Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween and Reformation Day

Happy Halloween!
and
Happy Reformation Day!


It is that time of year again! I'm torn between whether to really celebrate Halloween or not. Now that I have a child it is especially difficult trying to figure out what the right thing to do would be for our family. I both like and dislike the holiday. I want to celebrate Halloween for the reason that it is a fun holiday and seemingly harmless in many aspects. However, Jesus died to give us eternal life and we Christians are to be a light in this world of darkness and Halloween is a celebration of death, darkness, all things sinful and evil... but at the same time, it is a fun time to just be silly and dress up in fun (decent) costumes, eat candy, and enjoy having children come to your door so that you can give them candy :)

I have no interest in the things of the dead (which is why I hate most scary movies in which most people end up dying.) Witches, monsters, devils, people with stab wounds, "scary" jack-o-lanterns, skeletons, ghosts...I really don't understand the appeal of it all. Death is a mystery (to many people), but is it really something worth celebrating? Some would argue that it isn't a celebration of death, but then what is it? Does it make a difference? Does it glorify God in any way at all? I don't think it does, and I want all that I do to glorify the Lord and the life that he has given me both on this earth and for all eternity!

Some people do like the thrill of being scared, but I certainly do not. The concept has always been a mystery to me - people enjoy being scared. It's just not me. It's a strange holiday with terrible origins and it is still used for terrible and horrendous purposes to this day, but then if you just look at the holiday as a time of trick or treating it seems to be more of a "fun"holiday that I believe can be enjoyed by Christians. I basically believe that the trick or treating is harmless, but everything else associated with the holiday is not. So where do we find the middle ground? Is there one?

It is also Reformation Day (which is a far better thing to celebrate in my opinion haha). On October 31, 1517 Martin Luther posted 95 disagreements with the Medieval Catholic Church on the door of the castle church of Wittenburg, Germany. The chief debate was the matter of salvation (being saved from sins and entering into a right relationship with God). The catholic church at the time was teaching that people could buy forgiveness for their sins. Luther was a monk and a theologian, he spent a great deal of his time studying the Bible and the more he studied it, the more he realized how wrong the church was. Luther's 95 Theses protested their teaching on salvation. Luther and other reformers taught that religion and good deeds could not save people (as the Bible clearly says) and salvation can only come through faith in Jesus Christ alone. Generally speaking, Reformation Day is a celebration of the true teachings of the Bible! How awesome is that?

I grew up never trick or treating, but instead I went to Harvest Festivals at church that consisted of tons of carnival like games, lots of candy, people dressed up as the people in the Bible (and rewards for those who could figure out who they were!), good music, good food, and good fellowship. It was a celebration of life, rather than death.

Now that I'm here in Sioux Falls, I don't know of any places around here that do that. Perhaps by the time Zoe is old enough there will be something like that, and maybe there are church festivals that I just don't know about yet. I'll look into it more as Zoe gets older. If not though, I don't want her to not be able to enjoy the fun aspects of the Holiday.

What are your thoughts? How do you celebrate Halloween/Reformation Day?

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Our 6 Week Menu Plan!

Week 1: Oct 27 - Nov 2

Monday - Chilli and Chips
Tuesday - Chicken Tacos
Wednesday - Ham & Broccoli Stuffed Potatoes
Thursday - Macaroni with Peas & Ham
Friday - (Halloween) Pizza
Saturday - Taco Salad
Sunday - If you can find it, you can eat it.

Week 2: Nov 3 - Nov 9

Monday - Mushroom Macaroni
Tuesday - Spaghetti and Potatoes
Wednesday - Fettuccine Alfredo
Thursday - Chicken Pasta Salad
Friday - Fast Food Night
Saturday - Cheesy Stuffed Tortillas
Sunday - Chili Cheeseburgers

Week 3: Nov 10 - Nov 16

Monday - French Toast (Breakfast for Dinner)
Tuesday - Tacos/Tostadas
Wednesday - Mom's Chilli and Cornbread
Thursday - Tuna Casserole
Friday - Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo
Saturday - Chicken Quesadillas
Sunday - Macaroni and Cheese

Week 4: Nov 17 - Nov 23

Monday - Fried Chicken, Peas, and Mashed Potatoes
Tuesday through Sunday: We're going to visit our other home, San Diego :)

Week 5: Nov 24 - 30

Monday - Pepperoni Rolls
Tuesday - Shepherds Pie
Wednesday - Tuna Mac with Broccoli
Thursday - THANKSGIVING! :)
Friday - Thanksgiving Leftovers
Saturday - Tortelini with Peas
Sunday - Pizza

Week 6: Dec 1 - 7

Monday - Soup and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Tuesday - Mushroom Macaroni
Wednesday - Fettuccine Alfredo
Thursday - Fast Food Nigiht
Friday - Tacos/Tostadas
Saturday - Chicken Pot Pie
Sunday - Crockpot Pizza

Two Different Issues

The topic is Abortion.

If a woman is going to die and it is a matter of saving the Mother or saving her unborn child, is it really an abortion if the child has to die to save the mother? If there truly is no other choice? In that case, who should live? That is an issue that should be dealt with based on the individual circumstance. I'm not saying to end the life is the right or wrong thing to do, but it should be prayed about and each circumstance is different. But that really isn't the issue here.

To the average person in America - an abortion is given to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. To kill an unwanted child. If there are complications, those should be dealt with differently - whether it is an ectopic pregnancy or a labor and delivery issue that puts the mother in danger, those are cases that should be left up to the people involved and God. One person has to die no matter what.

This is why it bothers me that abortion is being thrown into the same category as that. A woman shouldn't be forced to die to save a child (although, some could argue that it would be the right thing to do). But in every other aspect, a woman should have NO choice whatsoever in whether or not her child lives if she herself is perfectly healthy. That is murder. Right now in our state we are trying to get abortion (as used for birth control) banned, and there are still tons of people who are against that. Why? Why would a person choose to kill a child? There is absolutely no good reason for it. It all comes down to pride. Not wanting to carry a child that you do not want. There is always adoption!

Yet another reason why God said sex should be between a committed husband and wife only. God planned it that way for a reason - so stuff like this would not occur.

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Bloggin' Plans and 6 Week Menu Plan!

I have all these plans for my blog but I haven't been doing a good job of keeping up with them! I have many recipes that I'd like to share, thoughts on Biblical womanhood and marriage, organizing tips and other ideas to make the home a place that you want to be. I've decided I need a set plan. I work well with set plans and schedules. Without a schedule, I have such a hard time getting everything done. Monday came and went and I still haven't figured out our menu plan. How do you keep up with your daily tasks, and how do you keep up with your blogs?

As far as our menu planning goes - I came across a woman who plans her menus in 12 week time periods and I love the idea! So, to start, I've decided to do a 6 week plan and only go shopping every 3 weeks, and maybe I can even stretch it out to a month. This will help with grocery shopping planning and will be less stressful because I won't be trying to figure out our menu on a weekly basis and examining what we have and what we don't have and what meals I can make with what we do have. Of course we'll have to go one other time in there for fruits, veggies, bread, and milk but that's it. The goal is $250 a month on all groceries and $50 a month on non-food items. I'm finding that by going grocery shopping every 2 weeks I end up spending more than I want to because I forget what I have at home and I re-buy items. I think if I change it to 3 or 4 weeks then we'll literally be out of food and then I won't end up buying items that I have at home because there will be no food left at home ;o)

I'm way too easily amused. Just the thought of stretching our food until we have no more is exciting to me! hehehe

Sunday, October 26, 2008

What a Hassle!

If you haven't already discovered this website, it is awesome and I totally recommend it! haha.

The site is called HassleMe and what they do is they send you reminders in your email to do whatever it is that you need to do! They hassle you for as long as you want them to. It's free and there is no signing up for anything.

You have to confirm that you want each hassle so it's not really to be used as a to-do list but if there are certain things that you always forget that must be done, it's a great tool! I am a nursing mother and I need to drink water during the day, but I always forget to drink enough...so I have them e-mail me roughly every 2 days to remind me to drink at least 6 glasses of water a day. I have another one that reminds me to do my laundry.

I may use this to help me with my plan to exercise! I currently don't have anyone nagging me to exercise so maybe a daily email would help me get the picture.

-Shaina
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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Fall, Pumpkins, and Zoe




I have not had a lot of time to write blogs lately. I blame it on my "messy" house that was in major need of cleaning and organizing. This entire week I have been tackling one thing after another and life is not seeming so hectic right now, which is wonderful! I think the season of Autumn itself is just less stressful. The mixture of the warm colors in the trees and the cool breeze in the air is just so peaceful. The only thing that is a little tough to get used to is the sunset coming much too early! Even with that though, I am truly enjoying this season.

We went to the Pumpkin Patch and to an Autumn Festival a couple weeks ago. I decorated my house a little with some autumn leaf garlands and candles which smell lovely.

I have also discovered a love of Pumpkins this year! Here are a few reasons why pumpkins are "the bomb". They are orange - which automatically makes them awesome. They look great on your front porch or doorstep, hehe. They provide a reason for a fun annual outing with the family - to the Pumpkin Patch. These pumpkin patches also provide a great photo opportunity when you have a little baby ;o) Seriously, just check your friends with babies pages on MySpace and Facebook and you're guaranteed to find at least one baby sitting next to or ON a pumpkin! I've seen 5 so far.

Pumpkin Lattes, Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Bread/Muffins, Pumpkin decorations for your home, Pumpkin scented candles... I just love them! They are round and cute too :)

Aside from Pumpkins, I'm enjoying the changing leaves and watching them fall. I've enjoyed watching Zoe discover leaves, hay, and rocks. She looks at them so intently and with a slightly confused look on her face.

I took some pictures of Zoe sitting in our leaf covered lawn a few days ago. She only looked up at me a couple times! She was studying all the leaves around her and picking up as many as she could. Have I mentioned before that my daughter is adorable? Well she is! Her smile makes me jump for joy and her laugh makes my heart melt. I love her dearly.

Gage is currently at work and Zoe is sleeping. Gage and I eat dinner pretty late usually because he works from 4-10 and 3:30 is just too early for dinner :) I pureed a whole bag of green beans today for Zoe. She has enough to last her a whole week. The Magic Bullet that we got as a Wedding gift is really coming in handy now.

Other things we have been up to lately:
  • Gage finished his accelerated Psychology class - with an A!
  • Zoe is very close to crawling. She can get up on her hands and feet (not so much her knees...haha) but she doesn't know what to do past that.
  • We finally bought Penny (our dog) a kennel. We've only put her in it twice but she's done well both times!
  • We bought a new furniture item. We bought this Cube Collection (in a dark cherry red color, not the white) along with the tan fabric cube drawers to put in it. I love it! We bought it with the intent of putting Zoe's toys in it so our dog cannot get to them.
  • I have been trying new recipes :) Finally.
  • Gage is now officially working part-time for his Dad... who pays him triple what he makes at the grocery store he works at.
  • Zoe is all set with winter clothes, thanks to Grandma Jenny and Great-Grandma (Nana) Sandy
  • We finally bought plane tickets to go to CA in a month. I'm going to be in a Wedding! :)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

October 20-26 Menu Plan for the Week

Monday


Breakfast – Cereal
Lunch – Sandwiches / Leftovers
Dinner – Fettuccine Alfredo (I'm trying different recipes for this...so far we haven't found one that is very good)

Tuesday

Breakfast – Poached Eggs & Toast
Lunch – Soup and Salad
Dinner – Tuna Noodle Casserole

Wednesday

Breakfast – Cereal or Oatmeal and fruit
Lunch – Leftovers
Dinner – Spaghetti

Thursday

Breakfast – Malt 'O Meal
Lunch – Sandwiches
Dinner – Pigs in a Blanket, Corn

Friday

Breakfast - French Toast
Lunch - Sandwiches
Dinner - Chicken Quesadillas

Saturday

Breakfast- Coffee Cake
Lunch - Grilled Cheese & Soup
Dinner- Chicken Pot Pie

Sunday

Breakfast – Malt 'O Meal or Cereal
Lunch – Soup
Dinner – Spinach Quiche

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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Tackling Procrastination

Lately I've noticed that a lot of things get put off for "later" that really don't need to be. It's not just ordinary things like dishes and laundry, it's stuff like framing & hanging pictures, buying things that you need but don't want to spend the money on, and little things like cleaning out the crazy junk drawer.

This week I accomplished four big things that I had been putting off.

1) I bought plane tickets for our trip to CA next month. Usually I buy them 3 months in advance but I put it off because I hated the idea of spending that much money... even though my friends said they'd help us pay for it! It's my best friend's Wedding and I'm IN it so it's not really much of an option. Just the thought of paying $400-600 on plane tickets was not something I wanted to deal with. Thankfully, the Lord provided (as always) and we bought 2 round trip plane tickets for a total of $402.00 :oD

2) We finally bought a kennel for our dog Penny. We managed to avoid this for a year and a half! It's a good thing though because during the winter, we won't have to worry about her peeing all over the carpet again.

3) I cleaned the downstairs couch (in the basement) that was covered in photos and photo boxes for MONTHS. We never go down there (except to do laundry) so for months I've put off cleaning off that couch. What an enormous relief it is to have it done!

4) I finally got caught up on my Photography homework!! I have been in this home study program for over a year and if I really sat down and did it on a regular basis, I would have finished it a year ago hah.

I'm trying to come up with a list of things that I have been putting off and plan time to tackle them in the coming weeks. So far this is what I have, and what I hope to accomplish within the next month:
  1. Clean out the cupboard in the bathroom. It is a disaster.
  2. Clean out our junk drawer (which has an organizer tray in it, btw hahaha)
  3. Buy a toy box for Zoe's room and a toy box for the livingroom. (Our dog has managed to destroy tons of Zoe's toys because they are out on the floor all the time and we have nowhere to put them.)
  4. Complete first graded project for the Photography Diploma Program.
  5. Create a Recipe binder. I am up to my ears in new recipes to try but can never find the ones I wanted when the time comes... they are scattered all over and they must be put into one location.
  6. Write to Babicka (my great-grandmother). I always say I'm going to write and I never do.
  7. Write to our sponsor child, Fabiola.
  8. Figure out our Budget. Since Zoe has been born I have done a terrible job at keeping up with our budget.
  9. Get rid of all our junk. Find a plastic tub, label it "Stuff To Donate" and throw stuff in there.
  10. Tackle all of our 100,000 photos. Print, frame & put up photos, organize them, find proper storage (whether it be photo albums or a new hard drive for digital photos), and mail photos out to people who have asked.
  11. Find a cute costume for Zoe's first Halloween. Even though we don't really do much to celebrate Halloween... I still want to let her dress up each year and I'm very big on "firsts" and since it is her first Halloween, I'd love for her to have a costume :)

I plan to print out this list and post it on my fridge (something I look at every day). My goal is to have accomplished all of these things by November 18th. One month from today!

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Friday, October 17, 2008

Monday, October 13, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Monday

Breakfast – Malt 'O Meal
Lunch – Sandwiches / Leftovers
Dinner – Chicken Quesadillas

Tuesday

Breakfast – Poached Eggs & Toast
Lunch – Soup and Salad
Dinner – Tacos

Wednesday

Breakfast – Cereal or Oatmeal
Lunch – Tuna Melts
Dinner – Ham, Broccoli, & Cheese Baked Potatoes

Thursday

Breakfast – Cereal
Lunch – Sandwiches
Dinner – African Chicken, Peas, and Rice

Friday

Breakfast - Egg Burritos
Lunch - Tuna Melts
Dinner - Chili Cheeseburger Skillet

Saturday

Breakfast- Coffee Cake
Lunch - Grilled Cheese & Soup
Dinner- Tuna Mac and Corn

Sunday

Breakfast – Malt 'O Meal or Cereal
Lunch – Leftovers
Dinner – @ Parent’s House
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Sunday, October 12, 2008

7 Months!

My darling daughter is 7 months old today. She is growing up too quickly I tell you!! :oP These months are just flying by.

Yesterday was a fun and festive day! We went to the Pumpkin Patch (my first time ever, as well as Zoe's!) we got pumpkins, then we went and bought some fall decorations at Hobby Lobby. Then we went to the Autumn Festival here in Sioux Falls, which is a craft show. Lots of fun! I'll post pictures soon.

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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Fireproof

If you haven't seen this movie yet, definitely see it! It is one of the best movies I have ever seen. Beautiful movie about what love really is. To see the preview, check out their website: Fireproof Movie

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Thursday, October 9, 2008

Fireproof is coming to Sioux Falls!

Fireproof the movie is here in Sioux Falls from Friday the 10th through Thursday, October 16th at Century Theaters with showings daily at 12:40pm, 3:30p, 6:25p, 9:20pm.

Gage and I were hoping to see this movie in the theater but it wasn't showing here so we thought we were going to have to wait. I'm pretty excited to see it! I mean a movie about MARRIAGE? What a thought! And of course...The Way of the Master's "little growing pain" is in the movie, which I'm also very excited about because I haven't seen him (Kirk Cameron) in a movie in a while.


This list came from http://www.christianbook.com

12 Reasons to see FIREPROOF
:
  1. We believe in the mission of the producers, who are trying to influence the culture positively from a Christian perspective through mainstream media.
  2. Fireproof reaffirms the sacred institution of marriage in a culture plagued by divorce.
  3. The movie strongly advocates faith, family, and Christian values.
  4. It dramatically displays the power of forgiveness.
  5. The film is a product of Sherwood Pictures, a media ministry that grew out of Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia, whose goal is to reach the world for Christ.
  6. Fireproof presents God as the source of unconditional love.
  7. You can take the same 40-day challenge as Caleb does in Fireproof with The Love Dare.
  8. The profits from Sherwood's last film, Facing the Giants, were used to build a sports complex to serve the needs of youth in Albany, Georgia, and to show them the love of Christ in community.
  9. No matter where your marriage is, you can relate to the real-life struggles portrayed in this film.
  10. Fireproof reminds us that no situation is too desperate for God to redeem—that with God, all things are possible.
  11. Filmmakers Alex and Stephen Kendrick credit this film, and its focus on marriage, as being not just a good idea, but a God idea.
  12. Any movie that has in its credits a "prayer coordinator," you should see.
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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Zoe's New Accomplishment!


Ok, I know this is two posts about Zoe in a row but I have to write about what just happened.

First I'll start out with what she did 3 months ago. When she was 3 months old I was video taping her because she was laying on her back playing with some toys that were hanging above her (she was on a baby play mat thing) and it was her first time doing this so I got the video camera out. As I am video taping, she decides to roll from her back to her tummy and then back onto her back...her first time doing either of these and she did both at the same time and on video!!

Well... she decided to perform for the camera again tonight. I was video taping her playing in her crib with a couple of her stuffed animals. She was in just a diaper and a hooded towel and I thought she looked sooo cute and I needed to get the video camera out (something I don't do all that often!)

She is sitting there as I'm video taping and all of the sudden she leans over to the side of the crib, grabs onto the railing, and proceeds to PULL herself up (something she has never done before). Next thing I know she STANDS UP in the crib, holding onto the railing. All I could think was, "No way!" I stood in amazement as my little 6 month old was standing there in her crib, looking at me as if nothing had happened.

My daughter never ceases to amaze me!

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Zoe's Silly Face





A couple of days ago Zoe started to make this new "face". It's SO cute! It cracks me up every time she does it! In addition to making the face she breathes in and out of her nose really fast for a few seconds. It's hilarious! I have no idea what she's doing... I hope she doesn't have a problem with her nose or anything. Anyone have any ideas of why she'd be doing this?

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Monday, October 6, 2008

Menu Plan for the Week

October 6th-12th:

It's Menu Planning Monday! We are running out of food and can't go shopping until at least Friday so, we're eating lots of egg meals and beef meals this week because I've got plenty of eggs and lots of beef. :)


Monday


Breakfast – Waffles
Lunch – Sandwiches / Leftovers
Dinner – Taco Salad

Tuesday

Breakfast – Eggs, Bacon, and Toast
Lunch – Soup and Salad
Dinner – Spinach Quiche

Wednesday

Breakfast – Breakfast Quesadillas
Lunch – Egg Salad Sandwiches and/or Leftovers
Dinner – Spaghetti with Meatballs

Thursday

Breakfast – Cereal or Oatmeal
Lunch – Smoothies & Fruit
Dinner – Egg Burritos

Friday

Breakfast - Cereal or Oatmeal
Lunch - Tuna Melts
Dinner - Chili Cheeseburger Skillet

Saturday

Breakfast- Malt 'O Meal and Fruit
Lunch - Grilled Cheese & Soup
Dinner- Mom's Chili, Corn Bread, Mashed Potatoes

Sunday

Breakfast – Coffee Cake
Lunch – Leftovers
Dinner – @ Parent’s House

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Saturday, October 4, 2008

My New Blog: Learning and Discerning

At first glance (and at first thought) "Learning and Discerning" sounds a bit cheesy to me but in all honestly that is exactly what the blog is about :)

Biblical Homekeeping is focused on motherhood, homemaking/homekeeping, and our family. There is a lot more that I would like to write about though, and this is why I have created a second blog.

http://learninganddiscerning.blogspot.com/


So there it is, just thought I should post about it.

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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Breast Cancer Awareness


It's October! That means that in addition to all the Halloween and Autumn decor you'll be seeing in the stores, you'll be seeing a lot of pink this month (which is fine with me, I love the color pink!)

At NationalBreastCancer.org you can create an Early Detection Plan. You have options for e-mail, RSS feeds, Instant Messages, and more. They will send you reminders for your monthly at-home exams and other information on early detection of Breast Cancer. 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with Breast Cancer in their lives. You are at more of a risk if someone in your family has had it.

My Mom passed away 3 years ago from a combination of Breast Cancer and another type of cancer. She did not find out she was sick until she was in the 4th stage and by then it is too late. This is why early detection is so important because if it is caught early there is a chance you could survive. If it is caught early, the 5 year survival rate is 98%! I can't tell you how much I wish things had been different and my Mom was able to know she was sick before it was too late. What a difference that could have made.


Kimberly Carol Skodacek
Jan 2, 1956- July 9, 2005


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Ray Comfort

I feel like promoting a blog today!

Ray Comfort's Blog -
http://raycomfortfood.blogspot.com/

Ray is one of my favorite people. He is an author of many wonderful books and host of The Way Of the Master. I have read his blog for a while and it started with the title of, "Comfort Food" However, the blog attracted so many angry atheists he has now re-named is blog to, "Atheist Central" haha. I still read his blog pretty often, he posts some pretty interesting stuff. Check it out!


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Finding Joy in the Winter Months

For our family, this time of year is full of two things: celebrations and a slightly overwhelming sense of cabin fever. Both Gage and I cel...