals each day, or when I don’t know what to eat for a meal or when low carb isn’t available to me, I just have a cup of tea or coffee and an Atkins bar or Zone bar—this limits my time in the kitchen, limits my portion and solves out-of-control eating and satisfies my chocolate & chewing craving!

a good-bye for now to the one leaving for the mission field next week

October 1, 2003   The first day of the month… fresh and new stretched out before us…

I’m partial to Susan Branch stuff—Cookbooks, Keepsake books, Calendars… stuff!  I just received an email update about her site… I think you’ll like it!   Her work reminds me of Karla Dornacher  whose work I so admire—probably much more because it’s inspirational!

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