Sunday, December 16, 2012

Thoughts on Evil and Tragic Shootings

Coming out of my baby cave for a deep thought about "evil" and these sort of tragic shootings~ What we need as a nation is to take better care and take action for those who are mentally ill. Yes, there is evil, yes, but we are also used as instruments for good and evil in others lives, and we made "evil" what it is or at the very least, did not step in when help was needed. These sort of things happen when hurt and sick people believe in Satin's lies and act on them, but where were we with the truth, hope, love and healing in Christ. This is not gang bangers here, it is not a parent who locked their kid in a closet, hurt and "evil" on this level is the work of a mad man. One that no one helped. A kind word, and showing Christ's love in a few seconds can alter countless lives. The signs are not always so easy to see, and we won't always catch them.  We are imperfect human beings ourselves.  Be alert.  Look for the signs of a hurting person, and reach out to them, take action to get them the help they need - that is the unknown hero.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Angry Birds Pizza

Making your own pizza is super easy and it tastes much better too.  There is just something about making pizza that kids just love.  Making an Angry Birds pizza is just as easy, and much more fun!  You probably can just figure it out from the picture of our pizza above, that is what I did for ours.  Someone had pinned a photo of their Angry Birds pizza on Pinterest, but it was just a photo.  So if you are the kind of person that needs details, here they are  . . . .

You will need:
  • pizza dough (at your local super market by the refrigerated dough or near their fresh parmasean cheese, fresh pasta or take and bake pizzas) Try the whole wheat, no one may even notice.
  • flour - about a hand full
  • pizza sauce either canned or fresh 
  • shredded mozzarella cheese
  • pepperoni
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • a small can of sliced olives (you only need about 11 slices)
  • onion ( you will only need 2 cross sections)

The first and most important detail to remember is to take your pizza dough out of the refrigerator 20 minutes BEFORE you need to make your pizza.  After letting the dough sit on the counter for 20 minutes, sprinkle a board with flour and shape the dough.  Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Spray the pizza pans with oil.  Pizza pans are not very expensive, and they make it so much easier.  You are going to shape the dough into the obvious round shape, but at the top left, make two points sticking out.    They remind me of my son's bed head hair!

Cover the pizzas with sauce, then the cheese.  Next place the pepperonis on, leaving a V shape empty on the bottom half.  Do not forget two halves for the "feathers" that stick out at the top.  Cut the pepper into to wide sections and pick 2 rather flat sections to shape for the beak.  Place it where the pepperoni meets the plain cheese section.  Cut an onion so you get two nice cross sections for the eyes.  Place them resting on top of the beak.  Finally, add the 2 olives for pupils and about 9 for a V shaped, angry eyebrow.

Bake at 450 for about 6 - 10 minutes.  It depends on your oven, how big the pizza is, the type of pan and how many pizzas you are cooking.  We always make 2, so it take ours longer to cook.  You will know it is done when the crust is slightly brown and the cheese is melted. Easy Peasy.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Good and Bad Kids

Most people think that kids are either good or bad, but I don't think there is such a thing.  Of course, there are well behaved children and those that misbehave more often.  People are not "good" or "bad."  We are all creatures who, at times, choose right and wrong.  We all have faults.  It is unfortunate that most people overlook that children misbehave for some basic reasons- some to do with their environment, and some with who they are as a person.

The children that people often label as "good" have the personality type that loves control.  This need for their world to be in control is why they LOVE rules, sometimes to the point of compulsion.  They love to follow them and get mad when others do not.  These types often push themselves to get good grades and desire to show themselves to others as being polite.  So they appear "good," but it really does not denote any sort of character or goodness of heart.  Good behavior can be present in a sinful heart.

Then there are the "bad" kids.  They are not concerned with impressing others or getting the top score.  They are way too relaxed and fun loving to think about such things.  Therefore, they forget to say "please" and "thank you" because they are not looking for adoration in adults eyes or to beat out the kid next to them in the "goodness" contest.  While other kids may be driven or task oriented, these kids are not.  Since this is the case, they are the kids dropping their pencils 7 times while doing their school work or who get messy and spread their mess without a thought.  Rules are not as important to them.  Just as above, this does not necessary show they have any worse character than a "good" child.  They can have a good heart, but just lack training and disciple, which is something that comes more naturally to "good" kids.

Not looking under the surface of a child can lead to great problems in their future.  The "good" kids forget that it is the WHY you are good that is important and without good character they could follow unGodly rules.  The "bad" kids have been made to feel that they are bad.  They believe bad is all they are capable of.  With out character and discipline their talents will be wasted and the Kingdom will miss their contribution.

We all have our "hooks" or parts of ourselves that make us consistently pick that wrong choice.  All children need training in character and a God centered, Gospel filled lifestyle.  Apart from God, we cannot achieve purity, which is true "goodness."  Step one is always to know you need God's help, a step that is very easy for a "good" child to overlook and for a "bad" child to feel unworthy of.  Character training involves those day to day teachable moments, as well as sitting down to study the definition, spiritual meaning and application of a the trait itself.  That is why Deuteronomy states it is going to take the morning, the evening and every hour in-between!  This responsibility is not a weight or pressure, but is a guilt free, simpler approach to children that is more effective.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Daily Bible Reading

Love these daily devotionals by the Scripture Union titled Discovery (E100).  You can get them on-line for free at this link.  The quarterly books can also be mailed to you for a suggested donation of $25.00.  Another option is that if you "like" Discovery on Facebook, the daily readings will appear on your news feed.  What a great reminder!  I put the bookmark on my task bar right next to my facebook button.  Hopefully that will help me remember too. My days get so crazy, sometimes I forget to eat!  We read the Bible everyday in homeschool and sometimes at dinner, but what a lovely time to read it by myself!

For me, writing thoughts down helps me to learn and remember what I am reading.  So, for my daily devotions I purchased a Standard Diary, Daily Reminder for the year.  All the dates are printed on the page, and there is plenty of room for notes.  What I like about this diary is that it is hardback and bound.  This way I can keep each year, and look back on my past thoughts.

In my diary I copy the 2 prayers in the Discovery devotional for that day, always writing it from my point of view.  Then I answer or copy the application.  I always do those 3 things.  If there is a scripture in the daily reading I want to remember or makes an impression on my, I copy this down also.  Of course, if I have any thoughts either from the reading, devotional, or just from my life at the moment, I record those too.  Finally, at the bottom, I may write one sentence about the day.  For example, "JP lost his first tooth"; or  "We went on a field trip to a garden today."  Little treasures I want to visit again!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

My Dad

Recently I lost my Dad.  He was sick for a long time, I guess technically, since I was in 4th grade, when he was diagnosed with liver problems from an unknown cause.  This past year was hard, he went into end stage liver disease.  My Dad was in and out of the hospital all the time.  These pictures are from a few years ago, when he was well enough to enjoy life.  Last week was his funeral, and this is what I said to honor his memory at the service.  I love you Dad, and we all miss you so much.

There are three people who made my Dad something that no one else could have made him - a grandfather.  G, Z and JP turned my Dad into Grandpop.  Psalm 128:6 says, "May you see your children's children!"  It also says, "peace be with Israel," so I am glad he lived to see one of them.  You can see from all the pictures the fun and special times we had together.  Some of my kids favorite memories of Grandpop are going to Disney World, his hats, the models he made for them, and who could forget the time Grandpop had that enormous french fry.  Those memories are such a gift.

In life, everyone we meet, from the sales clerk with the South Philly attitude to someone as important as your Dad, leaves you with a gift.  God brings these people into our lives as part of His plan for molding us.  My sweet and loving Father gave me many gifts.  The first gift he gave me was life saving.  My Mother was set on naming me Heidi, but my Dad took one look at little, newborn me, and said, "Nope, she looks like a Karen."  His first gift was my name.  Other gifts were tangible gifts, like my blue eyes or my ability to pack a trunk perfectly.  Some gifts involved life experiences, such as to why it is so important to have the right attitude in Disney World or you would miss the whole point.  My Dad was a very patient man, who always had a kind word, but he would get upset at those who were impatient, rude or lost their cool at the happiest place on earth.  It was sort of like hajj to him.  If you did not have the right attitude, it did not count.

Then there are the gifts that took a life time to give me, such as his patience.  My Dad was so patient.  I saw this displayed in the relationship between my Dad and my Grandmother.  I love my Grandmother, she was a generous woman and I have fond memories of her.  But lets just say it wasn't warmth that she try to convey to my Dad.  I can understand as a parent, that no body will ever be good enough for your little girl, but she took it above and beyond that.  What I can't figure out is that it was just so uncalled for.  My Dad adored my Mom.  He would do anything for her, all he wanted was for her to be happy.  As far as habits of a husband, my Dad always provided for his family, and he certainly was not a spender.  He did not drink, curse or smoke.  He was well educated.  I don't think I can even remember a time where my parents yelled at each other.  I mean, I know my kids can't say that.  My own husband's first thoughts of my Dad, was that he made him feel like an old friend.  However, despite being unjustly snubbed by my Grandmother, he stayed calm about it.  Where I think most people in his position, the minute her back was turned would call their mother in law a blankty blank blank.  Nope, not my Dad, not in front of me anyway.  Dad may have complained she used too much garlic in her cooking, or role his eyes and say to my Mom "Your Mother" or maybe even affectionately referred to her as "sergeant," but of course not to her face.  But that's it.  That's patience.

When someone dies, they usually leave us one last gift.  Sometimes it is a new outlook on our own lives. It may show us what is important.  Maybe it sparks a search of faith, that we never made time for before.  Perhaps, it makes us realize how precious life is and how short it can be. My Dad's last gift to me was realizing the importance of a small acts of kindness.   While it is the choices we make that define our character to others, it is the little kindnesses that show our true love and respect for each other.  It is how I know my Dad loved me and cared about me.  It is how I showed him how much I cared.  It makes me see how much other people love me.  This last gift is very precious to me, and I am sure that he left you a gift as well.  Even if you never met him, his gift to you maybe, through my loss of him, making you realize though there are many seasons of life, there is one we must all face - the aging and loss of our parents.  For those of you who knew him, he gave us so many pieces of himself, he is always around us.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Lately I have been working on a knitting project, and the other night I noticed a mistake.  Instead of knit 2, purl 2, I knitted 2 purled 1.  I tried to unravel it and fix it, but then I stopped.  I realized I had made the mistake when I was knitting outside my Dad's hospital room in the Critical Care Unit, while the nurses worked on him.  It was the day he died, and since he was dying, the nurses did not want me to go too far, just to step out for a minute.  To pass the time standing in the Critical Care hallway, surround by rooms of others going through the last struggle, like my Dad, I was thankful for my knitting to keep me busy in such a sad place.  Having something to do with my hands was a wonderful way to relax, and take a brake from such an intense situation.

While such knitting is therapeutic, knitting standing up at a time like that, I made my mistake.  Like most knitters, I wanted to fix my mistake, erase it.  But then I realize, as sad as this moment was, I do not want to erase it.  I want to memorialize it.  As romantic of me as it sounds, that one purl is a record of a significant moment in my life. It made me realize trials are meant for us to remember, to learn from, to add to the tapestry of our life.  They are moments that make us who we are - metals who are refined by God into precious metals.  Our trials hurt, they sting, but they are what makes us.  So, I am keeping my mistake in this little blanket I am knitting for my daughter's doll.  May I always remember it.

But he knows the way that I take; when he has tired me, I shall come out as gold." ~Job 23:10

And I will  put this third shall be left alive.  And I will put this third into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested.  They will call upon my name, and I will answer them.  I will say, 'They are my people'; and they will say, 'The Lord is my God.' ~Zechariah 13:9

Bless our God,  O peoples; let the sound of his praise be heard, who has kept our soul among the living and has not let our feet slip.  For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried. ~ Psalm 66: 9 & 10

In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith - more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by  fire- may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. ~1 Peter 1: 6-7

Saturday, April 7, 2012


If you are new to asthma, you will find this pamphlet very helpful.

The Book Room

Saw this on a blog post and followed the link to Flickr.  Unfortunately, I can't post the photo, but you can find it here, it is worth the click!  I love it, what a great idea.  It may cost a little more, but I think the picture ledges from Ikea look nicer in person than the gutters.  Mouse over the squares to see the photographer's notes.  Enjoy the inspiration!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Grocery Yearly Sales Cycles

To everything there is a season, . . . . even couponing!  Follow this link to Living Richly on a budget blog.  It gives you an entire overview of when items will be on sale at certain times of the year.  School Supplies for example, would be in August and September, which is something most people know, but I bet you did not know you can get cheap oatmeal in January!  This guide will give you the time of year to keep your eyes open for good deals and STOCK up.

Friday, March 30, 2012

New Jersey State History Fair

After much frustration trying to "pin" this webpage, I decided to put in on my blog for reference!  Here is a link to New Jersey State History Fair.  See website for complete list of events, including meeting Martha Washington and Walt Whitman!  Sound like a great family fun day, and it is all FREE!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Green Smoothie

Finally got around to making a green smoothie, a perfect way for me to get my veggies into my busy, busy day.  It was great.  I am tempted to say it tastes like chicken, but it really tastes like banana, peanut butter and yogurt.  Other than the bright green color, I would never guess there was four cups of spinach in it!  My recipe was from the blog, Iowa Girl Eats, found here.

Also, I would like to add, I don't have a one of those $400 smoothie blenders either.   For the smoothie I just used what I had, a normal household blender.  It was not great, but it work!  So, I will make due, and just add a Ninja blender to my Amazon wishlist.  There is no need to have to have the best equipment before you start making green smoothies, just jump in and do it!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Explaining the Death of a Planet to Your Child

My eight year old son was upset I whited out Pluto from the solar system coloring sheet that he requested (weird effects of homeschooling- apparently he thinks it super fun to color the planets himself). I need to read aloud "How I Killed Pluto, and Why It Had It Coming" (by Mike Brown) to him. Tried so many ways to explain why Pluto is NOT a planet.

The book is very entertaining to read.  It reads like a story, but has a lot of science in it.  I have only gotten half way through, but I found it fascinating.  Just ordered it again from our library, maybe I will have the time to finish it this time.