Sunday, December 14, 2008

My Little Clone

My son, who will be turning 4 in a few days, is so adorable. Today he wanted to play on what he likes to call "his" laptop. It's actually Daddy's laptop that he purchased a few years ago, a Panasonic toughbook, that is durable enough even for a child of his age. After purchasing a new battery for it since it's been bad since the day I bought the computer, this is the result:


A little clone of Daddy!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Surprisingly Scrumptious Carrot Casserole

Sometimes we have an abundance of carrots. We like carrot cake and carrot muffins and the like, but we don't prefer basic cooked carrots. However, I like to experiment in the kitchen so I'm frequently trying new things. My all time favorite cookbook is the More-with-Less cookbook by Doris Janzen Longacre. We have tried many recipes from it and have had very few that we did not like. I must confess I was a bit disappointed when the cookbook came because a cursory reading of recipes did not look appetizing. However, due to the high esteem in which others have held this book, I have taken a lot of chances. I can honestly say, after trying a lot of recipes, we have only disliked one. That's pretty impressive for any cookbook! Anyway, here's the latest experiment:

Carrot-Cheddar Casserole (sounds gross...I know!)

Serves 8 as a side
Bake 350 - 30 min.

Note: Can mash drained carrots easily by whirling in blender with eggs and milk.

Preheat oven to 350.
Combine in a mixing bowl:
3 c. cooked, mashed carrots (about 1 1/2 pound)
3 beaten eggs
2 c. milk
1 1/3c. shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/3c. crushed crackers (reserve 1/4c. for topping) - (We used Townhouse Light buttery crackers, but you can use any you like.)
2-3 T. softened butter
1 1/3t. salt
dash pepper (more, if you like)
1 T. chopped parsley

Mix well. Turn into greased casserole and sprinkle with reserved crumbs. Bake 30 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Another note: We used an 8 x 8 dish, and it took about an hour of baking before the knife came out clean. I would try a more shallow casserole dish like a 9 x 13.

Enjoy!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Dog-Sitting Sunday


Sorry, Mr. Caleb! But don't they look cute and it was only a little bit :D

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Seeking His Glory

As I continue to consider a Biblical philosophy of education and curriculum possibilities, God is faithful to draw me to resources that seek to honor Him in all things. Last month, I was reviewing material for history. Since I don't often post what I'm thinking about, I'll have to play catch up to inform you about the finds in that subject.

Presently, however, I have been considering math curricula. About two years ago, God led me to Christ-centered Curriculum. It has been the most Biblical math curriculum that I have seen. It does require a lot of one on one with the child learning the material, however, it is scripted, so this responsibility could be delegated (especially any drill work). I have been unimpressed with much of the material on the market. Though there is a lot of material, there is little that is truly Biblical. There are many that tack a Scripture verse here or there, but there is little more that sets them apart from what the world has to offer. Some would argue that it doesn't really matter; math is math. I disagree. Math is so much more. Finally, God placed a resource in my path that confirms my thoughts in this matter:

Christian Perspective

At this site, you will find samples of Beyond Numbers, a short but helpful book on keeping a Biblical perspective while teaching mathematics. The author, Katherine Loop (a homeschool graduate), quotes Mathematics: Is God Silent? by James Nickel, a number of times. Nickel's book also looks like a worthwhile read though I haven't gotten the chance to review it yet.

At seventy-five pages,Beyond Numbers is a book that most people should be able to get through in just a couple of sittings. It is an easy read; I've even read parts of it to my five-year-old daughter. There are a lot of good reasons to read this book. If you have a hard time keeping God at the focus of your math studies (or other studies as a lot of the principles are the same), this book is a good book to read and review on a regular basis.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Blog Posts

It has been said that we don't update our blog very frequently...if only you could see the number of drafts that have been started. My husband wants you to know that these drafts are created by me...he then asked if I was planning on saving this as a draft--lol. Anyway, I'll work on finalizing my drafts and posting some of the things I've been thinking of posting. The main reason for not posting is not that we don't have much going on or that there is little on my mind; I merely get side-tracked by other things that seem more important. So...by God's grace I'll do more posting for God's glory.

Soft Pretzel Recipe

I must confess, I'm somewhat of a lazy blogger, hence, the lack of pictures around these parts. Therefore, I'm simply going to link to the blog where I found my soft pretzel recipe as it has a pictorial tutorial. :D

These are great pretzels! My only advice is to make sure that you make your snakes pretty thin since your dough will be rising a bit. We like the pretzels with salt or cinnamon sugar.

Enjoy!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving Recollections

This Thanksgiving day was not a typical one for our family, though it will likely go down in the books as most memorable. This is the second year that our family has not gone back to New Jersey to celebrate with our parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. However, we were invited to celebrate with another family in town who has no family nearby. They also invited another family for the occasion.

Due to the fact that we had 21 people present, we chose to do dinner buffet style. This worked great. We gathered at the table and began our Thanksgiving event by giving thanks to the Lord. We then proceeded to get the children situated with their plates of food before serving ourselves. I asked my husband to tend to this matter so that I could nurse our darling infant who was also hungry at this point.

Now, my handsome husband looked out the window and said, "Hey look! There's a cow coming up your driveway." That is where a very normal Thanksgiving meal turned into something like a National Lampoons Thanksgiving meal. :D You see, there truly was a calf meandering up the driveway. At this point, the woman of the house also noted that there were some deer grazing in the field across the street. This may not mean a lot to city folks, but for those of us in the country, Thanksgiving day is a great day for hunters (and for those of us desiring to fill our freezers with some virtually free meat ;). So...while the adults are filling up their plates, the woman of the house called the neighbor to wish him Happy Thanksgiving and to inform him that he had a calf on the loose. As the rest of us are sitting down at the table with our delicious food-filled plates, we hear said woman asking for permission to shoot the deer...yes, you heard correctly...shoot the deer. We're starting to think venison steaks now folks. Returning to the table, our woman says nonchalantly, "He said we can shoot the deer."

We all take a few bites of food and deliberate...should we really interrupt our meal to shoot these deer? Shooting these deer requires retrieval and a whole host of other things most would not want to think about while enjoying a nice meal. The discussion turns to who the shooters would be...there are three men, one of which has already shot his allowed deer for the day and another who has not brought his gun. Mr. Already-Shot-A-Deer offers to lend Mr. Gunless his weapon of choice. Now, I have been told that borrowing a man's gun is like borrowing his underwear; it isn't something men like to do, but they'll do it in extreme situations. Is this situation extreme enough? Apparently so because as Mr. Have-A-Gun-Haven't-Had-A-Deer-Yet-Today gets his weapon, Mr. Gunless chooses to borrow the gun of Mr. Already-Shot-A-Deer becoming Mr. Underwear Man. Perhaps we're witnessing something akin to women going to the bathroom together; it just can't be done alone.

Anyway, leaving our plates and the delightful aroma of turkey, we turn our minds toward the venison across the field and head outdoors. Our men alert the neighbors who are outdoors and head across the quiet country road. It must have been quite a spectacle for the cows grazing next to the fence; 21 people pouring out of a house like that. Our guys aim their guns using the fence posts for stability, and "BANG!" the deer take off running. A deer drops. Mr. Underwear Man is still deciding whether or not to take a shot; the deer are awfully small, and he's already shot a small one this season. He decides not to take a shot, and we all return to the cozy warm house, the aroma of turkey, and almost cold dinner. The men eat the remains of their dinner rather hastily as the cows give thanks that we are not as excited about and dedicated to beef steaks as we are venison steaks. (If only they knew it was really loyalty to our neighbors that kept them alive that day.)

So...our men take all but the youngest of the children on a deer retrieval expedition while the ladies enjoy perhaps the quietest Thanksgiving dinner they've ever had, some delightful conversation, and a lot of laughter at recalling the progression of events of the evening. It truly was a night of Thanksgiving for all of God's provision for us including the gifts of friendship, food, laughter, and most of all His Son who saves us and gives us the common ground to enjoy fellowship together. Being part of the family of God is such a wonderful blessing and being with His family is very much like being with our very own family. There is a sweetness to fellowship with other believers that is like no other this side of heaven. It is a foretaste of the fellowship that we who are called will one day enjoy with our Creator God and Savior for all eternity. Praise His name!

How was your Thanksgiving?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Some sort of productive...

For someone...

The day started with breakfast in bed...a bit less of a rude awakening than most mornings...oh wait...that's negative self talk. :/

The day started with breakfast in bed from the love of my life. What a gift! I think that was God's grace to me today. My kids really wanted to go out and play in the snow so I spent the morning figuring out which snow pants, jackets, etc. fit which kid, got everyone bundled up (I think that took an hour or so itself), and went outside to enjoy the frigid...I mean invigorating, weather.

Next, the kids wanted to come back inside because they were cold...go figure. So...we came back in, unbundled, and they sat down to watch a movie...while I put away all of the snow gear.

Somewhere between that and whatever I decided to do next...return a phone call perhaps...Matt decided he was going to cut Grace's hair (fortunately I got to him after the second cut so the damage isn't too bad). As I was surveying the damage, I realized that her hair had somehow gotten singed...maybe she got to close to one of the heat sources in the house?

Then, there was the lunch process which went very smoothly (praise the Lord). Again, I got to spend time with my handsome husband :D

After hubby left, I gave the kids permission to get a piece of candy out of my closet...at which point one of the kids peed on the floor (third time in two days!).

Which gets me to now...I took the morning off to play with the kids since our snow keeps melting and the rest of the day has been helter-skelter...my house is a disaster area...all I want to do is sleep...but first, I think I'd like to cry a little. Visions of hot chocolate, a book, and a coffee shop are not far from mind. Of course, that would be a lot self-serving. But I must say, I do see God's grace in the midst of my day...He enabled me to be gentle and kind to the little one who peed on the floor, and He enables me to serve even now...with joy in the midst of fatigue. I may be a bit emotional due to sleep deprivation, but I can see the rainbow in the midst of the rain, and I know that God is working out my sanctification in the midst of the mini-trials. Another day I'll look back with laughter on the events that brought about tears. What a kind God we serve!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Twist on Math Drills

We all want our kids to practice their math facts, right? My daughter has been getting tired of drilling math facts. I can't say that I blame her; I'm getting sick of drilling math facts too. Sometimes we have to do things that we don't care to do; sometimes we don't. I read an idea on a blog the other day that stimulated my thinking in the area of math drills. It doesn't always have to be worksheets.

For example...you can use dice. In our case, we're drilling basic math facts up to ten so I have my daughter roll the dice and tell me how many more she needs to get to ten (except in the rare case that 11 or 12 are rolled). Alternatively, since we really need to work on subtraction, I've been having her add the dice together (e.g. 4+3=7) and then, subtract (7-4=3, 7-3=4). She's writing them in her notebook which gives her plenty of practice. This is also something she can do by herself so I don't have to be right with her for drill work.

You can also use playing cards...simply pull out the face cards and jokers and play a concentration like game. Instead of having kids match the cards, have them pick a partner/bond/whatever you want to call it that adds up to ten. (e.g. if your kiddo picks up a four, he/she would have to find a six to take the match ;)

Anyway, I'm sure there are a lot of creative ways to drill math facts without endless worksheets. These are just a couple that I have found. What works for you?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Sweet Potato Quesadillas



We tried a new recipe tonight that was pretty tasty, healthy, and inexpensive. We're trying to learn to eat seasonally; this recipe also fits that bill.

Sweet Potato Quesadillas (from Simply in Season)

1 1/2 c. onion (minced)
2 cloves garlic (minced)

Saute in large frypan in 1 T. oil until translucent.

Then, add:

2 t. dried oregano
1 1/2 t. each dried basil, marjoram, chili powder
1 1/2 t. ground cumin (optional)

Cook another minute.

Add 4 cups sweet potatoes (cooked and mashed). Heat through, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Add salt and pepper to taste.

8 tortillas
1 c. sharp cheddar cheese (shredded)

Spread about 1/2 c. filling and 2T sharp cheddar cheese on half of each tortilla, leaving a 1/2 inch border on the sides. Fold tortilla in half. Place on oiled baking sheets. Brush tops with oil. Bake in preheated oven at 400F until brown, 15-20 minutes. Serve with sour cream and salsa.

Alternatively, you can use shredded raw sweet potatoes, sauteed with the onions and garlic until soft.

We used a food processor to shred to potatoes and chop the other ingredients which really made this recipe a snap. I forgot to add the seasonings, and it was still very tasty. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Biggest Turkey Tale

The folks over at Happy to be @ Home are having a contest. I had a story but I didn’t want to enter it in the contest because it isn’t actually mine. As a matter of fact, I wasn’t even alive when it happened. However, it is one that I make my Dad tell every Thanksgiving because it is very funny when he tells it. I’m sure I won’t be able to convey it well via the written word, but I’ll try.

Anyway, when my Dad was a teenager and still living at home, he lived down the road from a guy that had some pet turkeys. The man loved his turkeys and treated them just like we would our own pets. So…my Dad (compassionate, loving teen that he was) decided that he would get a live turkey for his family. As his Mom and Dad were discussing the upcoming Thanksgiving meal, my Dad told his family not to worry about the big bird; he was planning on getting a live turkey for them. His Dad asked him how in the world he was going to do that. My Dad kind of shrugged his shoulders and said that he had a plan.

The eve of Thanksgiving rolled around and my Dad got into his yellow Volkswagon Beetle with (what he considered) the necessary equipment. Keep in mind that they did not live in an area where they could just grab a gun and shoot a wild turkey. Anyhow, my Dad picked up a buddy of his (who also had the ‘necessary equipment’ )and they were off.

I’m sure you can imagine where this is going…my Dad and his buddy went to the neighbor’s home and eyed up the pet turkeys. They climbed over the fence with their gear in hand. Now the turkeys are getting a few ruffled feathers at the site of two strangers approaching them with…

hockey sticks.

Yes, that was their equipment of choice…hockey sticks. Needless to say, they successfully whacked a bird upon the head with a stick and quickly jumped back over the fence and crammed everything back into the Beetle.

The dinner conversation that evening was lively and memorable…so I’m told. Grandpa decided it was the perfect time to mention the neighbor’s troubling tale of his missing pet turkey. He also decided it was the perfect time to inquire about the mysterious acquisition of this year’s live turkey dinner. Especially since the bird weighed in at about 53 pounds!

I don’t know how the rest of the story goes from there…I do know that my Dad had to apologize for snagging that bird. I still can’t believe he used a hockey stick…that’s the part I find most amusing. It’s almost as funny as the time my Dad and his brother set the marsh on fire…but that’s a story for some other time. He tells them the best.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

My Challenge

"Evangelical Christians face another challenge with the election of Sen. Obama, and a failure to rise to this challenge will bring disrepute upon the Gospel, as well as upon ourselves. There must be absolutely no denial of the legitimacy of President-Elect Obama's election and no failure to accord this new President the respect and honor due to anyone elected to that high office. Failure in this responsibility is disobedience to a clear biblical command" (Al Mohler).

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Anxiety

"...do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God" (Philippians 4:6, ESV).

"...fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand" (Isaiah 41:10, ESV).

If you find yourself anxious about anything today, perhaps you'll find this post by Stephen Altrogee helpful:

Worriers Love Information

I would imagine an awful lot of people will be tempted to follow the media this evening trying to figure out what's going to happen in the future. I'm tempted to do the same. However, will that be the best way to spend my time. We may have a good idea late tonight about who our next president will be, but will my sitting around for hours this evening change anything? Will it be the best way to redeem the time? Will it further tempt me to anxiety? The news should be available and accurate in the morning. It will not be complete until the wee morning hours. So I'm going to cast my vote and pray. I'm going to pray too about how to spend my time this evening and not just assume that I should get caught up in the media's constant speculations.

Reading all of these blog posts is bringing out the anxiety in my heart. I don't want to be anxious with everyone...I want to trust in the Lord my God who is sovereign over all things! Won't you join me?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Is this Biblical?

"For those who understand, no explanation is needed. For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible."

It's one of those things that I read, thought was profound, and then began to question whether or not it was an accurate assessment. People didn't understand Christ's parables, but He explained them to his disciples and then, they did.

What do you think?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Science Day


Well, this picture isn't very big here, so you may not be able to see our science lesson. However, we demonstrated the color wheel in a few ways. One of them being

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Heavens Declare





"The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork" (Ps. 19:1, ESV).

This really puts Jeremiah 31:37 in perspective!

May this inspire you to worship His indescribable majesty today!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

What's That Word

That three syllable word that Grace said was:

lo-li-pop

I caught it on video...on of these days we might upload it--lol.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Big Words

Well, Grace said her first three-syllable word today. We were quite surprised. Any guesses on what that word would be???

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Logic

Matthew was sitting on the bed reading a book Sunday morning. He pointed to a picture and said, "Is that a forklift?" I answered, "Yes Matthew, that is a forklift." He then said, "Where is the spoonlift?"

Isn't it great to see how the logic flows in the mind of a three-and-a-half year old!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

My First Civilian Day


Today is my first official day as a civilian. My leave ended at midnight (2359 for military folk) and I am officially a civilian today. Now, how do you celebrate such a huge transition? I am open for suggestions, but I was thinking of maybe having a cook-out followed by some cake. It's a little last minute for inviting friends over, however, I am usually bad at planning things until last minute anyway so I can always try. Enough of my babbling, the floor is now open for suggestions.

David

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Debates

So...I'm sitting here watching the debates with my husband...judging the candidates and criticizing them for continually not answering questions and simply slamming each other...then, the Holy Spirit convicted me...Didn't I just finish watching Paul Tripp expound on the importance of words? Didn't I just feel convicted about my own heart in the matter? I'm no different from these men. I love people and speak kindly to them when they are vehicles to help me get what I want. I speak unkindly to people when they are obstacles to what I want. It's what's in my heart because I love me. These men are just two sinners who need compassion and prayer...not my criticism. They need God's grace in the same way that I need God's grace...moment by moment. Please join me in prayer for both of the candidates. God is sovereign, and He directs the hearts of rulers for His glory! May God be glorified in this election season!

If you're interested in listening to/watching/reading Paul Tripp's message, you can download it here: War of Words: Getting to the Heart for God's Sake

Enjoy!

Civilian Blues!

  The transition between military and civilian has been taken place for the last month while I have been on terminal leave (terminal leave is paid vacation that you use at the end of your tour while getting out of the military). Today was probably the hardest day for me during the transition. I applied for around 40 - 50 jobs in the last month and interviewed for two. I got an offer on my dream job and accepted it. I start this next Friday, however, it's not my "usual" attire that I am used to for home or work. Basically, its business casual with a tie. My normal attire, jeans and a t-shirt, does not bode well with business casual. So today was a trip to the mall to buy some new clothes for the new job.
  This is where the biggest transition for me took place and it sent me through loopholes of thought and fear. I walked up to the shirt section, and they had different colors to choose from. Then I had to match ties with shirts and pants to both. The selection was HUGE! Then we got to the socks section, and they had brown socks, blue socks, socks with designs, socks with different colors. I never knew so many choices existed. I've been shopping at Navy Exchanges for my work clothes for the last 7 years and it was fairly simple, blue shirt, navy blue pants, black socks, white t-shirt and black steel toe boots. Very simple and they had lots of different brands, but they all looked alike! Now I was stuck between what colors to choose for shirts and what tie would look best with it and what color or type of pants to wear with my cool new socks.
  Being able to express yourself through colors and styles of clothing in the workplace is something that I had forgotten all about. This was by far the biggest transition problem so far for me to date. For anyone that is going to be transitioning soon, I hope this helps prepare you for future endeavors.

  P.S. The pictures below are not me, however, they are there to illustrate the differences.



Monday, October 6, 2008

What Was That Something?

Here's the answer to last month's color-combo question. I call it the Jet-Puffed-Marshmallow shirt b/c that's what all those colors together remind me of. I had to take the picture while my son was sleeping because I wasn't ready to open that package of marshmallows, and I knew that he'd want one when he saw them--lol.

Anyway...I've been asked for something of an update since my husband is getting out of the Navy, we were expecting our next baby, etc. We really didn't want to leave the area that we're in, largely because we have learned and grown so much from the church that we're a part of, and God in His kindness has allowed us to stay a bit longer. My husband was offered a job at the local bank in the IT (information technology) department. It is his dream job; he'd do it for free if he could. The pay is great for this area, and he'll be working with a lot of the people that we go to church with. Everyone is excited, except the people who wish they could afford to have David on their payroll :/ (Sorry Jeff!)

As for the newest member of the Hankins family, she is healthy and a joy and blessing to our family. She's starting to sleep six hour stretches at night, though she likes to stay up until midnight. I'm sure we'll get her to bed a few hours earlier before too long.

Well, I'm not too creative with this whole blog-posting thing, so that's all for now.

Warmly,
Elizabeth

Friday, September 5, 2008

Train Set

This is our find from a yard sale that we went to last week. The picture really doesn't do it justice...kind of looks like a pile of junk. But what you're looking at is several hundred dollars worth of train set that we secured for just five dollars. Those stacks of boxes are boxed trains. The pile of stuff between Grace and I are buildings in need of some minor repairs. Behind me, are more than two dozen in tact buildings and there are more behind Grace. Against the wall is a large stack of railway. The yellow box is full of replacement windows and such for the buildings. We have yet to set it all up and see if it works, but it looks like a fun project for a rainy day...or two :P There's even grass and trees and stuff...someone was crazy into trains. I guess David and I will have to learn a thing or two before setting it up since we don't know the first thing about hobby trains...except that they cost a lot more than we care to spend...unless you hit up a yard sale. Needless to say, if David has a hard time finding a job...this will be the first thing we sell on ebay to earn some extra cash--lol.

Something familiar...


Some time ago a boy in our church wore a shirt. I told David that the colors on the shirt looked strangely familiar, like I had seen the color combination somewhere else before. It took me the whole church service, but I figured out where I've seen the color combo before. The shirt has since been handed down to our family. So...I'll pose the question to you: Where have you seen this color combination before?


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Duties of Parents

Our pastor recommends that parents read J.C. Ryle's Duties of Parents at least once each year (monthly for parents of two-year-olds). So...for all of you who do not yet own a copy, I located a free one online:

Duties of Parents

Enjoy! It really is a wonderful read.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Who do you work for?

So today was a long, and very eye opening day. It started out normally but was rudely interrupted 1 hour before the end of the day (3pm) by my chain of command telling us that we were not going home until what they decided what needed to be done at 10am this morning should be done before the end of the day. So that really brought out my sin. I immediately started reacting with questions to myself about "why could they not do this earlier, etc etc..". So then I really started having a bad attitude about it. I was justifying all the wrong reasons that I wanted to get out of the military, like being under the command of people who don't make sense, etc. When really, it was me who was not making any sense. I called my wife to tell her that I was not coming home right after work because we would be staying late to clean. Her reaction and famous Godly words were "Just remember who you are working for honey."

So just who is it that I am working for? I am working for God alone, not man. We are called to obey those who have been appointed over us (Ephisians 6:5) , and to do so in a Godly loving manner(Colossians 1:10). Within a short time after my prayer for assistance, my attitude about having to stay was changed and I was looking forward to helping complete the task and enjoy the time spent with fellow coworkers. Thank you God for your amazing teachings and sending your Son Jesus to die on the cross so that when we sin, we can count on our faith in Jesus Christ to forgive us.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Developing a Biblical Philosophy of Reading

While I'm on the topic of simplifying...for those of you who are Christian home educators...what are some guidelines you have used to decide what your children will read? Here are some thoughts that I have come up with so far:

1 - Good reading material will be hated by the world because it will testify with Christ that the worlds' works are evil. (Jn 7:7) What does the reading matter that I am considering say about humanity? Does it say that it is basically good or evil? Good books will agree with Scripture that humanity is totally depraved, and they will point readers to the cross.

2 - On what authority does the author of the book back his assertions? On himself? On someone else? On Scripture? "The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory..." (Jn 7:18) Whose glory does the author seek?

3 - Psalm 101:3 "I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless..." The Hebrew word for worthless means anything that is without profit or wicked. What does Scripture consider worthwhile and profitable?

- Scripture is profitable. 2 Timothy 3:16
- Engaging in good deeds is profitable. Titus 3:8
- Foolish controversies are worthless. TItus 3:9
- Which controversies are foolish? At what level are we to prepare ourselves for apologetics? We are to be prepared to give the reason for the hope that we have. But how far should be prepare ourselves to engage in things like the Creation debate?
- Worldly fables, myths, fiction are worthless as compared to the words of faith and sound doctrine. 1 Timothy 4: 7-8
- Bodily discipline is of little profit as compared with godliness. 1 Timothy 4:8

4 - Philippians 4:8 Checklist...Think on:
Whatever is: true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, worthy of praise

That's what I have so far. What do you think?

Also, how far in advance do you begin gathering resources for your kids? What do you collect? Etc.

Simplifying Wardrobe

Looking for thoughts...

I have managed to acquire a lot of hand-me-downs from others for the children. It has been very helpful, but I've saved almost everything from infant clothing on (which is still practical because I'm young and still bearing children...due again in August actually). However, I am aware that I don't need 15 pairs of pants per child per size. What are some guidelines you have used to decide what to keep and what to share with others? I haven't learned how to sew/mend yet so it is helpful to have a few extra outfits in case on gets damaged. But then, it isn't hard to come across hand-me-downs again if I'm running short. Thoughts anyone???

Thanks again!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Been There, Done That

Well, I've tried my own website for the third time and finally decided that it is just not worth it at this stage in my life. I started out with hankinsfamily.org, then hankinsfamily.com because my family members couldn't remember that it was .org. That didn't work either, whenever I asked if they had checked it they still asked what was the site name. So then I changed it to davehankins.net because I wanted to it again but this time I ended up even more frustrated. I had one faithful visitor who would check it every now and again for updates, but other then that I was at the promising "what was the name of that site" again. I guess to sum it up, I have decided that I will not go the route of creating a website for family to keep up to date with what's going on around here. I will stick to Blogger because its free and hopefully one day, family members will finally know how to visit my page.

David

Saturday, April 19, 2008

A Homemade Balance

Well, after much thought and research, I have finally found some homemade balance instructions that work (not that the others wouldn't have worked, but they didn't work for me). I tried a few approaches before I got to this particular one. My first idea was to rig the Spill the Beans game...which didn't quite turn out the way that I had hoped. The second idea that I came across involved a ruler and a pencil...and the Spill the Beans game...I really wanted that to work! Finally, I found this: Make your own mass balance scale. My scale is of a more crude appearance, but I'm hoping that my husband can tweak it at some point since he's a lot stronger than me :D I was just too impatient to wait until he got home at the end of a long work day...and I didn't want to bug him with something so trivial at that point. Anyway, hope this serves some of you...I had all of these materials at home so this balance cost me $0...compared to a minimum of $10 + shipping elsewhere (from what I've seen).

Most of all, my kiddos are delighted to play with it. (I'm glad they don't know what they're missing yet!) Maybe I'll find a nice balance at a yard sale this summer. For now, this will work.

Now to find instructions for some of the other math manipulatives that my kiddos "need" for their curriculum...what have you used???

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Cheeeeese!

Well, this probably won't excite you guys, but we successfully made ricotta cheese today. It was so easy. I can't believe I kept putting it off. I love ricotta cheese so this is great!

Hope you all are having a blessed day!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Did you know???

That if you exert a small amount of pressure on the glass of a double-paned window in just the right place (in an attempt to push it upward to lock it)...that it will break. I wish I could say that it was an April Fool's joke since it happened on April 1st because I really didn't think that I was strong enough to break a window with my bare hands...but alas, it is no April Fool's joke. And I think that is the limit for run-on-sentences for me today. :P

A word to the wise: Always push on the plastic/wood frame of the window when attempting to close it; not the glass! :D

Saturday, March 29, 2008

My Deranged Sense of Humor

All week my darling husband has been working on a book report for school. Through it all, his only complaint has been a headache. I told him, "Maybe you need glasses." He finally called the doctor towards the end of the week who told him that he probably just had a sinus headache.

I came home from the greenhouse today with some Easter flowers...three hyacinths to be exact...they were 50% off! I bought two of them. The third was a gift from the owners because they just so happened to be giving away flowers to beautiful little girls and my daughter was along. Anyway...I was delighted to have the sweet smelling beauties around the house. The first thing I did when I got home was put one in front of my husband saying, "Smell this!" (With all the enthusiasm I could muster ;) He smelled it and said, "Ewwwww yuck, get that thing away from me." Unfortunately, his sniffer must not be as appreciative of spring smells as mine.

Needless to say, we were sitting on the bed this evening enjoying a bowl of ice cream, and I inhaled deeply to pick up the scent of the hyacinth across the room. I said, "Ahhh, that smells so good." David just kind of ignored me and continued enjoying his ice cream.

That was when I had my deranged funny epiphany which went something like this:

Me: "Honey, when did you start getting those "sinus" headaches? Was that about last Sunday?"

Honey: "Um, yeah, ever since last Sunday."

Me: "And honey, do you have them at work? Or just when you're at home?"

Honey: "I have them at night and in the morning. They wear off at work, and I'm fine most of the day. Then, I get them at night again."

Me: "Uncontrollable laughter."

Honey: "What?"

Me: "Uncontrollable laughter...uh, maybe it was that Easter Lily that I brought home on Sunday. Uncontrollable laughter..."

Honey: "Greeeeeeeeeeeeat."

Me: "Uncontrollable laughter...I'm sorry I didn't think of it sooner...uncontrollable laughter."

I guess you can tell that I've never had a sinus headache from an allergy...sorry honey :( I love you!!!

Now which room should I isolate my smelly flowers to??? :P

Monday, March 24, 2008

Monday Devotions

Sometimes our five and under blessings don't seem to be paying much attention during devotions. Tonight was one such occasion. They were sitting quietly and had every appearance of listening to Daddy read devotions, but they couldn't answer the simplest questions about the story. So...we decided to do a re-enactment for a change to help them get the story in their head. It seemed simple enough. Daddy could be the lame man laying outside the temple and Mommy could be Peter coming into the temple. Mommy played her part flawlessly since she knew a song with Biblical lyrics. However, young children are seldom impressed with accuracy so Daddy's embellishments (including throwing himself on the floor saying, "Give me money!" and leaping into a wall while praising God after being healed) went over with great peals of laughter. Katherine ran to get some loose change off of the table before Peter could even heal the lame man. And after Daddy sat back down to "get serious" about application, Katherine was throwing herself on the floor shouting, "Give me money! Give me money!" Once we got Katherine settled down, Grace began her own re-enactment...throwing herself on the floor and laughing. When Daddy began asking questions about what took place, all Matthew could say was, "Um...he ran into the door." What a great improvement of his usual answer, "From God." I wonder what they'll remember from tonight's devotions tomorrow??? :P What a joy to have a loving husband who is willing to be a little goofy to teach his children about our loving Savior!!! Thank you, handsome!!! :K

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Once Again

May your heart be filled with praise as you reflect on the cross afresh!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Seedlings

Well, I don't have much going on right now...just the regular mommy/housewife routine...cooking, cleaning, and training. I did start some seedlings which are doing well so far...broccoli, onions, parsley, oregano, and garlic chives. Other than that, it's a bit early to do too much. In a couple more weeks I can plant potatoes, carrots, turnips, radishes, spinach, and lettuce outdoors and start tomatoes and peppers indoors. I can't wait! It's so much fun to see the little seeds develop. God is so kind to allow us to nurture His creation!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Sugar Feeds Cancer

Here is some information that I became privy to over the last year and a half or so. I think it is something that we all should be aware of as we steward the bodies that God has given us, especially as cancer is so prevalent in our society.

Sugar Feeds Cancer

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Dinner with an Adult

Sometimes you don't realize the little things in life that you take for granted. David has been away all week for training in MD. I keep hearing about the places he's eating and the things he's getting to eat, and it kind of gave me the appetite to eat out (especially the part about not having to cook or clean up ;) So tonight, when the kids got up from their naps just a tad grumpy, David and I decided that a little change of scenery might perk them up a bit. David told me to invite another adult so that I would have help with the kids, but that didn't work out well last minute. Fortunately, God had the details all worked out. A friend was driving her boys home and saw me pull into the restaurant. She said eating out sounded like fun since her husband was at the Sportsman's Banquet and asked if we would like some company. What a blessing! Not only did I have help with the kids, but I also had some adult conversation for dinner which was a nice change from eating with toddlers all week (and I think they enjoyed having some other kids to eat with too ;). Thank you, Lord for your kindness!

I miss you, David!!! Can't wait until you get home!!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Funny Deer Story

This is an anonymous deer story that I read today and found rather amusing (read that laugh-out-loud funny ;). It has no spiritual value whatsoever, but it may come in handy if you're trying to rope a deer (something I probably wouldn't try personally, but I could see some of my friends doing this)

Enjoy!

From a Missouri Farmer:

I had this idea that I was going to rope a deer; put it in a stall; feed it up on corn for a couple of weeks; then kill it and eat it. The first step in this adventure was getting a deer. I figured that since they congregated at my cattle feeder and do not seem to have much fear of me when we are there (a bold one will sometimes come right up and sniff at the bags of feed while I am in the back of the truck not 4 feet away) that it should not be difficult to rope one; get up to it; and toss a bag over its head (to calm it down); then hog tie it and transport it home.


I filled the cattle feeder; then hid down at the end with my rope. The cattle which had seen the roping thing before stayed well back. They were not having any of it. After about 20 minutes my deer showed up - 3 of them.


I picked out a likely looking one, stepped out from the end of the feeder, and threw my rope. The deer just stood there and stared at me. I wrapped the rope around my waist and twisted the end so I would have a good hold. The deer still just stood and stared at me, but you could tell it was mildly concerned about the whole rope situation. I took a step towards it... it took a step away. I put a little tension on the rope and received an education.


The first thing that I learned is that while a deer may just stand there looking at you funny while you rope it, they are spurred to action when you start pulling on that rope. That deer EXPLODED.


The second thing I learned is that pound for pound a deer is a LOT stronger than a cow or a colt. A cow or a colt in that weight range I could fight down with a rope with some dignity. A deer, no chance.


That thing ran and bucked and twisted and pulled. There was no controlling it and certainly no getting close to it. As it jerked me off my feet and started dragging me across the ground, it occurred to me that having a deer on a rope was not nearly as good an idea as I originally imagined.


The only up side is that they do not have as much stamina as many animals. A brief 10 minutes later it was tired and not nearly as quick to jerk me off my feet and drag me when I managed to get up. It took me a few minutes to realize this since I was mostly blinded by the blood flowing out of the big gash in my head.


At that point I had lost my taste for corn fed venison. I just wanted to get that devil creature off the end of that rope. I figured if I just let it go with the rope hanging around its neck it would likely die slow and painfully somewhere. At the time there was no love at all between me and that deer. At that momentI hated the thing and I would venture a guess that the feeling was mutual.


Despite the gash in my head and the several large knots where I had cleverly arrested the deer's momentum by bracing my head against various large rocks as it dragged me across the ground I could still think clearly enough to recognize that there was a small chance that I shared some tiny amount of responsibility for the situation we were in, so I didn't want the deer to have it suffer a slow death. So I managed to get it lined back up in between my truck and the feeder - a little trap I had set before hand. Kind of like a squeeze chute.


I got it to back in there and started moving up so I could get my rope back.


Did you know that deer bite? They do! I never in a million years would have thought that a deer would bite somebody so I was very surprised when I reached up there to grab that rope and the deer grabbed hold of my wrist. Now when a deer bites you it is not like being bit by a horse where they just bite you and then let go. A deer bites you and shakes its head - almost like a pit bull.


They bite HARD and it hurts.


The proper thing to do when a deer bites you is probably to freeze and draw back slowly. I tried screaming and shaking instead. My method was ineffective. It seems like the deer was biting and shaking for several minutes but it was likely only several seconds. I being smarter than a deer (though you may be questioning that claim by now) tricked it.


While I kept it busy tearing at my right arm ,I reached up with my left hand and pulled that rope loose.


That was when I got my final lesson in deer behavior for the day. Deer will strike at you with their front feet. They rear right up on their back feet and strike right about head and shoulder level and their hooves are surprisingly sharp. I learned a long time ago that when an animal like a horse strikes at you with their hooves and you can't get away easily, the best thing to do is try to make a loud noise and make an aggressive move towards the animal. This will usually cause them to back down a bit so you can escape. This was not a horse. This was a deer so obviously such trickery would not work. In the course of a millisecond I devised a different strategy. I screamed like woman and tried to turn and run.


The reason I had always been told NOT to try to turn and run from a horse that paws at you is that there is a good chance that it will hit you in the back of the head. Deer may not be so different from horses after all besides being twice as strong and three times as evil because the second I turned to run it hit me right in the back of the head and knocked me down.


Now when a deer paws at you and knocks you down it does not immediately leave. I suspect it does not recognize that the danger has passed. What they do instead is paw your back and jump up and down on you while you are laying there crying like a little girl and covering your head.


I finally managed to crawl under the truck and the deer went away. Now for the local legend. I was pretty beat up. My scalp was split open I had several large goose eggs my wrist was bleeding pretty good and felt broken (it turned out to be just badly bruised) and my back was bleeding in a few places though my insulated canvas jacket had protected me from most of the worst of it. I drove to the nearest place which was the co-op. I got out of the truck covered in blood and dust and looking aweful. The guy who ran the place saw me through the window and came running out yelling "what happened?"


I have never seen any law in the state of Missouri that would prohibit an individual from roping a deer. I suspect that this is an area that they have overlooked entirely. Knowing as I do the lengths to which law enforcement personnel will go to exercise their power I was concerned that they may find a way to twist the existing laws to paint my actions as criminal. Really, not wanting to admit that I had done something monumentally stupid played no part in my response. I told him "I was attacked by a deer". I did not mention that at the time I had a rope on it.


The evidence was all over my body. Deer prints on the back of my jacket where it had stomped all over me and a large deer print on my face where it had struck me there. I asked him to call somebody to come get me. I didn't think I could make it home on my own. He did.


Later that afternoon a game warden showed up at my house and wanted to know about the deer attack. Surprisingly deer attacks are a rare thing and wildlife and parks was interested in the event. I tried to describe the attack as completely and accurately as I could. I was filling the grain hopper and this deer came out of nowhere and just started kicking me and BIT me. It was obviously rabid or insane or something.


EVERYBODY for miles around quickly heard about the deer attack (the guy at the co-op has a big mouth). For several weeks people dragged their kids in the house whenever they saw deer around and the local ranchers carried rifles when they filled their feeders. I have told a few people the story but NEVER anybody around here as I have to see these people every day and as an outsider (a "city folk") I have enough trouble fitting in without them snickering behind my back and whispering "There is the dummy that tried to rope the deer."

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A Word About Seed Companies

A word about seed companies...they are not all created equal. While I haven't dealt with many seed companies, I have found one that I prefer above the rest. If you're not sure who you want to order from this year, I humbly offer this company for your consideration. Fedco, like many seed companies does not knowingly carry genetically engineered seeds. However, like most seed companies, they do purchase seed from companies who are engaged in genetic engineering. Fedco (a Maine-based company) sets itself apart by specifying supplier codes for each of their seed types. This enables buyers to choose whether they want to support: 1-small seed farmers, 2-family-owned companies, 3-domestic and foreign corporations not part of larger conglomerates, 4-multinationals not engaged in genetic engineering, 5-multinationals engaged in genetic engineering, and 6-Seminis/Monsanto varieties. Bottom line: it enables me to have a little bit more control over where my money goes and who I am supporting. I would much rather support a small farmer than a large company. I would rather not support any company that engages in genetic engineering because it goes against my convictions. It is also worth noting that Fedco has much better prices on organic seed than most of the companies with which I have compared them.

Seed Time

Well, I seem to be on the up-side of a cold bug that surfaced on Saturday. It has left me fairly tired, but other than that, it could have been much worse. Saturday and Sunday were the two worst days. Now, if I can just get passed the morning sickness...

Since I don't feel like eating anything, I figured now would be a great time to take stock of what seeds I have leftover from last year and order some new things. I didn't care for the lettuce I planted last year, but David and I learned that we love raw spinach. So...I think I'll order some of that. And I think I'll try some cherry tomatoes. I'm not sure what else I need to order since I'm not sure what I have left from last year, but those are two things I know I wanted to add.

I think I'll start praying for moderate rainfall during the growing season, while I'm at it.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Question of the Day

Okay folks, back at it again! Easy question:

What type of dipping sauce do you prefer with your 'wings'?

Ranch, or Bleu Cheese are the two top choices noted by most 'wing' companies.

Thanks everyone!

David

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Epiphany!

I finally figured out why it is that I know where everything is in our house (except keys ;) Often, David will be doing something and ask me, "Do you know where...is?" And even if it is in the most peculiar place, I often know where things are located in our home. Carolyn McCulley has the answer on her blog today :D

Radical Femininity

(In case you don't read the article...it's due to my faster and more efficient brain ;) LOL I wonder why this doesn't work with math??? :P

Love you, David!!!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Busted!


Proverbs 22:6
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

So yesterday my son walked in on me drinking out of the juice container. It was the last of the juice and I didn't want to pour it into a cup, so I figured I'd just drink it up real quick and throw it out. I tried to explain that to my son... About three hours later my wife had to grab the camera and take this picture.




I guess it emphasizes the meaning to the song by Rodney Atkins, Watching You. So here it is:


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Question of the Day

The question of the day is:
Why do cats not get gray hair like people do when they get old?

So instead of looking it up in google, or trying to figure it out, I wanted user opinions on what they thought. So let's use the honor system and in our own opinion, not google's, answer what we believe the answer to this is.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Long time for me too...

Well, it's been a long time here too, but I'm still around. This week has been long, hard, and sad. I know that there is much to praise God for, but sometimes the sadness tries to drown out everything else. David sent me a forward to make me smile...and it did...so I figured I'd post it here in case anyone else needs a smile...not like looking at your kids and spouse aren't more of a reason...but my kids are all in bed right now and my husband is not injured :P

Anyway, here's that forward...enjoy:

Why, Why, Why?? Why do we press harder on a remote control when we know the batteries are getting dead?

Why do banks charge a fee on 'insufficient funds' when they know there is not enough money in the first place ?

Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet?

Why do they use sterilized needles for death by lethal injection?

Why doesn't Tarzan have a beard?

Why does Superman stop bullets with his chest, but ducks when you throw a revolver at him?

Why do Kamikaze pilots wear helmets?

Whose idea was it to put an 'S' in the word 'lisp'?

If people evolved from apes, why are there still apes?

Why is it that no matter what color bubble bath you use the bubbles are always white?

Is there ever a day that mattresses are not on sale?

Why do people constantly return to the refrigerator with hopes that something new to eat will have materialized?

Why do people keep running over a string a dozen times with their vacuum cleaner, then reach down, pick it up, examine it, then put it down to give the vacuum one more chance?

Why is it that no plastic bag will open from the end on your first try?

How do those dead bugs get into those enclosed light fixtures?

When we are in the supermarket and someone rams our ankle with a shopping cart then apologizes for doing so, why do we say, 'It's all right?' Well, it isn't all right, so why don't we say, 'That hurt, you stupid idiot?'

Why is it that whenever you attempt to catch something that's falling off the table you always manage to knock something else over?

In winter why do we try to keep the house as warm as it was in summer when we complained about the heat?

How come you never hear father-in-law jokes?

And my FAVORITE......
The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four persons is suffering from some sort of mental illness. Think of your three best friends -- if they're okay, then it's you!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

A Long Time!

I know it has been a long time since I have posted. Here's the scoop, I have finished up the two classes I was taking last semester and am currently working on my last class for my AS Science, Math, and Technology degree. It's a start toward a new career! So I have been working on getting my webpage back up and running. I took it down a year ago because of cost and upkeep time. I finally decided to mess with it again since I had a couple weeks off from school over the Christmas break. After messing with a few new programs I finally got it back up and running, this time using a Content Management System. Doing the HTML for the pages took up a lot of time, and that is what I don't have currently. So this new system is working, and I am using it to store all our new pictures. Of course I have password protected the new gallery, so you will have to inquire to recieve such permissions to access it. Feel free to browse the new Content Management System. As I get more time I hope to fill the site with useless knowledge and an area to store projects that I have worked on. Have a great and blessed day,

David

Hankins Family Website