Thursday, September 30, 2010

Bread for Life, Bread of Life

(This is a pamphlette I have written for a bread making class I will be holding in the near future. What do you think?)

The term “bread” includes everything made from grains. This means “bread” is not only the stuff that holds your sandwich together, but also all pastas, tortillas, pancakes, waffles, hamburger and hotdog buns, biscuits, muffins, the breading on your fried chicken, the croutons in your salad, corn on the cob, popcorn, rice, cake, pie crust, cookies, Twinkies, and oatmeal. Since potatoes are similar in nutrition, you could call them God’s quick bread. This makes French fries, mashed potatoes, and hash browns “bread” also.

Now, imagine your life without “bread.” How bland that would be! How difficult to even get enough calories to live.

Jesus Christ called Himself the “Bread of Life.” In the same way that bread is essential for our physical survival, Jesus is essential for our eternal survival.

There is a God. The universe is too complex to have created itself. The very Laws of Nature speak of a Devine Father.

God gave us the Bible to show us the way to Him. No other document has ever been subjected to as much scrutiny and evaluation, yet the Bible has never been proven wrong. Quite the opposite; Archeology and science are continually proving it is right. It contains many prophecies that have come true further proving Its truth.

God created human kind. He molded us, His masterpiece, from the dust of the ground.

All humans have chosen to rebel against God. Whether it is a “little white lie,” be selfish or the choice to be outright evil, we have all, at one time or another, chosen to disobey God.

The penalty for sin is eternal death. This not just an end to existence, but being in the torture of the throws of death forever. Eternal pain, eternal suffering. There is no human who does not deserve this.


God loved us, His master creation, so much that He robed Himself with flesh, walked this earth for thirty-three and a half years, and gave Himself as a sacrifice to pay for our sins. He paid the debt we owe.

We must accept this gift of payment. If I wrapped up a million dollars and put it on your door step, it does you no good unless you pick up the box, open it and take the money. Christ’s gift of salvation to you will do you no good unless you accept it.

Each and every one of us must acknowledge that we have rebelled against God, we have sinned, ask Him to forgive us, and choose to follow Him. If we do not do this, we will continue to walk to Hell. If we ask, God will forgive us. Always.

Once we have received forgiveness for our sins, Jesus becomes our Boss (Lord). We must follow and obey Him.

How do we know what He wants us to do?

• He tells us in the Bible.

• He tells us through men He has appointed to serve us by shepherding (pastoring) us.

• He tells us through fellow Christians who are farther along in their walk with Him.

• He tells us in our heart when we pray.

Every Christian needs to find a church that believes the Bible is true. They need to be there regularly so they can learn more about their Jesus.

Every Christian needs to read their Bible and spend time talking to God every day.

Every Christian needs to fellowship with other Christians.

Every Christian needs to follow Jesus commands;

• Love God with EVERYTHING you have. Leave no part of your heart or life out.

• Love your neighbor the same way you love yourself. Treat him the way you would want to be treated. Make his needs at least as important as your own.

This is how Jesus becomes our “Bread of Life.” This is how He enriches us and nourishes us.

Unlike with bread which it is possible (though difficult) to live without, we can’t live forever without Jesus. We can’t go to heaven unless He is our Boss.

Won’t you please accept the Life He offers you today?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

How weird. We actually get a third day of school with the whole group this week! Dad hasn't been needing the boys to help with the garage since he is waiting for the truss to delivered and set.

Been using Alphabet Island for phonics for a couple of years now. It has been very fun but I am ready to go back to the way I did it with the older children (of course having no one exactly that age right now helps, lol) We finished up all but one workbook for it yesterday and that workbook will be done by the end of next week I think.
As I said, Alphabet Island is fun. The authors created a person to go with each letter of the alphabet. They each have a personality which explains that letter's behavior. For example, the letter e is scared of the end of words. That is why she is silent when she is there. But she is very loving and brave and the other letters need her so she often stands at the end even though she is scared. Very entertaining. Just not really my teaching style.
At the risk of increasing my compitition, I'll tell you I have been buying my curriculum for next year on ebay. For many reasons I am switching to Abeka for nearly everything. This would cost thousands of dollars if I bought it all new for my seven school aged children (about $500 per child since I started with very few teachers guides or answer keys). By using ebay I am spending less than half per book. I won one $10 book last week for 1 penny! (plus $4 shipping, of course, but that is still less than half the new price.) I wish I could buy it all new but that is just not practical.
Anyway, another good day in store for us.
And Bible study tonight to boot. We are studying the book of Amos. As we study the minor prophets on Wednesday night, I am writing a commentary. At the current rate it should be ready for the market in a year or so. This will be from the Pereterist view.
Been thinking on my commentary of Ravelation. Hope to get back to it soon.
And the family relationship book; I wish this was already on the market but it isn't even close!
I have two more chapters and I am done with my Family Herbalist course. I hope to go on to the Cetified course as soon as possible, though it may not be until next tax time. I don't know if I will go all the way to joining the American Herbalist Guild (about the equivalent of a BS in herbal medicine). We'll see how God leads year by year.
And I am still reading eveything I can on Midwifing. I itch to start my apprintiship, but I know my family would suffer at this point. So I'll wait.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Feeding Children

Child raising principals:

1. Children belong to God. They are only on loan to their parents.

2. The greatest ministry any parent will ever have is their children.

3. The parents are the bosses in the house answerable to God for what their children learn and do.

4. How a child responds to their parent is how they will respond to God as adults. So how do I want my children to respond to God?

      a. Cheerfully
      b. Quickly
      c. Completely

5. To allow a child to disobey is to allow him to sin (“Obey your parents in the Lord for this is right.” Ephesians 6)

I have observed many parents having problems with their children over food. I have seen many engage in a battle they won’t win. In fact, many of the parents I have seen are setting their children up for obesity by what they teach their children at meal time. Because of this, I determined when my oldest was little that food would never be a major point of contention in my home. I set up a few basic principles that we live by;

      1. We have assigned, consistent meal times. Breakfast is at 8:00, lunch is at 12:30, and supper is at 6:00. Because of my Hypoglycemia and the fact that children have small stomachs we add snacks in at 10:30 and 4:30 (this last one is a big part of why we don’t have that killer, before-supper, stress time anymore. All the blood sugar levels are evened out and no one is cranky from being starving.) I also give them one glass of milk at about 7:30pm. This consistency helps digestion and is best for little ones especially.

     2. Each meal has an assigned, nutritional content to ensure maximum health for everyone:
          a. Breakfast is 1 protein, 1 whole grain, 1 fruit. (This can be oatmeal with raisins and a glass of milk; eggs, orange juice and toast; bacon, pancakes, and canned peaches, etc.)
          b. Morning snack is a protein (helps school go better). (Cheese sticks, leftover chicken, boiled eggs…)
          c. Lunch is 1 protein, 1 whole grain, 1 veggie, and fruit until you are full. (Peanut butter, jelly on whole wheat with carrot sticks; mac and cheese with whole wheat pasta and celery; etc…)
          d. Afternoon snack is a fruit (apples, oranges, fresh peaches, etc.) or at the end of the week when we can be short of fresh fruit, cookies made with whole wheat, oats, honey, raisins.
          e. Supper is a protein (dead animal by hubby’s request), bread of some sort (pasta, mashed taters, tortillas), veggie, fruit and usually a green salad.
          f. We only serve desert on the weekends. These are usually some sort of junk food like Twinkies or jelly beans.
          g. And as I said, one glass of milk before bed. Milk is high in tryptophan which aids sleep.

     3. My children get NO snacks other than those mentioned above; no candy, cookies, chips etc. I don’t even have them in the house except for hubby’s stash most of the time. I attempt to feed them good enough at home that it doesn’t matter so much what they eat away from home (which, since we homeschool, is only once or twice per week). Because our meals are nutritionally balanced, I know they are getting what they need to build strong, healthy bodies.
     Junk food isn’t bad so much because of what is in it but because of what you don’t eat when you eat junk. If you fill up on foods that are devoid of the nutrients you need to live you either have to over-eat to get your vitamins and minerals or you simply don’t get them. If you eat chips you aren’t eating carrots and getting your beta carotene. If you are eating candy bars you aren’t eating apples and getting your fiber and B vitamins. If you drink sodas you aren’t drinking water, milk, juice and teas that provide you with minerals essential for life. This lack of nutrition is probably the actual cause of most of our modern diseases.

      4. Other than one taste of veggies and two bites of protein at meals, I don’t insist my children eat. The last thing Americans need is to be forced to eat even more! Making a child eat when they aren’t hungry is setting them up for obesity. I trust them to know if they are really hungry or not. If they say they aren’t hungry, I believe them. Little kids really won’t starve themselves (though I have no idea how 3-5 year olds survive. They don’t seem to eat anything!) To force them to eat is to teach them to eat after they are full, again, making them fat. Besides, a little fasting is good for the soul. The self-discipline necessary to choose to go hungry is very good for any of us to learn. It is the same self-discipline that keeps a man from raping a pretty girl or keeps a girl from maxing out her credit cards at the local sales or gossiping about her neighbor. Since our meals are regular and frequent, I know that even if they don’t eat at one meal, it won’t be that long until the next one (though I have been known to (cheerfully) remind them at supper that it is a long time until breakfast).

      5. I absolutely don’t let them snack between planned eating times. If they eat between meals, they won’t be hungry at meal time and since snacks are easier to give in to the junk-food cravings, that means they aren’t getting the nutrition they need. (I did read about one woman who let her children eat literally any time they wanted to. The catch was that the only thing in her house to munch on was her fresh baked, whole wheat bread filled with whatever her farm was producing at the moment; eggs, milk, fruit, veggies. She figured this bread was so nutritious that it didn’t matter when they ate.)

     6. I don’t praise them for eating. Again, this sets them up for obesity. I act very unconcerned whether they eat or not. Now, it IS an act. I watch their consumption carefully. But they don’t know that. I show no pleasure or displeasure when they eat a lot or a little, though if their appetite drops I look for signs of illness later.

     7.  Everyone must stay at the table until nearly everyone is done eating. Children will get so excited with what they are playing that they will barely sit down until they are up again and then realize half an hour later they are hungry. When they are done eating, I tell them they need to stay at the table and visit until most of the family is done (if our family was smaller I would make it until the whole family is done). A child who is too busy to be hungry if allowed up imediatly will nibble down a full meal if he just sits still long enough. Also, one child may really not be hungry and eat no more, but if I let him up others (especially little ones) will want to get up before they are finished. Besides, it is rude to leave the table before every one is finished.

      Over all, I make sure they have good, nutritious foods available at meal times, don’t allow them to fill up on junk, and don’t make a big deal of the amounts they eat. The only time we have had “issues” over food is when a two year old refuses to eat his green bean (yes, singular and all but one child has chosen to fight me on green beans). That is a discipline issue, not a food issue and is dealt with as such.

      With eight children and a hubby to feed, this plan has the benefit of keeping me from being a short-order cook. They eat what I serve or “fast” until the next meal. That is their choice, and as I said above, this builds great self-discipline for many other areas of life, too.

      We mommies must be tough. I know it’s hard when your little one comes to you teary-eyed saying they are hungry just an hour before or after a meal. It’s heart-breaking. But it is essential for their future health (physical and spiritual) that we don’t give in. We need to be as tough as when we hold them still for their vaccinations. It really is what is best for them.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Children spent the night with grandma last night. They do this once per week, but I always miss them:-( The house is way too quite!

"Labling Geneticly Modified Salmon as Geneticly Modified Salmon will confuse consumers" No. More like "If we lable the stuff as GMS no one will buy it."

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


12yo Jon when he say his fifth or sixth banana slug;

"The slugs are coming! Run for the hills! You have two weeks."

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Just us girls

The boys are off helping grandpa build his garage. My oldest girl, Joy, drove them. So I am home with just the four little girls. It has been so long since I have had only little kids around it is weird. They don't get enough time like this.

School only took a couple of hours with only the little ones here. Again, weird.

Friday, September 17, 2010

More pictures

The story of our trip

Its raining.

You can see teh jungle gym tree in the background. This picture doesn't capture how dark and cave like it was here since the flah went off.

Left to right: Jane, Joseph, Jackie

Jackie, Joy, Jessie, Jon, Jennifer, Joeseph, Andy

"Mamma, did you know there is yellow in the waves?"

Dead crab. Actually, just the shell. the sea otter got the rest.

Jon, Joy, Jane, Jackie, Andy

It's coming to get you!

Banana Slug

Biggest Dandylions I've ever seen!

I should paint a picture of this some day.


Fern Gulch

A farm built to fool the Japanese during WW11. There were guns in the barn in the day.

Tide pool

You can't see them in the picture, but there are sea lions on the far rocks.

Jim loved the ocean.

Stinging Nettle. It does. Ask me how I know.

Moss at Fort Ross.

Setting up the tent.

Fort Ross

OK so we could see the Golden Gate better than I remeber. I couldn't prove there was an ocean under it though.

Last camp. That's the bathroom in the background.

Point Reyes lighthouse. We didn't walk to it.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A good trip

Things were quiet around here last week because we had our annual camping trip last week. It was a very good trip.

We were scheduled to leave Friday, but I came down with a bug Thursday. A little research tells me it was a textbook case of salmonella. We waited until Sunday morning to leave to give me plenty of time to get over my illness and to finish the packing.

The trip didn’t start out all that great. Between Reno and Susanville we stopped at least five times to deal with a roof bag that was threatening to not stay put. I finally saw it fly of in the rear view mirror. Hubby backed up to it and just threw it on the back of the van instead of the top. That worked, so that is where the bag went for the rest of the trip.

Between Susanville and Lava Beds National Park (a long drive in itself) we saw a heard of antelope. This is the second time we have seen this heard in this area, the first time being a couple of years ago.

When we arrived at Lava Beds, the campground was almost full and the only spaces left were too small for our very big tent (20’ long). This surprised hubby since a very cold night had been predicted. He figured people would have gone home early to avoid it. We decided to go on to another campground he knew of 15 miles (and nearly an hour) away. The roads were bad but we made it.

God has a way of giving us the little things that make life great. Not only was the first site in the grounds empty AND big enough for us, but there was a small herd of deer in the meadow across the road. Now how cool is that?!

We set up camp and had a nice supper of hamburgers cooked over the campfire. Day one turned out real nice, despite its rough start.

Day 2- Monday

We broke camp and drove back to Lava Beds. There we walked through several tubes. These are long tunnels formed by lava cooling while the insides continued to flow out. The children loved it, even though several remember being there before.

On the way out of the lava region, we stopped at Captain Jack’s fort. This is a lava flow with ridges and gullies and hidey holes. This is where the last battle in the Indian war took place. The Indians hid in this flow (which is shaped much like a fort) and shot arrows at the soldiers. There was absolutely no way the soldiers could get to them! They ended up stationing guards around the water and starving the Indians out. It took six months!

Just before our hike through this natural fortress, Joy spotted a Monarch butterfly caterpillar! We saw many plants we recognized and some we are still trying to identify.

Next we drove along the road that divides Oregon from California. This is farm country. We saw wheat, strawberries, corn, and potatoes growing. Also four big white cranes watching a coyote hunting mice and in another field, wild turkeys.

I found this farm land especially beautiful. Being a farmer at heart, this looks like paradise to me:-)

We hit the coastal road and found our campsite at “Trees of Heaven Campground.” This was the only place that threatened a problem with wasps. Andy and I cooked ham steak for supper while the children stayed in the van. We had a lovely supper.

Before that, we went for a swim in the local river. The girls waded in the nice big shallows looking at rocks and shells while the boys took a float down the Klamath River. It was a pretty strong current and they had to keep swimming back up stream to not leave us completely. Andy is a strong swimmer and was keeping an eye on them.

After supper we took a nice walk on a bird-preserve trail. Lots of raspberry vines, though the few berries left were bitter.

Day 3- Tuesday

This was a long day of driving narrow twisty roads. We did see deer, though.

I have never before seen oak scrublands that looked DOWN on conifer forests! The scrub lands I have seen before were in the foothills. This was definitely surreal. There was a nice heard of elk, though we couldn’t get close enough to get a good picture. The rest stop we ate lunch in was a small stand of pine trees at the very top of the mountains. We could look down on grass lands and then forests and over the shorter mountains, the ocean!

After lunch we arrived at the Ladybird Johnson grove. Redwoods! What a beautiful walk with all the ferns below and the trees above! Jennifer (7) asked about the funny dots on the back of the fern fronds and when she learned that that was how they reproduced, she examined nearly every fern to see if it still had its spores. Jane (nearly 3) enjoyed tracing the numbers on all the posts marking the trail and then telling the number goodbye.

It began to sprinkle before we were done with our walk so se hurried it up and headed for the campground hoping it wasn’t raining there since we still had some tents to set up.

We almost decided to pass on this campground because the bathrooms looked horrible from the outside and the only site we would fit into was on the other side of the campground. It turns out the bathrooms were quite clean, just old. And we were all tired and it was beginning to rain.

This campsite turned out to be my favorite of the whole trip. It was like a different dimension. In fact, there was a break in the hedge surrounding it that lead to the beach. When you came back into the site, it was like walking through an interdemensional portal. The next morning especially. It was bright and reasonably dry on the beach, but it was still raining in the campsite (the rain must have taken hours to finish dropping from leaf to leaf to the ground!).

With the hedge around the site and the large spreading trees overhead, it was more like a cave than a campsite. There was one large tree that the children called a jungle gym. It was perfect for climbing and someone had even left a swing attached!

Banana slugs abound! Joseph (11) counted 57 on the trip as a whole.

After setting up camp we drove to a better place for wading on the beach than the one by our site. Only Joy (18) remembers playing in the waves before. All the children enjoyed wave chasing and hunting shells. Jim (15) was especially entranced by the water, while Jennifer informed me there was yellow in the waves and she was going to go home and paint them.

A nice dinner of hotdogs and to bed.

(Yes, it did rain all night and our Joy got flooded out of her tent. She spent the rest of the trip sleeping in the big one with us).

Day 4- Wednesday

Long, long day of coastal roads. We did see elk along the way.

We went on a nice hike through Fern Gultch. This was like another world…Disney World! All it was missing was the animatronic hippos squirting water at us, lol. The walls of the canyon were 100 straight up and covered with ferns. There was a little creek running down the middle. Absolutely beautiful! Jon (12) saw a blue legged frog. Andy and I weren’t fast enough to see it though:-(

We had to load all the gear into the front seat of the van because rain was predicted on and off for the day. Our roof bags are a bit less than waterproof.

The campground we picked was nearly deserted but had plenty of room to lay out all the gear to dry before bed time.

We went down to the beach after setting everything out to dry. There was lighthouse and tide pools. We saw star fish and tiny crabs, sea lions and harbor seals. Wonderful experience! We had supper overlooking the ocean and went back to set up camp. It was another nice night.

Day 5- Thursday

Again, lots long driving by the ocean.

We went to Fort Ross, the Russian fort in California. They decided it was too unprofitable and pulled out…7 years before gold was discovered! Very interesting.

We stayed in a nice, though crowded camp by the ocean. It had showers!

Stew for supper cooked by Andy and off to bed.

About 2:00 am I woke up to definite sounds in our camp site. I checked it out and discovered professional thieves! How do I know they were professionals? They were wearing masks! They were especially interested in the marshmallows.

I woke hubby up after I ran them off and we locked up the food.

Day 6- Friday

A four hour, 100 mile drive to and from Point Reyes National monument. Most of us saw a pod of dolphins. Joy, Jackie (6) and I were surprised by five deer jumping out of the underbrush! Arrgghh! Just like jack-in-the-boxes, one minute we were alone and the next there they were!

The lighthouse was neat except it was a climb down a steep staircase equal to a 30 story building to actually get to it. We enjoyed it from up top.

Then we drove into San Francisco. We didn’t see the Golden Gate. Drove on it yes. But the fog was so bad we didn’t much see it.

We also drove on the lower level of the Bay Bridge.

Then the long drive home. We arrived exhausted but safe and happy.

Jennifer counted 158 horses on the trip.

And you know what? After five days in a van and tent, my little house seemed disorientingly big!

(I couldn't get the pictures to go into the text and a couple mysteriously decided to jump to the bottom. So for more pictures of the lava tubes just keep looking.)

On the way to the first cave.

Monarch catapillar

Our first site; Andy, Jim, Jon, Joy

Loading up the van.

So thrilled to be going again.
Jackie, Jessie, Jane (They were still sleepy)

Everyone had their own water cup. (Joe)

Scrub oak land looking down on conifir forests.

That's my hand to measure the size of the leaf.

Beautiful roads

Jennifer the fern girl.

It was vey difficult to get everyone to lay on their sides like this, especially the tree.

OK, so I can't figure out how to turn them around.

For comparison, Jim is 6'1.5" If yuo spread your arms out as far as you can, from finger tip to finger tip is how tall you are. So this tree would be about twelve feet across.

Anyone know what these plants are?

Andy inside the cave.

Jane with her own flashlight.