Are you going to see the eclipse?

Have you heard about the total solar eclipse that is going to be visible from the U.S August 21? We are going to travel to another state so that we can be in totality and get to witness first hand the moon completely covering the sun. Haven’t heard about it? What about shadow snakes? Have you heard of those!? Check out the video below!

Neat huh? We’re going camping for the first time as a family, it should be an adventure!

 

Well, I’ve got a busy weekend ahead of me. We’re showing our house today, tomorrow, and then we are having an open house Tuesday!

So this happened today…

I don’t know if I’ve ever read the book of Obadiah or not but this morning it was part of my Bible reading plan. It’s just one chapter long and as I was reading about the Edomites towards the end of the chapter I start thinking, “wait, is he no longer talking about Edom? It sounds like he’s talking about the whole world now. Is this prophecy?” I looked up the Bible Project’s video on Obadiah and it’s really good. Watch it and read the book!


This morning I took the kids to story time at the library and theme of the day was shapes and colors. This afternoon we continued the color and shape theme by getting out the new play dough set I picked up off the clearance shelf yesterday at Wal-Mart.  After we cleaned up dad helped E with some handwriting practice while I snuck outside to set up this surprise!

It’s bubble bath in the kiddie pool and ice on top the tarp and in the bowl. I came in the house after setting it up and looked out the window squinting at the pool saying, “Hey, E! Something strange is happening to the pool, we better go check it out.” I guess my tone of voice was a little too serious because she got scared and didn’t want to look! We had to convince her it was going to be something she would like and to go look. She tip toed until she got close enough to see what it was and then got really excited! T.J liked the ice and entertained himself by putting it in a little beach toy and carrying it around the yard a few pieces at a time until it all melted.

Hope you’re enjoying your summer and finding ways to stay cool!

2 minute date and other fun stuff

So today I did some cool stuff. This morning I took the kids to the splash pad at city park. We got there around 9:00 so we could try and beat the heat but it was HOT! When we left a couple hours later it was already 98 degrees and this afternoon got over 100 degrees so I had to come up with some stuff to do with the kids indoors. E has been asking to make slime ever since she made a slime experiment a couple months back at the library’s “mad scientist club.” I googled “slime for kids” and came up with this very easy and totally fun slime. Seriously-it took about 30 seconds to stir together and E loved it! I was pretty impressed with this stuff! 3 ingredients- glitter glue, contact solution and baking soda. The slime was strong enough and stretchy enough to stretch across the room but pliable enough to play with like play dough. It felt like silly putty- just an enormous ball of it!

http://www.elmers.com/projects/project/elmers-glitter-recipe 

 

While at Wal-Mart today I saw on clearance these cute little toy mailboxes and while I very rarely buy my kids toys for no reason they were only $2.50 so I surprised them with them. Totally worth the money when E “read” to me her letter that told me she loved me as high as the trees. (how cute is that!?) When I tucked her in tonight I told her that hearing her read me her letters was my favorite part of the day.    

 

While at Wal-Mart I picked up one of these dark chocolate with chili bars. I was thinking about it because I had recently been reading a date night at home idea on tolovehonorandvacuum.com and she mentioned these chocolate bars. It was fun to bring it home and having something new to try with T. He was headed to work but we tried it together and I dubbed it a “2 minute date”. We both agreed the concept of mixing the chocolate with the chili was good but would have been better if it had been like a 80% dark chocolate because at 47% the predominate flavor was just the sweet. Anyways! It was something new and we laughed. 

And why do I not make my kids smoothies more often!? Tonight they sucked down both spinach and cod liver oil that I added to the fruit and yogurt. I need to do smoothies way more often! 

Learning some new health info..

It feels so good right now.. my babies are feed and bathed and their teeth brushed. We read books and I even got the dishes done before they went to bed so now I’m going to kick up my feet and write some!

I had a fun morning with the kids after getting an unexpected invitation to go swimming with some friends. We usually do our swimming in creeks so it was a treat to go swimming in an in ground pool. Saturday evening my husband was home and we went and checked out the city pool that I just recently learned existed. It was nothing fancy but it was relatively cheap and the kids had a blast. There was a baby pool separate from the main pool. Big enough for the adults to sit in but shallow enough for toddlers to be able to touch the bottom. I’ll probably head back there with the kids before the summer is over.

Several weeks back my mom told me about this guy on Youtube named Dr.Berg. My husband and I have spent probably hours listening to his videos. We’ve even listened to him while driving around. We have learned so much from him! If your’e like me and you’ve spent years researching nutrition and herbs and vitamins and you read medical literature just for fun (okay maybe you don’t do that..) then it comes as a surprise when I do run across some new information. Since we’ve been listening to these videos we’ve worked harder to get more vegetables in our diets and in our kids bellies.

If you have a health issue your facing use the search bar and type “Dr. Berg” and then whatever issue you’re dealing with and see if something comes up. He has a LOT of videos.

I’ve been on a search for the last several years to try and identify the cause of and fix PMS symptoms and very painful periods. The doctor offered me either prozac or birth control pills. I’ve read a lot about both of those and I personally don’t want to choose either of those paths. I want to fix the problem. Dr. Berg keeps repeating in his videos, “what is causing the problem?” He really does a good job at analyzing the body as a whole and identify what the body needs to heal instead of merely treating symptoms.

After watching his videos on PMS and painful periods I ordered his ovary support formula (now called estrogen balance). It contains cruciferous vegetables, minerals from sea kelp and several herbs that are supposed help the issue of estrogen dominance like black cohosh. This post will mark for me about the time when I started taking them and a few months from now I can come back and tell you if taking them has brought me any relief!

If you know of any more resources to share with me, put them below!

New Gospel Tracts!

I’ve passed out a variety of gospel tracts of the years and most recently I’ve passed out tracts by Ray Comfort. With every tract I’ve used though there has been something in it that has made me slightly uncomfortable with passing it out. In some situations I feel that Ray Comforts tracts are great but for just passing out at the grocery store I don’t want something silly looking and I don’t want tracts that tell horrifying stories to make a point. If you’re  familiar with his tracts you’ll probably know what I mean. I’m not putting his tracts down I’m just saying it’s about context and most his tracts I don’t feel fit the context of ‘mom giving out tracts at T.J Maxx.’

I recently was made aware of matthias media and these tracts by a sister in Christ;

https://www.matthiasmedia.com.au/2wtl/resources.html

It’s called “two ways to live”. I like that the tract is very God centered because if you read enough gospel tracts you can be left with the feeling that a lot of them are man centered. I like this tract because I would say the focus of the tract is ‘God is God’ and not ‘quick! say this prayer so you can get out of hell!’ I’m certainly not against tracts that use the fear of hell to bring people to repentance, the Bible does that! I’m just seeing a need to tell the whole story- the whole story of God because the good news is the good news about God.

They are wordy- so honestly I don’t know how many will actually get read. That’s an issue that’s difficult to find an answer to. On one hand we live in a society with a crazy short attention span who generally doesn’t read but stares at quick images on screens. On the other hand, the Bible is 66 books that tells the story of God and although the gospel can be shared in just minutes with words a child can understand I want to avoid reducing the gospel to something it is not. Does that make sense?

This week I got to pass the first one out. In the morning I put one in the diaper bag and headed out with the kids to a story time at a state park. On the way there I heard on the radio someone talking about the missionary Hudson Taylor and how prayer was a major part of his evangelism. The voice on the radio encouraged the listener to pray for those they are trying to reach with the gospel. I turned off the radio and prayed for the person who God knew would receive this gospel tract.

At the state park I never did come across what felt like a good opportunity to give one out. This is where the story gets kind of funny.. That afternoon I was in the backyard watching the kids play in the kiddie pool when all of a sudden I started thinking about avocados. I couldn’t stop thinking about avocados- like I felt like I was going to cry if I couldn’t eat an avocado! Now, this is not very much like me at all. I actually make fun of my husband when he starts thinking about a food like that and won’t stop thinking about it until he gets it. I also really don’t like grocery shopping so it’s easy for me to be a stickler about only going once a week. Not this day though! I had to have avocados! I pulled my loudly protesting children away from the water, dressed them and drove all the way to town on a mission to get those delicious fruits to go with our dinner.

At the stop light I saw a woman holding a sign. It was 100 degrees out and there was no shade around her. “You thought this trip was about avocados huh?” I heard the voice of the Holy Spirit in my head. I bought a cold drink at the store and came back to where the woman was standing. She was at the edge of a dirt parking lot with nothing in it. She was alone and the area was highly visible so I felt it was safe to stop and talk to her. Her clothes were soaked through with sweat and her sign stated that she was out there for help and not to be made fun of. She told me about her situation which I won’t take the time to go into here- long story short there was really nothing I could do to help her. I gave her the drink and a gospel track and encouraged her to talk to Jesus and told her that He loved her. Nothing much, that was it.

I got another opportunity yesterday to give one out. At the grocery store they were short on baggers and the poor girl at the check out was moving as fast as she could to both check out the items and bag them. I gave her a small tip along with the tract (explaining what it was) and thanked her for helping me. She looked surprised and smiled real big and said, “thank you so much!’

If you’re looking for a new tract or want to start passing out tracts for the first time- check these out!

Helping my 4 year old be more independent..

I’m wanting my daughter to learn to be more independent and do things for herself. I realize though that in our home there are some obstacles to her being independent because she is so tiny! I was looking at her closet and drawer and decided to make a few changes to simplify things for her and help her to be able to reach her clothes.

I lowered the bar that the clothes hang from to her height on one side of the closet. On the right side I left the bar up high and put all her winter clothes and clothes that are too big that I am saving for next year. Now, I can tell her to go put a shirt on and it’s a job she can do!

I also marked each of the drawers with a little drawing. Under wear, socks and shorts. When I’m folding laundry I can pass her her things and say, “put theses in the drawers they belong in,” and she can open the drawers and see my drawing and know what goes where.

I did take photos to share with you. I first walked around the house repeatedly for two days with the laptop and my cell phone in hand trying to get decent enough 4G to create a hot spot with my phone. I even took the laptop and cell phone outside to try and get some coverage. I’m currently at Chick Fil A with the kids while some one looks at our house. I’m connected to the wi-fi but the photos still won’t load. Oh well, I give up! I’m sure you’ve seen a closet before 🙂

Yep, we live too far out in the country to have decent wi-fi at the house. We tried a couple different providers but I would guess 80% of the time it didn’t work so it just wasn’t worth paying for.

Anyways! Share with me little ways you help your little kids feel like big kids around the house.

 

Prayer walk

The first half of the year I felt I was doing really well in the area of prayer. I had a prayer journal and I was diligent to take it out and pray for the people and situations that I had listed for that day of the week. And then my prayer journal went through the dryer and was torn into lots of tiny pieces I had to pull off the clothes (don’t ask how that happened!) I went through a period where I thought it was probably for the best that I was probably relying on the journal too much. Except, I stopped being faithful to pray and I would forget the things I wanted to pray about.

I bought a small pocket sized notebook and used those sticky dividers that go on the paper to create sections. I used the acronym ACTS- Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication and wrote down Bible verses to read as I prayed through each of those categories. I lost the notebook. I don’t even know where it is right now.

I’ve been convicted lately that I need to spend time in prayer and I need to be more faithful and I also need to know how to talk to God without relying on notebooks or phone apps to help me.

I did something yesterday that I enjoyed so much that I did it again today and I can see myself keeping this as a habit and a joyous part of my day.

Early in the morning before my kids were up but the sun had started to come up so I could see, I went outside and walked some.  I have to be close to the house because my children are inside but usually they don’t wake up until 6:30 or 7:00 or later so I can slip outside around 5:45 for 15 minutes no problem. It’s always been peaceful to me to be outside early in the morning and honestly being outside helps me turn my thoughts to the majesty of God and get my thoughts off my own self. Being outside means I’m away from distraction as well. I’m not near my phone or looking at the bed that needs made or anything else. Just a short sweet time with God. I love it. I kept thinking back to that time through out the day yesterday and it was one of the best parts of my day.

Questions: what helps you to be faithful in prayer? Are you naturally spontaneous in prayer or does it take effort for you to be faithful? Have you created any routines that help you spend time talking with God each day? How has your prayer life changed depending on what season of life you are in?

And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.” Mark 1:35

 

A couple more videos on the topic of mormonism…

This week I have been totally drawn into listening to testimonies of people who came out of the fundamental mormon church and the mormon church (FLDS and LDS).

In my post yesterday I shared a video by Brian Mackert the author of the book I read titled, Illegitimate How a Loving God Rescued a Son of Polygamy. I also shared an interview with his sister Rena who is not a Christian. Last night and today I watched this interview with Mary, another of Brian’s siblings who is a believer. In the book Brian tells about how she had come to know Jesus before he did and how she had tried to share the gospel with him at one point. She seems like such a sweet lady and from what Brian wrote about her and from what she says in the video she really seems to be one of those people who is truly not bitter over the past.

After watching the interview with her I saw this video (below) made by the same producer that did the interview. It’s really worth a watch if you have the time. If you want to know what the mormon church teaches and how the Bible both contradicts and condemns it’s teaching this video will do a good job at filling you in.

On another note..

It was 5 years ago today that I found out I was pregnant with my daughter E! How has that much time gone by already!? It’s my mother in law’s birthday which is why I always remember the date. 5 years ago today I called her and said, “how about for your birthday another grand baby?” It had taken a year and 3 months to get pregnant with E after her brother Titus passed away so it was a very emotional pregnancy announcement!

Today my in laws are coming over for dinner along with my sister in law and her children so we’re gong to celebrate the life of a Godly woman and I’ll also be celebrating the joy of being given a daughter! At the moment it smells amazing in here because my husband is baking a sugar free cheese cake. God is good!

 

Book Review/summary: Illegitimate How a Loving God Rescued a Son of Polygamy

 

 

This week I picked up this book Illegitimate How a Loving God Rescued a Son of Polygamy by Brian Mackert with Susan Martins Miller. It’s Brian’s own story of growing up in the Fundamental Latter Day Saints Church. He grew up in a family with one father, four mothers and 31 children. He grew up in the same sect that later became infamous when their leader Warren Jeff was arrested on charges of rape by accomplice for arranging the marriages of young teenage girls to older men in their community.

Brian’s story is both shocking and heartbreaking while at the same time being full of hope because as an adult after hitting rock bottom he encounters the Living God and surrenders his life to Jesus who loves him and died for his sins.

The book takes the reader beyond “all is well in Zion” and reveals the hidden abuse and neglect behind the smiling faces and modest clothing.

Even though painful to stomach I think it’s important for us to hear stories like this because we then can better learn to identify abuse and cults when we see it. I think it’s also important to listen to the stories of these people coming out of the FLDS and LDS church who are telling us- “look, this is a cult and people are still being hurt.”

Brians story shows vividly how satan uses fear to control people and kept them in bondage.

Something that stood out to me in his story was how the parents would continually lie to authorities and people around them and from a young age taught all the children to be liars to “protect the saints of God”. If you’re ever in a situation where you feel you have to lie, it’s a bad situation! Lying is not of God.

I recently finished reading through the life of David in the Old Testament so the destructiveness of polygamy is fresh on my mind. Reading about Brian’s burning hatred towards his father, leading him to want to kill his father gave me a new perspective on Absalom. In Rena’s video below she says that every polygamist family she knew had some sort of sexual abuse in it and that was true of King David’s family in the story of his daughter Tamar. (Also David killing a man in an attempt to cover his own sexual immorality).

One of the really heart wrenching things that the Mackert children talk about in the FLDS church is how the young men are driven from the community by the older men because the birth rate is about 50-50 so there are not enough women for each man to have at least 3 wives. (The number they believe is required to reach godhood). They tell about how mother’s at the commandment of the prophet would drive somewhere and abandon their own sons. It’s so sick and twisted and so many of these guys ended up drug addicted and not knowing how to function in the world.

Every part of the world of the FLDS is so incredible vile and evil I can’t adequately express it in a summary like this.

The first video below is a shortened version of Brian’s testimony. The other video is an interview with his sister Rena who is not a believer in Jesus. As a disclaimer for a viewer who may be sensitive, she shares details of the sexual abuse by her father.

Another note is, I think Brian really misunderstood the story of Pharaoh in the OT and he doesn’t ever mention if his view on the subject changed so I’m not sure.

 

 

“…before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be any after me.” Isaiah 43:10. This is the scripture that Brian’s wife read to him that shocked him so completely because it dismantled every doctrine of the FLDS church that he had grown up believing.

An answer to prayer?

Tuesday we got back from visiting my family in Connecticut. It was really good to see everyone and I’ll have to wait and see but it may have been an answer to prayer. I haven’t written anything about what may be happening because I still don’t know if anything will come of it or not but I may as well share…
My husband has applied for a job in the United Arab Emirates. Yep! The other side of the world! We are still waiting to learn more details about the job. He was offered a position but they needed his passport info before they would give more details. We should know by the end of next week.
Going to CT I believe was an answer to prayer because we bought plan tickets to go back at the beginning of the year then he applied for the job and he thought things would move a lot faster and thought that possibly we would be moved by July. I prayed and asked God that if we were going to move over seas that we would get to go to CT first to say goodbye in person to my family.
It’s a long story but the kids and I got our passports pretty quickly but my husbands passport turned into a big paperwork and deadline fiasco. Lots of strange things were happening that kept delaying him from getting it. When we got back from CT it was in the mailbox and last night I got a text from the realtor that someone wants two full hours to spend looking at our house today. Is all this a coincidence? I’ll let you know if anything happens with the job but I am starting to feel that the trip to CT was a gracious gift from my loving Heavenly Father to His daughter. So pray for us as we may have some big decisions to make.

I better get going- gotta get this place show ready! Have a blessed day!!