Sunday, December 30, 2007

Words from the wise...

Mr. Doug Phillips, President of Vision Forum Inc., always has such wise and wonderful things to say over at his blog. As we approach the year 2008, he had these things to say:

Three of the Most Important Things You Can Do at This Time of The Year

Dear Friends:

Life moves fast. If we don’t take the time to chronicle the providences of God, we forget them. If we don’t take the time to say thank you to those who have invested in our lives, we actually cultivate a spirit of ingratitude in our own hearts. If we don’t stop and make sure that we have a spirit of forgiveness toward others, we grow bitter, we lose the capacity to move victoriously into the future, and our prayers are hindered.

Here is a little practice that I was taught and would like to share with you. Each year, during the last week of December, I would encourage you to do the following things.

I. Outline and Chronicle the Many Providences of God

Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. (Hab. 33:2)

First, using simple bullet points, outline the key events for every week of every month of the year. Take the time to do the research which will help jog your memory and allow you to make an accurate record. I find that reviewing bills, blogs, journals, newspaper headlines, letters, and even organizing my photographs chronologically are enormously helpful tools. Those individuals who were faithful to journal or keep a diary will have little problem reconstructing key events. Give yourself a good week to reconstruct your own outline of the year. Also, by making this a family project, you will not only build your list with greater speed and precision, but (in the hands of a loving patriarch) the very act of chronicling the providences of God in your life is a blessed tool for family discipleship.

Every family will have a different set of priorities directing what they should record. In addition to recording the key events and providences of the year chronologically, I try to take the time with my family to record some of the following information on separate bullet lists:

1. Where did I/we travel?

2. What were the titles and key texts of sermons I preached?

3. What books/articles did I write?

4. What significant household projects did we accomplish in 2007?

5. What were the most important meetings of the year?

6. What special friendships were made this year?

7. Which children lost teeth, and how many?

8. Who grew in physical stature, and how much did they grow?

9. Who learned to read this year?

10. What diet and physical exercise regimen did I maintain to honor “my temple”?

11. What books did I read? Did we read as a family? Did my children read?

12. What Scriptures did my family memorize?

13. What loved ones died this year?

14. What were the great personal/ministry/national tragedies and losses of the

15. What were the great personal/ministry/national blessings of the year?

16. What were my most significant failures/sins for the year 2007?

17. What unresolved conflicts/issues am I bringing into 2008?

18. What significant spiritual and practical victories did I experience?

19. In what tangible ways did I communicate gratitude to those who have blessed me and invested in my life?

20. What are the top ten themes of 2007 for my family?

This is just a sample of the article! To read the rest, visit Doug's Blog.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Merry Christmas from the Stay-At-Home Daughters!

I think I can speak for Courtney as well when I say that we are very busy around here getting ready for all the Christmas festivities!

We'll be returning to posting after Christmas is over, check back!

In the meanwhile, have a wonderful and safe Christmas!

Looking forward to celebrating the birth of our Lord,


~~~~Edited to add~~~~
Merry Christmas from me as well. I hope you have a lovely Christmas and a very peaceful week!


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Room Decorations

Courtney requested that I post some pictures of my room, so here they are! It's a pretty simple room, but you might enjoy seeing it.

First, here's my room as it looks normally, without any Christmas decorations. There's a bookshelf out of this picture to the right.

I set up a nativity scene on my hope chest...

...and decorated a little tree on top of my bookshelf. It lights up, but you can't tell in this picture...

...and lastly, I interspersed some white lights on my desk!

So there you have it. I like to keep the decorating simple, although I would like to have had something on the window, I just couldn't get anything to look right up there.

Let me know what you think!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Questions For Suitors

"Imagine...the day comes when a suitor appears on the scene. Great! What

An excellent next step is to determine whether a marriage between you
and him would be an equal yoking. That is, if you were to enter into a
relationship or courtship, could it culminate in a marriage? Do you
believe the same things? Is there anything which would hinder the two of
you from marrying? For example, for me, I wouldn't marry a man who
didn't want to educate his children at home. So when my suitor came
along, that was one of the first questions my dad asked him!

Your suitor might be a complete stranger or at least you may not know
him well enough to know whether you'd like to marry him. So, as well as
learning about his beliefs and convictions, it may be that you would
like to get to know other aspects about him: his interests and
preferences, likes and dislikes, views on various things, practices,
personal history and family background, etc

This is where the following list of questions for suitors is helpful.
They can help you get to know him. And as you ask him these questions,
he might use them too to help him get to know you!

As you read through these questions, there may be some that will make
you think, "I don't care about that. I don't need to know the answer to
that question." That is fine! We all have different things we are
looking for and wondering about. Maybe as you read through you'll think,
"What about asking him this or that?" Excellent!

There are over 70 questions on various subjects below.
Use them as a launching pad to help you think about other things you'd
like to discuss with a suitor.

A way that myself and other girls have used questions that we have
compiled is to go through the questions with our parents/family. This
can be a wonderful exercise. It can iron out what is really important to
your family and can help you and your father communicate accurately
about what he is looking for in a husband for you and what you are
hoping for in a husband for yourself. If you do that with these
questions, you might come up with others you'd like to ask in addition
to or instead of some of these questions.



Are sports just something fun to do, or are they a big part of
your life?

What music do you listen to? (some examples) Does your family
like/enjoy it too?

What is your standard for Godly music?

What are your views on television in the home, and what is your
family's history with television?

What are your thoughts on computer/video gaming?

What's your favorite sport?

What kind of music do you like?


What family traditions, holiday or otherwise, would you like to
incorporate into your family?

Do you want your children homeschooled? What role would you play
in that? Would a 'hodge-podge' of curriculum be a part of the schooling

How would you go about testing suitors for your daughters? Or
mates for your sons?

What are your ideas when it comes to medical vs. natural/herbal
remedies, or emergencies?

Is homeschooling a preference or a conviction and why? What does
your family think about it?

What methods of discipline did your parents and grandparents
use, and what is your opinion about this?

If a visiting child misbehaves in your home, how do or would you
handle it?

What are your family's holiday and anniversary traditions and
how do you feel about them?

As an adult living with or away from your family, what parts do
your mother, father and grandparents play in your life?

In your family, whose responsibility is it to mow the lawn and
take care of other yard work? Is that the way you think it should be?
How do or would you establish division of labor indoors and out?

Does your family have an history of health challenges, and what
is their and your view on this?

How would you discipline a child if the child needed it?

Would you want your children home educated or sent to a school?


Do you only buy/wear name brand clothing/shoes, or are finds at
thrift stores just fine?

Would you be the only money-maker, or could (I) continue one or
more cottage industries (which were begun before marriage), either
throughout the marriage or as needed?

Do you have a student loan or credit card debt? If so what are
your plans for paying it off?


Do you like 'leftover' meals or something fresh for each meal?

What food(s) will you absolutely not eat? :)

When your family visits friends for a shared meal, what do you
like to do after you've eaten?

Do you ever do the dishes? When?

What are your views on nutrition and supplementation?

Personal Habits/Skills/Hobbies/Direction

Is there anything about your current lifestyle or habits that
you would change if there were children being raised in your presence?

What are your views and practices regarding male

Are you a home handyman, do you hire a professional, do you
expect your mother/sister/wife to fix it, or do you just ignore it?

Do you enjoy and initiate intellectual stimulation?

What is your view on speech standards, in regards to education
as well as uprightness? Do you alter your speech style when evangelizing
or amongst differing levels of society and for what reason?

Why have you chosen courtship over dating? Was it your parents'
view to start with, or have you dug deeper yourself, and as you have,
has God spoken to you about it?

Would you rather make a large difference in one person's life or
a small difference in the entire world?

What God-given gifts and talents do you have, and how do you use
or plan to use them for God's service?

What weaknesses do you have that I can pray about for you? How
are you trying to overcome them, and is there any way I can help?

What ministry(s) do you have?

Is there any way I would be able to help you in this

Have you travelled much?

Do you have a vision for your future family? What is it?

Do you play any musical instruments?

What do you like doing in your spare time?


What's your view on our present government? Do you think people
should protest against some of the laws that have been passed or may be
passed soon? Or would you rather only pray about it instead of moving in

Do you ever criticize the leaders of our country?

Would you spank your children?


Do you like the town or the country better?

What's your favorite animal?

What kind of books do enjoy reading most?

What's your favorite kind of take-aways?


What part does the Bible play in your life, and what is your
view on modern translations?

What do you consider appropriate music in the church and in the
home and why?

How do you spend your Sabbath and why?

If your church leadership taught or promoted something you
considered errant, how would you respond?

What is your view on mid-week or evening church meetings that
require the presence of husband and/or wife?

What is your opinion of youth groups and children's Sunday

What is your attitude and activity regarding missions and

Do you believe in pre-destination?

Do you believe in "once saved always saved"?

How much time do you spend talking to God? Is He always the main
factor in all of your decisions? How has He impacted your life? When/how
did you become a Christian? Are all the members in your family
Christians or not?"

--Issacharian Daughters, No. 067

I received this earlier in the week, and thought it would be helpful to all of you!

Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Adding a Touch of Charm to Small Spaces!

Today I'm going to share some advice on how to decorate a small space (like your bedroom) inexpensively.

This summer, my sister and I moved into a much smaller room when we were preparing for the arrival of family member number 8! We painted the room a lovely green color and then we had the task of decorating within a budget of virtually nothing. We were given some hand-me-downs from our dear friends and we didn't spend a single cent! But, I'm aware that this doesn't happen every time, so here are some tips for decorating on a budget. This is also helpful for those who'd like to make their room festive by decorating for Christmas! Often the living room, kitchen, and outside of the house get decked out for Christmas while the other spaces in the house are neglected. I love to decorate my room for Christmas! It's amazing how much Christmas spirit can be cultivated just by having your one little spot of the house decorated.

Anyway, when decorating on a budget, some of the most expensive things are the bedding and furniture. I am partial to handmade quilts as bedspreads! I don't have one, but I know that these are things that are specially made, and will last for years to come! Furniture can be provided inexpensively through garage sales and thrift stores. My family goes garage saling every Saturday and we have found most all of our furniture from these inexpensive sales. You can see many a testimony in the archives of Where the Kudzu Grows and Whiskers on Kittens. My father is great at finding things that people are throwing away near his office and he brings home some wonderful finds at times! It's a great feeling to refurbish a tired item back to its former glory. Sometimes all it takes is some repainting. It's frugal and satisfying!

Very small and subtle things can be done to any room to add some charm and beauty... cutting fresh flowers for a vase, for example. One thing I like to do is reuse the decorations that my mother has retired. The old garland and ivy branches that she's used year after year, and just can't seem to find a spot for would normally be placed back in the attic with the empty boxes until Christmas is over. But, I can use them to do my own decorating! It's so much fun to add your own style to your surroundings and it's great practice for when you are married with your own home to decorate. I like putting small decorations in my hope chest to use later in life. Another great thing to do is to make a notebook full of your ideas. I used to cut out tons of magazine pictures and save them in a binder, commenting on each aspect and what I liked about it. It was so much fun, and now I have a huge notebook that I can look back on and get some wonderful decorating ideas!

When you have a small space, the most important thing is to eliminate clutter. No matter how much beautiful decorating you've done, your space will still look disorganized if there is too much clutter. Making the most of every possible area and using all unseen areas for storage are helpful tips for this. I make a point to go through my things every few months and make sure that I haven't acquired anything that I don't need. My room is still quite cluttered though! This is something that is the biggest problem in my room, and I'm having to be resourceful to find solutions. With the exception of valuable keepsakes, if I haven't used it in the past three months or so, it's usually okay to get rid of.

When decorating an area, it's so much fun to play with color combinations! I love to find things in nature and use the colors from an object when coming up with color palettes. I do this when I make graphics all the time. Nature is an amazing work of art! The Lord is truly the best Designer!

The part that is the most fun about decorating is letting my own personal tastes show through. My mother and I seem to have very similar tastes, and I love to help her with the decorating around the house!

I hope this has been a help to you as you endeavor to make your space a beautiful one and as you polish your homemaking skills!

God Bless You!


Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Sugar Cookies

Hi there!

We have been baking sugar cookies today.... aren't they lovely?

Everyone was working hard.....

Although one little cutie was just having fun eating the dough!

Stars waiting for the cookie sheet

Here are a couple of original designs

Our House


Here is the recipe:

Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies

1 c. Butter
2 c. Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla
2 Eggs
5 C. Flour
1 tsp. Salt
1 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1/4 c. Milk

Cream butter and sugar together in a large bowl. Add vanilla. Add eggs and beat until fluffy. Sift flour into seperate bowl, Measure and add salt, soda and baking powder. Sift again. Add sifted ingredients alternately with milk. Stir until smooth. Chill in refrigerator for several hours. Roll out to 1/4" thickness and cut with cookie cutters. Place at least 1" apart on greased cookie sheet and bake at 400^ for 8-10 minutes. Makes 6 dozen (or so).


We had such a wonderful time making these. We will be decorating them later today, with lots of colored icing!

(In case you are wondering about all the recipes, I am working to build a recipe file of my family's favorite recipes for my hope chest.)

Have a wonderful day from our family,

Monday, December 3, 2007

My Turn!

I am off to start reading "Passionate Housewives: Desperate For God". I am so excited! Flibby wrote an excellent book review here if you would like to read it.

Have a wonderful afternoon!