Friday, February 29, 2008


Okay, everyone thinks that you've got to teach your girls to be modest, protective, to watch out for boys, etc. While that's true, good, and fine, what about boys these days? Well, we know the double standard exists, but what about teaching boys principles like we would teach the girls, because guess what people? For two years, we've found out that at some point, not only have some parents stopped teaching their girls these good old-fashioned morals, values, and boundaries, but the girls have mutated over the years into these really aggresive, female "things" that will go after the boy. Not in a mild, "you don't know I really want you, but I do" kind of way either.

Our boys have introduced us to some scary female "things." I mean, some of the parents of these "things" even think its cute to set their underaged girls up with boys, no matter what the boys age is. They never inquire either, about what kind of boy they're setting their daughter up with, and worst of all I think, they never ask for or try and meet the parents. They let the girl dictate what she wants to do and when or, the mom lives through her girl/s vicariously. SCAAARRRYYY!! I don't know what that's all about.

I ask questions of the parents, especially the mother since that's who I end up dealing with (I don't know where the dad is and/or why he doesn't have anything to say about what's going on with his daughter!!), and they look at me like I'm from the Victorian age or further back, and sometimes are speechless and don't know how to answer my questions. I'm looking back at them trying to figure out why they're not asking me similar questions concerning my son. I end up letting them know what we do, what we don't do, what kind of family we are, etc. I ask about what the kids are planning to do that day; I ask about supervision; I ask all that a parent should ask. I want everything out on the table and I want to go away with a great understanding and some comfort as to who my child will be hanging out with. Well guess what? I'm more concerned as the mother of a son than the mother of these daughters are. I think being concerned about both genders is equally important. I have 2 boys and 2 girls, and my girls and their welfare is no less or more important to me than my boys, especially now that I know that these "things" are on the warpath!!

These poor boys are now watching out for the girls!! They're coming home telling stories about the girls that, in the past, you only reserved for some aggresive boys. What's going on? Where have we failed in our duties to tame and set boundaries for our kids? I'm afraid for my boys!! I've only, so far, met ONE mother who cared about her daughter, who was just as cautious as I was, who asked all of the right questions considering she was going to allow her daughter to be around a boy, who was very vigilant about keeping an eye on this new developing "couple," and who set some pretty clear boundaries for her child. I totally didn't mind; it didn't hurt my feelings at all! As a matter of fact, she is what I wished I had been getting all along. I really respected her and we were both on the same page. HELLO!!! Is this a foreign concept?

I'm getting to the place where I'm getting paranoid about my boys being around some of these girls. And let me tell you, if you think that boys aren't just as foolish and swayed and persuaded by girls as the other way around, THINK AGAIN!! These girls are picking out some really nice and/or naive boys (this is what we get when we try and raise them in a Godly home I guess), holding their noses wide open, and leading THEM astray as easily as the boy would a girl. Again, SCAAARRYYY!! Here we are, trying to teach them right, praying for them and their future mates, setting good examples, etc. and you've got these "other" parents out here who will allow their girls to tear down all you and the Lord have built up in a 2-second "date." Well, I don't think so!!!

I've decided that I'm going to continue doing what I'm doing, TRYING (because all kids don't cooperate) to raise boys who will be Godly husbands, fathers, employees, etc., and therefore, I will not relinquish my boys readily to these female "things." I will continue to ask questions, set boundaries, be looked at strangely, and sometimes say, "Absolutely not!! I don't think so!!" I will not be moved!! I will not be cornered and intimidated by these fearful "things." God gave me charge of His children that He assigned to me, and I take that charge seriously. I don't know why other parents don't. Well, I do know why they won't, but, that's not my problem. I'll pray for them and even TRY to tell them truth in love, but their daughters better stay away from my boys until she/they can figure out what's still good for them and not ancient and what they SHOULD AND SHOULDN'T BE DOING according to what the Word has spelled out. IF SHE CAN'T FIGURE THAT OUT, she might be good for somebody's son, but not the ones God assigned to this MAMA. If my boys stray, it won't be because their mom wasn't serious about guarding them and their integrity, testimony, bodies, and characters. It will be their choice. RIGHT NOW GIRLS, IT'S MAMA'S!!

Okay, you all have a wonderful rest of your Friday, okay?!!

Thursday, February 28, 2008


Robin over there at Pensieve listed her top 10 favorite things to eat. She asked if we had blogs, to list them on there, and if not, list them under comments on her post. Well, that's what I think I'll do for Thursday, talk about my 10 favorite things to eat. It's funny that I'm even choosing this as a post for today because I'm not a big eater and food doesn't move or motivate me. I usually eat because I have to. Only occasionally will I go ga ga over something that I really, really like. Anyhooty, I'll list mine, and I challenge you to list yours under comments at the end of the post. We'll see who has the strangest appetite while we're at it!!!:)

1. Baked French Toast Casserole w/maple syrup (thanks to my sister)

2. exotic, rare, imported fruit (too many to list here--this started in HI)

3. a lobster, shrimp, and scallop dish in spinach sauce from Food Works (I forget the name of it and I can't get hold of my friend who went with me to ask)

4. my grandfather's biscuits with real butter and molasses (too bad I can't get these anymore)

5. Unfortunately, I'd rather have sweets than food, so anything that my sisters and mother bake. These are the queens of baking homemade desserts that are rich, fattening, and everything else we don't need that often...just what I like:)

6. Cream of Wheat or Oatmeal (every morning)

7. Baked or steamed sweet potatoes with real butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg

8. Most seafood (I really like salmon, mahi mahi, and blackened ahi (I know, the carcinogens from blackened foods isn't good for you, but I only eat this once every couple of years or so anyway))

9. I like a variety of nuts

10. popcorn with real butter and cracked black peppercorns or popcorn drizzled with olive oil and crushed peppercorns. (My oldest son can really do specialty popcorn well!)

What foods really make you happy? I didn't mention that I love a variety of vegetables because that would have made 11. Oh well, now you know:)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


I must apologize for not posting earlier in the day, but today was FULL, to say the least, so some of you may not read Wednesday Wisdom until Thursday. That being the case, and because this day has been so busy and hectic, here's my simple little wisdom for today (and I'll try to give you something more intelligent to read for all subsequent Wednesdays, but no promises people, this is me you know (or you'll learn:)):

1. Don't fill your day with so many things you can't manage them (prioritize--I did do this today, but my day was full non-the-less.)

2. Don't agree to manage what you can't really manage.

3. Don't have kids who dictate and manage your day for you (my kids would never do that:))

4. Send the kids that do that back where they came from until they can learn to manage their own lives

5. Don't manage to have more kids like them in the future.

6. Split the duties if possible. See if your husband would like to manage some of the things you need to have managed. (Maybe he can at least deal with those unmanageable kids.)

7. Manage to manage.

8. Am I detecting a theme here?

9. Does it seem like there is something I want to take out on the kids?

10. Have a wiser Wednesday than your last one, and an even better one next time:)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


First of all you guys, I have to tell you this before the 'tea-cha' gets into her tea lesson today:). I just received (yesterday) my "this year's" shipment of J. Greens from Kyoto, Japan, and OH MY WORD!! I'm not kidding when I tell you that Sencha Fukamushi Super Premium has got to be a J. Greens tea lover's dream tea!! I wish I could share this with all of you guys. I am going to have to have a J.Greens tea party with you local folk so that you can taste what I'm talking about. Hubby and I drank 2 cups apiece last night and would have downed more if it weren't so late. BTW, they shipped me an extra bag of an organic tea that I had not ordered (they let me keep it instead of shipping it back--YESSSSS!!!!), so I've decided that it will be the next prize for the tea contest coming up in March. You will want to enter!! Okay now, on with the lesson....
I promised you guys last time that I would tell you what the colors of tea mean, what you're likely purchasing off the store shelves, and what pekoe, orange pekoe, etc. has to do with tea. It might surprise some of you that orange pekoe has nothing to do with flavor or color at all. Let's do this backward and start with the "pekoe" information then.
Have you ever noticed the ingredients or ingredient list on your boxes of tea, like Lipton, Tetley, or store brand iced tea? You're probably going to see the words 'pekoe' and/or 'orange pekoe.' It would be perfectly normal to think that if someone uses the word "orange" in a description of an ingredient that that represented either the color or flavor. In truth, it doesn't represent color or flavor, so if you thought that you were getting something that should have a slight 'orangey' taste to it, or smell, or color, it won't happen. Processors of this kind of tea or the tea industry in general give the following names for the sole purpose of grading or to identify tea leaf size (having nothing to do with the quality of the tea itself, although leaf size does affect flavor and end result in the cup):
S.- Souchong
F.O.P.- Flowery Orange Pekoe
O.P.- Orange Pekoe (a thin, wiry leaf with a tighter roll than F.O.P.)
T. and G.- Tippy and Golden (name used with whole leaf and broken leaf grades to indicate colorful tips in the dry leaf)
P.- Pekoe
B.O.P.- Broken Orange Pekoe
FANNINGS AND DUST (Read carefully. This part will be interesting)
F.- Fannings (Smaller than B.O.P., with less 'keeping' quality, and used for commercial tea bags (what most of us southerners especially are buying off the shelf for our regular iced tea--nothing wrong with liking it, if you do BTW (I have never liked the taste of it myself) The name "fannings" derived from traditional practices in which the broken grades were tossed in front of a fan, and the small particles blown off were called "fannings.") My guess is that while fannings are still fannings, they're not quite gathered the way they used to be:)
D.- Dust (smallest grade produced; quick liquoring)
I bet you just learned something didn't you?!!
Now about colors...they are based on fermentation or how the tea leaf, once picked, is processed. Colors will tell you not only what kind of tea you're drinking, but what it will taste like, from your most pungent to your most delicate. Here we go...
Black tea (called red tea in China because of the color of it in the cup) is the variety most familiar to us. It is processed in such a way that it allows for full oxidation (fermentation). After the drying process of the leaves and the leaves have turned a copper color, it is fired at a temp. of 120F, turning the leaves black. Black tea brews rather quickly and is pretty brisk and strong in flavor. If you've ever purchased iced tea bags, Chinese Keemun, Ceylon, Assam, or Darjeeling, to name a few, you're drinking black tea.
Green tea (my FAVORITE along with white) retains its original character because it does not undergo oxidation (The leaf smells like "earth" or newly plucked leaves). As soon as these leaves are picked, they are steamed or pan-fired so that the enzymes that cause oxidation will be destroyed. Most green tea is produced in China, Taiwan, Japan, and India. (You all know what I prefer by now:))
White tea is the least processed of the tea types and has a delicate flavor. For centuries, it was unknown in the west, and compared to green and black tea (especially black), it is still rare, but you can find it easier today than ever before. It is called white because only the unopened buds and leaves from the very tippy top of the bush is plucked, and the unopened buds have tiny, silver-white hairs that cover it, hence the name. This tea is simply sun-dried or steamed to remove moisture, and then it is immediately ready to be drank. This tea is grown in China's Fujian Province.
Yellow tea usually implies a tea that is processed similarly to green. The drying phase is slower though, and the tea is allowed to sit and "yellow." The liquor from the tea has a yellow-green appearance and the taste is similar to white and green. Yellow tea can also describe very high quality tea served in the Imperial Court of China or any imperially served tea. (I'm pretty sure then, that I haven't had this kind of tea although I'd like to:))
You might also hear about Oolong tea. It is semi-oxidized to give it a fruity flavor. Some people say then, that oolong is a cross between a black and a green. To make oolong, the leaves go through almost the same process as black, but are only left to ferment 15 to 80% of full oxidation. Oolong is produced in China and Taiwan, but Taiwan is better known for its very high grade oolongs. (I like these too, though I don't drink them nearly as much as green.)
Well I'm off to taste another of my new arrivals from Japan. I hope you have a green (or other color) tea moment today and everyday. Maybe we'll talk about the supposed health benefits of tea next week. We'll see. (If you find any typos in this post, sorry...I'm in the middle of homeschooling and I'm trying to get this done rather time for editing this time:))

Monday, February 25, 2008

MOMMY (or Caregiver/Mentor) MONDAYS #3


Should you educate your children at home, to some degree, even if they go to public, private, or Christian school, or do you think with attending outside school, enough is enough?

What should the teachers and counselors teach your children, and is their total education the teacher/counselor's responsibility?

Only you can answer this, but for us, we've found that even when the children were all in school (3 are homeschooled now, 1 is in an outside school), there was much need for home education, and it doesn't have to take up that much of your or the child's time. We found that there were some things that we absolutely SHOULD be teaching our children at home. Beyond that, we felt like there were some things that the teachers/counselors at school SHOULD NOT be teaching our children. Now this may seem obvious to most of you, but I've heard, and you may be surprised to know, that some people think that if the kids are in school, that's enough; the kids will get enough or all of what they need. It's someone else's job to educate for the most part. I've also heard them say that the children don't want anymore "schooling" when they come home, so there is no attempt made, not to mention that parents who work are downright tired. Maybe they don't realize that they're educating in the home anyway, every time they teach their children how to do a chore or how to cook or something else. Why not incoporate other things that are so important?

For girls, you can think of or search on the internet (or library) for many topics that are relevant for them and their spiritual, mental, physical, and emotional growth that they probably won't get at school, that they absolutely NEED; and if they get it from school, it may be learned or taught to them the wrong way, sometimes, by the wrong people. I found and tweaked the neatest lessons for my girls and took out an afternoon every day for however long the lessons lasted (ex. a 4-day study or 2-week study, etc.) to teach them these things, show or give examples, and talk and ask questions. It also gives me an opportunity for just "us together" time. If moms and dads work, they can set aside a time in the evening, whether it's every day or once a week for a few weeks.

The girls and I have done everything from What to Expect During Adolescence and Puberty to How to Choose Friends Properly. They are just fun little units that allow for talk and discussion. It gives us a chance to impart our own values and wisdom to our children. While some of us would teach these things to our children along the way anyway, the little units and lessons give us formal lessons, worksheets sometimes, and creates an environment for intentionality, where we hit on things that we would have either forgotten about or maybe wouldn't have thought of, but found necessary or even fun. Some of the things I've found are even simpler than what's mentioned; some are just for fun discussion; some have even had crafts to accompany the lessons.

I found a great one for my boys years ago. I wish I could find the book so that I can share the title and author, but it was just a neat little workbook that a dad or mentor would do with a boy, showing and teaching him how to be a Godly man, a man of courage and valor; it taught how to treat women, how to act in the world, how to save money, and what to expect and do as they looked to the future. I really liked it a lot! Again, googling things like this or looking in your local bookstore or library can turn up many great finds. Even if you think working from a book is too formal or tedious, just looking around will give you ideas for discussion you can have on your own and never open a book. I realize that sometimes the sight of another book to some kids is more than a turn off!!

Parents really are first teachers. We believe that it is not totally up to 'outside teachers' to impart the things that we would want our children to have. We get out of them (most of the time) what we invest in them. And truth is, it never just ends with them. What you impart to them now and the manner in which you do it, literally lasts generations. Leaving a great legacy is one of the greatest things you can do for your children and the next generations.

Hope your Monday was marvelous darlings!!

Saturday, February 23, 2008


Since Saturday most people relax or shop, I thought I'd share a few tips I've learned from author, speaker, wife, mother Ellie Kay who is the ONE to go to when you want to shop on a budget, live well on one income, save, invest, find bargains, shopping tips and secrets, etc. I love her book 1/2 Price Living-Secrets to Living Well on One Income. I would encourage anyone who wants to know some really great things about any topic I've named above to get this book (she's got other great ones too!). She knows her stuff. I know that most women love a sale or bargain, and some of us love to make sure we're spending our money and time wisely (practicing good stewardship).

Ellie talks about the right days to shop for certain things. Yes, there are certain days you ought to try and shop for what you're looking for, unless, of course, it's something you need right then. But, if you use some of the following tips and plan ahead, you can save a lot of money. The following is what I learned from reading her book:

If you're shopping for a car, Ellie says, "Most people know late summer and early fall are the times when carmakers release new models and dealers want to get rid of last year's leftovers. But most people don't know a good time to buy is at the end of the month and often in the middle of the week-Wednesday. If you can buy on the last Wednesday of the month, you'll do even better. Another Wednesday factor is that dealerships aren't crowded in the middle of the week, and customers can get more attention from the sales staff. Early mornings and midweek are the least crowded times."

House shopping is another good thing you can do on Wednesday, because real estate agents have a tendency to show fewer homes on this day. Ellie Kay says the best season to look for a house is winter. She shares that "houses tend to have a lackluster appearance in the winter and don't show as well. They lose curb appeal in their dormant state. Higher home prices come in the spring, when most houses go on the market. So, buy in the winter and sell in the spring." Good advice we may not even think about when buying a home!

Since it's February, I'll share with you what things she says are best purchased in this month or may have special sales in this month. Sorry I waited until almost the end of the month to share, but...better late than never, right? Okay, here we go...
Floor Coverings
Valentine's Day Candy (after the 14th of course)

Happy shopping and savings to you. Hope you can find sweet rest on your new bedding while you eat your discounted chocolate from Valentine's Day. That's after you have gone out shopping wearing your new coat that was a steal at your favorite store. Of course you would have come straight home to use your new dinnerware while standing on that fabulous new floorcovering in your kitchen. While waiting for the dinner to be done, you slumped on the chic, new furniture the warehouse up the road had with unbelievable sale tags on it. That particular furniture store had a housewares section you could check out while there, to complete that look. Those prices were more heavily discounted than the furniture. It was unbelievable!!

Wouldn't that be a great shopping day?!! See you next Saturday!

Friday, February 22, 2008


I must apologize to all of my regular, everyday readers (okay probably none:)) for not having a fresh post up yesterday. Yesterday was really busy in our home and lives. Sick kids, dr.'s appointments, waiting in the dr.'s office, waiting at the pharmacy, waiting, waiting, waiting, then...exhaustion. Typical day in the middle of "gunk" and "flu" season. Gotta' love the way those good old germs come in and wreak havoc, leaving behind the aftermath, while they move on to their next victim. Oh, at The Fall, at The Fall, where it all began. Thanks to our first parents. Yall know who they are.

Anyhoo, Since today is another gloomy day in Tennessee, I thought I'd do poetry. My Friday posts don't have a theme like some of the other days I post on, so we'll let it be our hodgepodge day. Anything to cheer us toward the weekend and celebrate the end of the sometimes monotonous work week. Let me give you a little history on me and poetry. I've written it and loved it since I was a little girl, elementary school age. I'm not sure if any of my friends were writing it back then, but I was and I really enjoyed it. I even checked out books by famous poets from the school library when I was that young. I used to try and interpret the really hard ones and memorize the easy ones. I still recall some lines from some of the famous poems by well known authors. I was really intrigued by poetry written by people of African American or foreign culture and descent. There was always lots of passion, vibrancy, feelings, artistic language, heart, and culture in them. As you read, you danced with the words; you were sometimes "there," you could "feel" the author, you were snatched into the poem itself. Okay, I really liked poetry and I still do!

At (Robin's blog--she won the tea through my contest, remember?), there is a challenge to just simply write poetry once a month. There is always a theme, but you don't have to be professional and you don't even have to go with the poetry theme if you don't feel comfortable with it. I would encourage people to try the theme though. This month, it is sonnets. I love sonnets. Well, I love all kinds of poems, but for this month, I LOVE SONNETS. I wrote her two and sent them over. I'll share with you my two, and I want to challenge you to try your own. Send it to me in your comment at the bottom of this post. I'd love for everyone to click on comments to see what everyone else has written. It'll be bad if there ends up nothing there but mine, but, oh well...such is life! Just enjoy mine then. One of mine is serious, so it may not "cheer" you on toward the weekend, but the other one IS!! Just read them both for poetry's sake and be inspired! Here we go....

"I am desperately looking for you, my sweet boy!
Where has my little boy gone?
Come out of hiding son; don't be coy,"
Mummy's been praying since dawn.
"What were you running from? Where did you go,"
I asked once my sweet boy returned?
"He called me, Mummy. He beckons me so,
That I ran where my foolish heart yearned."
"Just ignore him, sweet boy. Stay near to mum.
We will keep you safe; all the more we'll pray."
"But if I don't go, mum, here he will come,
And then he will want to stay."
"Then we'll take our scrip, sweet boy of mine, and we'll look to Him.
He'll make small of him, in your sweet rest, once the lights grow dim."
The one above is personal to me. I still thought I'd share the poem itself with you. The meaning will remain personal.
I thought a sonnet only for Shakespeare;
For he is the man of soul with words.
I am surprisingly wrong, it appears.
You people are responding in droves and herds!
Keep writing dears; keep writing!
I love what I see and read!
The poetry bug is bitterly biting!
Think; ponder; write; take heed!
And now, my friends of new-found gifts,
Off I go too, to make a sonnet my solace.
I just have to come to grips
With the poetry plague that will befall us.
What is that from afar off I hear?
The song of a sonnet in my ear!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


I don't consider myself all that wise, but I know enough to take you to a great source that gives great wisdom. I'd like to share some wise teachings that might help you this week; they've sure helped me (I'm always "preaching to the choir first"). They are no secrets. They're found in the Bible, but sometimes, unless we're purposely studying these things or have them in our devotions, we don't think of them often and may even forget. Ahh, the simplicity of just going to the Word...:) If you're not yet reading your Bible or don't have devotions, start with the 3 simple "wisdom" verses I mention in this post. God will do the rest. You'll be on your way

First of all, can we define wisdom: It is (according to Webster) the quality of being wise; the faculty to discern right and truth and to judge or act accordingly; sound judgment; sagacity (first time I've heard of this word--now I'm wiser:)); discretion; common sense; extensive knowledge.

Now, I like the part of discerning right and truth and to judge or act accordingly. Common sense can help us do that to some degree, but on-going, deep, and true wisdom comes from God; the leading of the Holy Spirit; the teachings of Jesus. We will surely stumble and err leaning on our own understanding.

Okay, on with the wise part or the good stuff! Check out Exodus 28:3-"You shall speak to all of the skillful persons whom I have endowed with the spirit of wisdom, that they make Aaron's garments to consecrate him, that he may minister as Priest to Me." I love this! Here is a quote that I think explains this verse well: "The tailors who made Aaron's garments were given wisdom by God in order to do their task. All of us have special skills. God wants (and will) to fill us with His Spirit so we will use them for His glory. A talent must be used or it will diminish." God's wisdom tells us what to do and how to do it and the result of us acting in obedience to that produces a "perfect product." May we use our talents for His glory always!

You say you want to be truly wise, it's very simple--Psalm 111:10 says, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments; His praise endures forever." I guess, because of the Holy Spirit working in me, causing my respect and reverence for the Lord, I can be considered wise after all:). Thank you Jesus!! Often, people think that becoming wise means skipping the above step and and focusing on gaining life experiences and education. They think that's all they need. Wisdom starts with the All-Wise One, no cutting corners.

Last thing I want to share today is that Jesus wants us to model Him. You knew that right, but what was Luke saying in Luke 2:52? Jesus doesn't want our growth to be stagnant. His was not. Luke 2:52 says, "And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men." This is a great example and model of the Christian life. Here's another great quote that I think sums this verse up nicely: "The second chapter of Luke shows us that although Jesus was unique, he had a normal childhood and adolescence. In terms of development, he went through the same progression we do (that's why He can so understand our feelings, emotions, development, etc.--He's been there and done that!!). He grew physically and mentally, he related to other people, and He was loved by God. A full human life is not unbalanced. It was important to Jesus--and it should be important to all believers--to develop fully and harmoniously in each of these key areas: physical, mental, social, and spiritual."

Let's ask God for His wisdom today and lead fuller lives for Him! Have a wiser Wednesday!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Now this post will seriously only matter to those who care, who are curious, and who are crazy when it comes to getting things right. All 3 would be me!! For all the rest of you, you'll look at the title alone and skip down to read something else. "WHO CARES?" will be the first thought in your mind. Well, while I don't understand that, I respect you. There are plenty of other good "reads" on here, so go navigating. All you other fanatics, fickels, and "funny like that" kind of people, read on; listen to the tea-cha!
My mom is a Cosmetology Instructor (I know, you're wondering what this has to do with anything. Keep reading; be patient!). I remember so many times she would mention that cosmetologists, once they were learned and skilled of course, did not appreciate when the unlearned and unskilled population of non-cosmetologists (everybody else) would say things in their presence like 'wash your hair' instead of 'shampoo your hair' or "I need to get a perm" when you really needed to get a "relaxer" (this was mostly for ethnic clients and African American clients who wanted some of the kink or coil relaxed from their natural strands). Well obviously us non-cosmetologists were using improper terminology. We were requesting things we knew we wanted done to our hair except we were really asking for something altogether different without knowing it. This is what people do when it comes to tea. For they know not what they're looking at, drinking, or asking for. But most of the time, they know what they want. YOUR TEA-CHA TO THE RESCUE!! I CAN HELP YA PEOPLE!! (You see what happens when a commoner gets a little learned about something?! It's not just cosmetologists obviously. Lord help me!!) Anyway, here we go...
Camellia Sinensis is the plant or bush (can grow into a big tree though!) that tea leaves come from, real or actual tea that is (black, green, white, yellow, red). The colors mentioned here only tell you about the processing the leaf underwent and two of the colors (black and red) can be used interchangeably. They're both describing the same kind of tea, but the choice of color depends on what part of the world you're in. I mention all this because, everything you drink in a tea cup, that's not coffee, is not tea either. Let me help you see this clearly:
Tea is tea. When you drink anything else, it is probably a fruit, floral, or herbal infusion or, less likely, it could be a tisane. When you go to a tea or coffee house and you ask for tea, you're really asking for the resulted extraction from the steeping of tea leaf with water, in a cup. This is a true cup of tea. When you ask for chamomile, rose, lemongrass, orange peel, blueberry, or any other single or combination of floral, fruit, and/or herbal matter, you are no longer (or shouldn't be) asking for tea, you're asking for a simple infusion (unless the list of ingredients include the words green or black). You must be able to distinguish between the two because only tea can come from the camellia sinensis bush. This bush does not grow fruit, other herbs besides itself, nor other flowers besides it's own bloom, which is not used in tea production. Again, you can only get tea from a tea bush. Everything else you're drinking is just that...something else.
Some stores who think they've finally figured this out and want to impress you, will now say they've distinguished between true tea and everything else by saying you can order tea or a tisane (their word for the "everything else"). Still incorrect. Tisane is a French word, a variation of the word ptisan (pronounced ti zan' or tiz' un) which has two definitions (1) a drink made by boiling down barley with water and other ingredients or (2)any similar decoction, as of herbs. This last definition, I think, is the reason we use the word when we think of herbal, fruit, or floral infusions, because I don't think most people are out there ordering barley groats boiled in water. That brings me to the word decoction. Decoction comes from two words that mean to boil down or reduce. When you place things in a pot or kettle that are hard to extract the essence or flavor from (like some flowers, stems, roots, some herbs, nuts, etc.), mix them with water, and boil them, you are bringing forth or creating a decoction. Some matter has to be boiled to get what you are trying to extract from it. True tea (or tea leaves) would be too delicate for that, and most fruit or floral infusions, even though they require boiled water to be steeped properly, don't need to be boiled together with the water to extract the flavor or essence. So, you're not getting a true tisane when you ask for those tasty infusions of fruit and flower either. Again, you're getting an infusion.
Infusion is easy to remember. It is the liquid extract that results from steeping a substance in water. An infusion can be your true cup of tea or your "everything else" then, but for the sake of clarification and correctness, the truth is that "everything else" can't be tea, so...order up (and educate someone); order tea if you want tea and order an infusion if you want an herbal, fruit, or floral beverage. You probably won't be ordering a decoction, so if you want to forget this word and put it out of your mind, at least for now, do so. I guess I've given you enough other stuff to remember besides something that you won't be using.
In the future, I will tell you the difference between all of the colors of tea, or what the colors really mean. I will explain to you what you're really buying when you purchase off the shelf in your local grocery store. I will tell why the name orange pekoe has nothing to do with flavor or color. If you're interested, we're going to have fun with this tea thing. By the time we're done, we'll all have at least basic knowledge of what we're buying, what we're asking for, and what we want and love. Have a tea-liscious Tuesday! (yes, I know that was lame, but I had to do it.)
BTW, Robin (Pensieve -you all can google her blog name until I figure out how to make it a link on my blog) WON the tea contest. Yes, Robin, you won yourself a bag of Sencha Superior tea from Hibiki-An!! It is wonderful!! I will be delivering directly to you. How convenient!! Read my blog and watch for the next contest coming up within the next month. There will be more wonderful tea-liscious or cool give-aways!!
Thanks for entering for those who did. See ya' next time!

Monday, February 18, 2008

MOMMY (or Caregiver/Mentor) MONDAYS #2

I hear moms and dads say, "I sure wish that the kids these days would be more curteous and polite, like we were, just like we were taught." The operative phrase here is "...just like we were taught. Are we fostering what we want or expect from boys and men?
Let's look at what it is we do want and expect from them. Parents and grandparents want their boys to be respectful of girls, chivalrous, kindhearted, strong, courageous, have leadership abilities, and the list can go on and on. Wives and women expect that grown men already know these things, or should, so there is disappointment when he doesn't show these characteristics, or she somehow feels the need to make him out to be this kind of man, or she just simply does things herself. After all, we know everything, and we can certainly do it better and a lot faster than they can, right girls?! Ahhh, don't fool yourselves!! We're more likely handicapping our boys and men or exasperating them. They won't or can't find the God-given strength, ability, freedom, or opportunity to do what it is that we're expecting and need this way. They probably WANT to do a whole lot more for us than we give credit for. Who knows what goes on inside their heads? But we can be assured that we do or can know how God has wired them. Again, the Word has the answers.
So let's examine or think about what WE CAN DO to foster what we're looking for and the environment to do those things in, for our males, boys and men alike. WE CAN: teach our boys to open doors for ladies (chivalry isn't (or shouldn't be) dead and it's not just for men and boys in the South), stop taking out the trash for our 15 year olds that are taller and bigger than we are (and are getting what they want while paying us back with laziness), encourage them as they go along (in their sports, school work, church activities, good choices, etc.), make them feel special and tell them so often (boys and men like to feel like you notice them and notice their manliness), teach them to be responsible with themselves, their belongings, and their pets, teach them how to handle their money as early as possible, talk to them about proper (Godly) dating, tell them that it is not okay to listen to music that degrades women, tell them and show them that following God and His mandates is COOL and that his life will better because of it, and the list can go on and on. For our men, WE CAN: ENCOURAGE, ENCOURAGE, ENCOURAGE, girls and moms-tell your adult brothers and sons how proud of them you are, how they're doing good on the job, how you can see how much they've grown, or what you saw them do to correct a mistake they made, wives-prove to your husbands how you respect him and his position by your actions and your prayers for him, women-learn not to exasperate your boys and men, wives-encourage your husband's good deeds, and where he falls short, encourage him to get up and try again because "you're confident in him and you know he'll get it right the next time," let him open the door, let him pull out your seat, gently remind or hint to him of things he'd like for you to tell him that he may not know (but remember, you're not his mother-he's asking and timidly waiting on an answer because he wants to discover something he didn't know or be given a clue or gentle reminder of something he did, but forgot about or can't quite do too well), let him work and take care of the bills and ask for your help with the budget (ohhh, I can hear it now from some of you, "But what if he doesn't want to work or pay bills, etc.? The Word says, "The man that doesn't want to work, doesn't want to eat:)!! He probably won't starve himself, and when it comes down to it, he won't stay long in a cold, dark house! Let him do it. Most men really want to.), let him help you out around the house when or if he asks; this list can go on and on too.
THE BOTTOM LINE: We're not teaching important lessons and giving freedom for independence (from our skirt tails or pant legs as parents), manhood, and growth when our boys are young, and we're not giving the freedom, prayer, and encouragement required that will allow or foster growth and constant maturing in our men. We want things we're not willing to do our part in seeing happen. We want and expect a lot, but we're giving little to nothing ourselves. We should no longer sit around as parents or women and wonder why we're not getting what we want and/or expect from our boys and men. What have we done to drive them to the conditions they're currently in? Even if you end up with a man whose parents and his environment did not teach him how to be a man, EXPECT him to be anyway. PRAY for his transformation. He has what it takes already, and with your prayers and encouragement, his willingness and open heart, and God's intervention, you'll get God's kind of man in the end. WAIT on the Lord and be of good courage, but don't grow weary in well-doing. These are God's words so they can't be wrong. EXPECT, PRAY, WAIT--something is bound to happen!!
WHAT KIND OF ENVIRONMENT fosters this kind of positive, Godly behavior in boys and men? Teach your boys the virtues of manhood in a loving (I didn't say "perfect."), encouraging, intentional, peaceful (as much as possible:)), kind, giving, stewardship-friendly, "love God like it's nobody's business" kind of home and he will, more than likely, go on to create a home like this for himself. "Home" is the perfect starter environment and it will end back in the home of a great man. Also, surround your boys with positive and Godly male role-models. I think this is great for boys with no fathers in the home, and it still works well and reinforces the teachings in the home when a father is present. Teach them about Godly role-models in the Bible. Make these men your sons heroes. Play them up to him. He's going to follow somebody's lead. You better make it a good one.
For all of us parents, mentors, and wives, there is no time like the present. Let's start encouraging what we expect and talking to the Lord rather than complaining. Because I love the Lord and want to do what pleases Him, and I love my boys and my husband (and I expect what I'm willing to teach and/or pray about and encourage), this post was as much encouragement for me as I hope and pray it is to whomever I'm sharing with. Have a great Monday!!

Sunday, February 17, 2008


What a wet Sunday we're having here in Tennessee!! We must find something to humor ourselves for sure!

Remember today is the day you humor me with your clean, funny jokes, something else you'd like to share, something cool and/or interesting you overheard this week, etc.

Remember Art Linkletter, author and former talk show host of Kids Say the Darndest Things? No, I wasn't around when the book first came out, but I've seen old clips of the shows and I have two of his books, and I think some of the segments on the comments some of the kids made were really cute and funny. I'll share some with you for old times sake...

Art asked a girl named Catherine(aged 11), on the issue of dating:
"Catherine, what do you think of going steady at the age of 11?"
"I definitely don't believe in it."
"Why not?"
"You can't marry him, so why bother?"
Spoken like a huntress!

Another one:
"Jo Ann, you're eleven. What do you think about going steady?"
"You shouldn't until you're at least thirteen or older. Otherwise, it's stupid," she says.
"I see. Do you go steady?"
"Why yes."

Here's a young lady, says Art, who reduces romantic problems to their fundamentals:
"Louise, what's your idea of a good husband?"
"Well, I think he ought to be a man."

Last one for today:
Art says six year old Steven is catching on in a hurry. Art asked him what he would do if a girl chased him, and he said that he would run.
Art: "But if she were pretty, Steve, would you still run?"
Steve: "Yes, but not too fast!"

Have a good Sunday you guys!!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Note on "How Peculiar Am I Really?" Post

Okay, because I don't quite know how to properly operate all of the features on this blog thing yet, you need to know that there are a total of 12 pictures for the "How peculiar am I really?" post. If you can't view all of the pictures I downloaded on one blog page, at the end of each picture, you can click on "newer post" and it will take you to the next picture posted for this post. You will see the pictures I referred to. It may only show you one picture at a time, but keep clicking on "newer post" and it will take you to the next one until you see all 12. I apologize for the inconvenience, but clicking this feature will be well worth it when you can see pictures of the things I talked about concerning ME in the post.

Be patient with me as I learn more about this blogging thing as I go along:)

At a later date I'm letting you know the following (since I'm slightly more experienced now): Just click on photos, and everything should be there. One simple click rather than what I said above. Boy, the longer you blog, the more you know, the better you do. No wonder I didn't have any readers in the beginning:) I won't delete this post just so I can look back and see from whence I came (besides, it gives you a good laugh at this goof-ball!).

The most precious boys in the world, on the beach in Hawaii

Me and the kiddies in Cali (at a pumpkin patch)

The Godfather (my dad)

Soap I made, selling at a show

Me doing farming with fashion, style, and grace:) I loved it!!

Our Myotonic female goats on our farm, Ebenezer Loop M Farms

An excursion we were on while living in Hawaii

A show at the school my son attended briefly in Hawaii

Our big buck boys on the farm. Do these look like goats? They are!!

Me learning how to handle the big bucks at Goat Camp in TX, no kidding:)


Who am I? Below is a 10 item list. You get to see into my life, past and present (I'll share more with you another time); you get to see who I really am or were, and how peculiar Peculiar is:). Here's getting to know me or know me better:) Pictures of proof are above!

1. I helped run a family farm where we owned and bred Myotonic meat goats, introducing and creating a new market for them (yes, there is a market for them:)). I've even written articles in the Goat Rancher magazine (this cracks me up to this day). Ask me to show you the articles one day. I have copies:)! I also attended Goat Camp in Texas. That's where I was when I was holding horns of a buck in the picture.

2. I lived in Hawaii for a few years (one of the pictures shows my boys on the beach), California, (pumpkin patch picture), Kentucky, and Tennessee.

3. My dad is the real Godfather from the movies (just kidding obviously, but doesn't he look like it with the hat and overcoat?)

4. I can make homemade soap and I did for a while, and successfully sold it. The picture is of a show I did with my sister. Didn't sell anything there, but I had lots of private customers.

5. Testimony: The Lord allowed me to come back to work for and minister in a domestic violence shelter that I had been a client in years before. I now volunteer my time to the agency.

6. I wore a mint green dress to the prom and tore off half of the picture because I didn't end up liking the boy I went with very much. (Can you believe I was 18 yrs. old on the picture?)

7. I worked jobs as a waitress, babysitter, manager, asst. special-ed teacher, small business owner, master engraver, and sales lady at a couple of stores, not in this order though.

8. I am the wife of a pastor. Hubby has been a preacher for a total of 15 years, ordained for 12.

9. I am a member of a Historical Society of a southern plantation where my grandfather used to run moonshine, and made quite a good living doing it, and my great-grandfather owned his own home (quite large) and was not a sharecropper while most everyone else of his ethnic background was (Maybe my dad really is the Godfather --these men are his father and grandfather after all:) ).

and last (for now) but not least-10. I'm making wearing the afro cool again:)!!! But you did already know this about me didn't you?


I was just sitting here thinking about what to say to my audience today and my two sisters popped into my head. I guess I can assume that it is because I miss them so much. My sisters live in West Tennessee, and I live in East Tennessee now.

I would like for you to get to know them through this post and picture and see why I think the Holy Spirit put them on my heart today. I think about them often, but I've got something special on my mind today, concerning them.

My sisters and I grew up vastly different, personality-wise, and I'm now glad we did. I've learned so much from them, good and bad:).

As beautiful and innocent as they look on this picture, these are some serious chicks (or seriously something:) ).

One will kill me for letting you in on this but, she once beat a girl up in Kindergarten, with a Dr. Scholl's wooden clog (remember those? which color did you have?) because the girl was aggravating her and my sister had asked her several times to stop. She wailed on the girl so hard with the shoe, the school considered the wooden shoe a weapon from then on and literally banned the wearing of the shoe at the school. So because of my sister, we or any other girl for that matter, could no longer wear these fashionable (okay fashion faux pas) shoes to school again, EVER! Guess which of these sweet-looking innocents did this! (I'm the one in the middle, freshly married; the "innocents" are my maid and matron of honor)

The other sister is a loner, but when forced to "take care of business" or react to something, she is a act now-ask questions later type girl. She may not even ask questions later. Just depends. Anyway, her story is that once when we were younger (I won't say when:) ), my parents were divorced and my mom had started to date this man. Keep in mind, we were very protective of our parents and each other, and you weren't likely to get away with mistreating one of us once us girls found out. Nothing would be the same again. No, we weren't trouble makers, or nuts, or gangsters, or heathens, etc. (well...maybe we are nuts), we just simply loved each other, okay!! Work with me here!! Anyway, the man had said something to my little sister that he shouldn't have, and she told my oldest sister and I about it. We decided that that wouldn't work so, my oldest sister suggested that we go to my mom's house, where he happened to be that day (mother didn't know what we were going to be doing) and tell him off. Two young girls taking care of adult business--imagine that!! When we got there we threatened him and told him that we would have our dad come over and beat him up (or shoot him, which is more than likely what my dad was prone to do--wonder where we got our attitudes and personalities from--or I wonder where "they" did--this isn't me people, this isn't me:) ) if he ever said anything out of the way to our little sister again. My oldest sister did all of the talking, but boy was I there to back her up:)!!!! We put the fear of God in that joker that day!! He was scared of OUR dad!! My mom never found out that we did this. (She might now though...LOVE YOU MA!! We did you a favor, don't ya see now? Our intentions were good!)

While I'm just so innocent and never pulled the same pranks and beat people up like my sisters did, boy do I admire these girls' spunk and boy did we have fun!! I'm not sure if we even knew how much fun we were having then, but as we talk, laugh, and reflect back now, we know that THESE WERE THE DAYS:)!!!! WE DID HAVE FUN!!! I wouldn't trade these experiences with them for the world. My sisters' personalities gave my life a quality that I didn't understand or appreciate as much then as I do now. Because we know that all of our life experiences count, (they shape and mold us into the adults we are now) I'm sure that what my sisters imparted to me to this point has turned me into something. What that something is, is the question:), but thanks for your contribution anyway sisters:)! Even with all of your craziness, I think or I seemed to have turned out okay, thanks in part to you! If nothing else, I've got plenty of stored up ideas on how to "take care of business," just in case...;)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Are you interested in your role as a man or a woman? Do you think you have these roles down to a science? How do you know? What can you gauge it by? Is there a big difference between men and women? Can you just look at society and your immediate surroundings and environment to figure these things out or get it right?

All of these questions can be answered pretty clearly, leaving nothing to question if you look in the right place for answers or verification. The Word (Bible) really does contain clear and true descriptions of the differences between male and female, although Genesis 1:26-27 does identify the SPECIFIC ways in which we were created equal. Our first goal should be to accept the Word as truth (because it is) so that we can have something firm and sure to go by. The next thing to do would be to investigate; look for those "gold nuggets" of wisdom and truth in the Word that will take us on a journey that will answer all of the above questions. We all need something we can wrap our fist around and hold tightly as truth. We all need assurance.

Society has too many options and choices. How can you know and trust which one is right? There is no one "right" answer in the world. According to it, everything is "right." It just depends on what you want or what society dictates at the time. Is that enough for you? Wouldn't you want the assurance of a single, right answer for whatever question you might have concerning who you are and what that should look like versus a plethora of choices and then you've got to figure this whole thing out yourself? How can you trust you get it right? I couldn't trust myself. After all, I'm just human (imperfect) and how often do we get things right? Who wants to take the chance when you CAN get things right 100% of the time ( at least when we're looking for and practicing truth)? The Word holds the 100% truth 100% of the time. Where else can you get those kind of guarantees? Nowhere in the world!!

We could discuss in post after post after post true female and male roles as dictated by the Truth, but for the sake of space and time, let me just leave you with this: Don't let society dictate to you who you are and what that should look like. Don't let anyone tell you that there are no one right answers to all of the questions posed here. God created male and female, and how He designed them, why He designed them, and the order he designed them in was no accident. After all, God doesn't make accidents. We were created on purpose, therefore, it only makes sense that what His creations look like and act or function like were purposeful creations also. God is also not the author of confusion and so would not want His creatures confused. There are RIGHT and CLEAR answers, and when investigated, studied, and played out, make a beautiful, TRULY peaceful, and satisfactory (100% of the time) picture and life for all. THAT IS A GUARANTEE!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE TEA!! If you don't know me, you'll learn that I love to share what I know about tea, and I love giving tea to my friends as gifts or just sharing a cup. On Tuesdays, we'll share all things tea--tea knowledge, tea brewing tips, tea ware, tea history, tea poetry,...tea, cha, and more te. There are many more spellings and pronunciations for tea than just the last 3 by the way. Every country has its own.

Sit back now then, brew a 'cuppa', and join me while the tea-cha talks tea.

I've been hearing lately that the reason that more people don't enjoy green or white tea is because it's simply not tasty. They say that they've really tried to get into this supposedly "new" tea craze, but they just can't because, just tastes downright watery! Who wants that?!! There are usually 3 reasons why people who have given up on drinking green or white tea, give it up. Usually there is too much water for the amount of loose or bagged tea you're making, whether one puts too much water in the cup on their own, or unknowledgeable tea packaging or processing companies put generic directions on the labeling that they think works for any kind of tea. Another possible reason is that the quality of the tea leaf (or "dustings" usually) is below average to poor, thereby rendering a really tasteless cup. There can be other really good reasons, like too short a steeping time also. These reasons can make the most determined tea seeker and newcomer to the world of tea seek something else to refresh themselves. I can't blame them. But don't give up!! There are solutions, ones that I think will make you happy and return to the wonderful world of tea consumption.

Although there are lots of companies and countries that produce great green tea, pure, loose-leaf, Japanese green tea delivers a really hearty, robust, unique taste in my opinion. The quality of tea really matters for taste and all teas are not created equal. If you don't believe me, try doing a taste test one day of different green teas from different areas, loose and bagged and you'll see for yourself. If you choose Japanese green tea for taste and strength, follow the directions for the amount of tea for a cup, the temperature of the water, and the amount of water to use. If you do, it promises to deliver. Steep only as directed. While it is not difficult to brew, following directions makes the difference between a weak cup, a scorched taste, a pungent (not ideal) cup, or the perfect cup. Don't be intimidated. With simple directions and your own discerning taste, you will soon be able to brew the perfect cup in your sleep if necessary:)!!

One more thing that can transform your cup of tea from boring to brilliant is the kind of sugar you use. While regular, refined white sugar is perfectly fine, raw sugar is better. In my humble opinion, it can literally transform, as I just mentioned, your cup of tea (or coffee for that matter). Raw sugar can also be called turbinado or demerara. It just depends on where it was produced, but it is closely related or, in some cases, the same. Some packaging will have it labeled as brown sugar, but do not confuse this crystal-shaped, tawny brown, beautiful sugar with the brown sugar in plastic bags or boxes that we love to bake with. Raw sugar retains, during the minimal processing this sugar undergoes, its natural molasses. This is what gives it its beautiful color and unique taste. Make two cups of the same kind of tea. Place them side by side and add white sugar to one and raw sugar to the other and see won't you taste the difference. Raw sugar costs slightly more than white and, you will need to use a little more of it because it's not refined, but it is worth it, and..., unless you'll be drinking tea all day, it will last you a while and you'll get your money's worth.

Try these tips and some of you may change your mind about permanently writing this wonderful beverage off. Let me know what you think. BTW, I get a lot of my J. Greens imported, straight from a tea farm in Japan (when it fits in the budget since it's not a necessity:)--Lord help me keep that in mind:) ), so I'd like to extend a little contest to you. Anybody that would like to enter can do so by just responding to this post and letting me know. If you just want to comment and would not like to enter the contest, go ahead, leave me a message and also let me know that you're not interested in entering. Anyone interested will be eligible to win a genuine, imported bag of one of my favorite J. Greens (Japanese Green tea) called Sencha Superior. My J. Greens come from the wonderful Hibiki-an. I haven't found a better green, although there surely may be ones out there. I will send you brewing directions for the perfect cup. You just have to promise to let me know whether you like it or not.

See you on next Tuesday to the tune of tea. (I actually didn't get to finish this post until Wednesday morning, but we'll do better next time:))

Monday, February 11, 2008


Just wanted my readers to know that they will now start seeing different ads on my blog. These ads are chosen totally by the internet ad company. I have no say so. They try and incoporate ads to a blog that match the content, interests, etc. of the blog and the blogger. They don't know us personally, so the ad may or may not reflect the thoughts, desires, or choices of this blogger. Thank you for tuning in to howdowegettherefromhere! :)

MOMMY(or Caregiver/Mentor) MONDAYS

Making Independent Children
Our natural tendency is to make our children totally dependent on us. After all, they are totally dependent on somebody when they're infants because human babies are more helpless when they come into this world than the babies of any other animal. They require so much of only what someone older than themselves can give. While that is a fact, where is the transition from total dependence to gradual independence? At what stage in their development does this or should this begin? There is no concrete answer for all, because obviously, that will depend on the maturity and abilities of each individual child. But, gradual independence, to whatever degree it can happen with the child, should happen.
Now don't get defensive moms. There is nothing wrong with providing for your child and there is nothing wrong with loving to do that. But, are we raising dependent future adults or independent ones? How that turns out, is dependent on what we do and when, and, what we don't do.
There is no book that tells us when to start "transitioning," but there doesn't need to be because of children's individuality. God gives us great discernment though, if we pay attention, and if we let go of our own need to keep our children as our babies for as long as we can. There is a reason I know what I'm talking about. I'm sure all of us have been guilty of this at one point or another in our quest to raise our children and "love them to death."
I can't tell you how this should be done for you and yours, but I do know that we should start paying attention, once our children are out of the infant stage, to what we're intentionally deciding to teach them, so that they become more and more independent of us as they grow. After all, most of them won't be with us long and we don't want to look at them as adults and wonder why they don't know how to spend God's money (or save it for that matter), why they don't know how to shop (for everything from groceries to a house), why they can't fill out an application for themselves, why they can't work through a decision -making process, and the list can go on and on. I know of children, even at 15, 16, & 17, who cannot separate laundry, let alone wash it, cook for themselves (have even burned water!:)), or answer a telephone properly. Now granted, some may simply not WANT to do these things, but I'm talking about children who CAN'T, that are physically and mentally capable.
There may be good reasons, such as the fact that we weren't taught these things ourselves, why we don't teach these independent living and thinking skills to our children. Some parents or caregivers though, DO know how but have decided that because they love their children so much, they will do it for them, sparing the child the harsh task of learning things and growing up; as if the child really won't ever grow up!! For those of you that don't have the skills, there is always someone out there who does. We all just have to start with the decision that what needs to be done will be done, some kind of way. Pray and ask God to help you look for mentors in the church or schools that you trust, who can come alongside you. You could all grow together. A perfect example that I have for this is I wanted to learn more about managing our finances better, so I took a Crown Financial Ministries class at church. I had not been taught very much about proper money management, investments, savings, etc. growing up and I really wanted to do this better. I learned a tremendous amount in this class and I wanted to make sure my children had good financial management too. I knew I would start to model this for them in the home, but I took it a step further for my growing teenagers. They introduced a Crown Financial Class for teens and I asked one of my teenage boys to sign up and explained why he should take it. He took the class and also learned a great deal. This will go a long way with him when he finally leaves our home to take care of himself.
I have to say that I've become more and more conscious of the need to transition my children from dependence to independence, as they can handle the different tasks and thinking skills. I have learned some lessons to get there, but the commitment to doing it pays off. There are no greater payments of teaching these very necessary things than pleasing God, whom these children really belong to (he entrusted His children to us to do more with than just call our own and spoil to death:)), and seeing them in situations where, because of God's grace and your efforts, they make a good decision and take care of themselves when you're around, but more importantly, when you're not. We don't recognize that we rob our children of learning and growing opportunities. God expects for us to teach the right and good things that we know to the next generation. They will reap the benefits later. We will see God use what they've learned to ultimately glorify Him, that is, if we TEACH them to do all things learned to or for the glory of God.
Teaching kids to be independent in a healthy way is what's important. Being independent in an unhealthy manner leaves God and His sufficiency out, and teaches pride and selfishness (the sense of growing up and not needing anybody and doing everything in our own power and strength). That is not the type of independence we're talking about in this post. That is a whole other subject.
I am happy to say that with much prayer, thought, and intentionality, I'm co-raising 4 children, who in 2008, can cook (2, quite well), do their own laundry, help clean house, iron their own clothes, and sometimes some of them can even "think" for themselves and make good decisions independent of me:)! These children aren't all girls either. We have 2 boys and 2 girls (ages 9, 12 1/2, 15, and 17 1/2) and they can all do everything listed above. This isn't bragging by the way. This is to show you what can happen with any of our kids as a result of prayer, thought, and intentionality. My kids aren't super kids or know-it-alls. I'm just grateful to God that they've received instruction to the above things well. We'll keep praying for them, and I hope you do too. We've got a ways to go still, but with the right thoughts in mind, we may be able to present to society and the world 4 God-fearing, healthy-independent children or adults.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


Okay guys, humor me! I'm brand new to this blogging thing and I know I don't have the most decorative and addictive blog out there, but have some pity on a girl!! Tell me something...SHARE, SHARE, SHARE!!

I've declared every Sunday to be "HUMOR ME SUNDAY." You have to give me your funniest clean joke, a comment to one of my posts (whatever is on your heart and mind about it), the coolest thing that happened in your world the previous week, something you're grateful for, something else wonderful on your heart, or something that you've learned, you'd like to share. HUMOR ME!!! I insist:)! This will be our only focus on Sundays, so you'll have something to look forward to. I can't wait to read everyone's post!

I'll start us off this Sunday.

I'm grateful for people,...people who have pity on small-time, amateur blog starters like me; pity enough that they decide to comment and cause a blog starter's days to come with a little more happiness and cheer! IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK?! Oh sorry, I got a little carried away. I'm humble:). I've got it together. Everything's all good! Okay, now YOUR TURN!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

So Where Are We Going Anyway?

We're all headed somewhere, but did you know that we're on the same road? If you know the story of the conversion of Saul in Acts chapter 9 in the Bible, you know that he and a few accomplices were on the way to Damascus to secure more of those peculiar people that he intended to rid the world of, but something life-changing happened. Saul, later Paul, was an enemy of the Most High, saved that day by grace and some supernatural process. His transformation happened at some particular point on the road, but obviously, when he started out, salvation was not his. It is also obvious to the reader that at any and every point, immediately beyond the transformation, he would never be the same as before. He was forever changed, or rather, his life was exchanged for the life of Christ that now indwelt him. When he died, he had assurance that he would live forever with Jesus. That ended his earthly journey, but life didn't end here for Paul.

This Damascus Road experience is a picture of where we all are, just at one point or another. A road goes somewhere and if we're breathing, we're all on a journey. So the question is, where are we all going on this road anyway?

A road has bumps, twists, turns, forks, shortcuts, surprises; the list can go on an on. How we travel it and what direction we take is our choice. But there is an earthly end to whatever direction on the road we choose.

Let's do a little brainstorming or imagining for a moment. Where would you like your travels to end? What does your mind conjure up? Is there a sure route and way that ensures we get to the best end, that will lead to the best life? I'll tell you for me, I don't like surprises when it comes to the end result. I WANT TO KNOW! Before I go on, let me answer the last question here. (For those of you who already know the answer, just journey with us, thank God, and read on:)) The answer is an emphatic YES! I won't summon the sermon, but take some time to either read for the first time or reflect again upon John 3:16. In fact, I would encourage you to read the entire book or Gospel of John. It delivers an unmistakable message of love and the "end result." Who doesn't want to know what love really is and what's love got to do with it?

Now I'll answer the important question asked earlier, where are we all going anyway? We start out traveling together, same direction. Then, there will appear a two-way fork in the road, both paths offering an "eternal living arrangement." (You did know you'd be somewhere eternally didn't you?) Put simply, one is the worst case scenario and the other is the best case scenario. We are constantly being bombarded with the ways and means to get to either place, so we won't be surprised how we got there in the end. Believe it or not, heaven is real, and so is hell. One offers worship of and constant fellowship with the lover of our souls, perpetual peace, active living, privileges and duties that you earned because of your obedience and good works on the road, perks like your own mansion:), life with those that are lovely and like-minded, and the promise of no more suffering (pain, death, sorrow, etc.) among other wonderful things. The other place offers perpetual suffering and active, eternal dieing...PERIOD! Isn't it strange and scary to think that you can actively remain in a state of dieing...eternally? Just the thought of that...I shudder to think...

This blog was created for all of us on the road, no matter what point we're at. I want us all to get to the right place from here, starting from the location we all are individually, right now. There is only one direction He lovingly would have us all go in. There is only one right fork. We'll see and experience different things as we go (we'll talk about them too), but if you believe and make the decision, if you pick up promises along the way, if you can just see heaven in view on the road, a short distance off, if you choose life and let God choose your rewards for the end of your earthly travels, we WILL surely get "there." By the way, we're not on our own timing; we're on God's, and we don't know when He will meet us at our personal end, so we'd better get started.

It's going to be nice traveling with you on this road, my friend. Come now. Go with me. Follow me, only as I follow Christ. "The time has come," the walrus said, "to talk of many things: of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--of cabbages--and kings--and why the sea is boiling hot--and whether pigs have wings." (Lewis Carroll)