Poem for Praise

blooming amaryllis
pink blooming amaryllis

Today I read about a prophet,
who said Who am I,
but then I realized that who I am
is a friend of God, a lover of God.

What a gift of the relationship
that we are given through Christ.
That the creator of the stars, the plants, the animals,
The planet, the universe,
Knows me, and want to have me crawl into His lap.

And hold Him and hold me, because He is holy and love.

Some say we can become Holiness, but God says only through the righteousness of Christ. I am His because He says so if I believe in Him.

The miracle of Christ is that we are chosen first , then His spirit allows the relationship that we crave.
When it is fulfilled and I mean FULL
We are complete.

When full the rest is an overflow made to ripen our fruit becauseThat is for His people, they will know Him by the way we love one another.

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Teaching math to children


rows of pennies demonstrate many math concepts
rows of pennies demonstrate many math concepts

For anyone that is mentoring young(homescholling, parenting, grandparenting) children the finest inexpensive math tool to use is pennies. Now if you have children that puts things in your mouth be warned that it is very much considered dangerous to swallow pennies. I do not know for sure if this is accurate but the make up of the penny with stomach acid is supposedly more likely to cause problems than when the pennies were all copper.
So we coined the phrase penny math with my children and used the pennies as math manipulatives. Thirty years ago a penny had more purchasing power but in lieu of that one can still let the child keep the pennies and as they add up they can roll them and see the act of saving a little at a time and how it grows. The pennies are laid out in patterns to see adding properties and subtracting properties. The most helpful I think is the relationship of the multiplying and dividing methods and to see pattern that will train the brain to see math patterns in many different things.
My children could do drills with pennies at 7 or eight and had the basic math skills in their head with little effort and their own banks of change. As they rolled the coins and got to spend the money on their own they had a great sense of the concept of how “far” money would go. Studies have shown that spending money is a different emotional experience than using cards or checks. I believe that the connection between earning and spending may be important to help minimize living beyond ones means. I still remember the feeling of my first credit card that I gave in exchange for goods. It was surreal and too easy to disconnect from money in and money out. Dave Ramsey (a financial consultant trainer) has a lot to say about the marketing of credit and the effort to disconnect the individual. The marketing makes using credit a subtle temptation that can get someone into trouble financially. Our economy claims we must live on credit and I think we are going in the wrong direction with that one.
Pennies are great math manipulative and I hope we never get “rid” of them. One day we probably will. Then it would be more expensive but dimes would work to teach the decimal type system and multiples of ten. So have fun with coins and kids.+

legos displayed in pieces
any blocks that have sizes that are fractions are a go here.

Here is an update for using common household toys to teach math to kids. Have fun Math is everywhere.penny math

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Scars and cars

My car was injured a couple of years ago and it really turned out to be a good thing in a way.(another post).
So as I drive around the northern suburbs of Atlanta I am always impressed about the unusual volume of flashy and expensive cars. Since the down turn in the economy we have more of the not so new cars around but because the traffic dodgem cars is so prevalent here even some of the beautiful cars have scars. My car has a long bent bumped part on the passenger side that went from the front tire to the back bumper. A garbage truck backed down our street for trash and miss judged my car that was parked in the street that day. I am partially disabled so it was to keep me from the major stairs in my garage.
So it is less dented thanks to my husband and we managed to spray some similar color paint over the rust and nicks. So the car has a scar, no one was hurt and since I get in the driver side I often forget the scar.
The Lord showed me that the scars on people, internal ones are not so easy to see. One car is dented in the corner, someone clipped it, the person that was ran over or sideswiped at work, does not show. It could be the lady you are standing behind in the grocery line.
When I wait in a line the Lord told me He could show me the scars. I worried, and asked what would I do with that information? He said I could pray for them. I agreed.
I am no one special, you can do this too.

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How to, without a recipe. Granola

How to cook without a cookbook .. Breakfasts.
Granola without a recipe.

To eat grains or not, so many questions about food these days. I will discuss some of these things in the non recipes that I create for you.
Set yourself free and realize food is chemistry of patterns. There are many things you can put together and your preference is like culture, everyone has different tastes. Most people have several basic family foods they are used to and modifying them is the key to better health. There is a lot of different information to get into about food and digestion today but that will be another discussion. I eat granola . I love to eat certain ways so I cook. I eat oatmeal in a lightly cooked homemade granola. The food industry puts too much sweetener and preservatives and salt in our foods so they subtly keep us addicted and coming back for more. If you are gluten sensitive you can buy gluten free oats. I believe that just means that the oatmeal is not prepared on equipment that other gluten products contain.
Basic ingredients is oats but any grain can be rolled like oats are and flattened so you could use other grain flakes. I also add flax seeds often and sometimes quinoa or millet. I do not have digestive issues since I have been on protandim (more information on that on my website.)
I usually use some kind of chopped nuts, walnuts or pecans and almonds are my favorites. I keep raw nuts in my freezer because if they are good they will spoil rather quickly.
So we have grains(oatmeal, quinoa , millet or any choice you like.) and nuts. Then I wet the ingredients before I roast them. I use one part water, one part oil and one part honey, or half honey and maple syrup. You can replace any sweetener that you prefer. I may make a syrup with raw sugar, or brown sugar, for variety, or molasses I use in the winter for a more hearty flavor and some extra vitamins. Oil choices can be part coconut, I use light olive oil, can be any other oil you prefer. I would try for cold pressed oils.
For a container of rolled oats, I usually have three- four cups of liquid. I mix and wet everything in the bowl then spread on cookie sheets to roast. 300. degrees is good. I watch it carefully and stir at least one time. I prefer almost raw so I barely brown the ingredients. I usually buy plain yogurt, add a bit of granola and lightly sweeten with maple syrup or natural fruit jam, or fresh fruit.
This is nothing like what you buy in the store. It requires good teeth, lots of chewing and someone who has begun to train themselves to not eat such sweet food all the time. Happy granola.

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Accidental Gardener part1

Sometimes we just can”t do things the way we always used to or the Better Homes and garden way. This is a series of ideas and videos to help the gardener try new things with what you have and see how they work. Last year we grew watermelons sort of accidentally in a garden that was not officially ready. We got two good ones so we were ahead by accident, hence the name. Enjoy, be creative and share your accidentally good ideas.

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Moms advice re Diapers today

When my kids were babies the disposable diaper just came out(30 years ago.)
In talking to ladies that I know new moms and mothers looking for changes in cost and environmental issues I asked my daughter –in – law, now working with her fifth child what the latest on using non disposable diapers was. It is apparent that they have improved and the savings are enormous to use non disposable. There are many choices. She kindly outlines her experiences and so I thought I would share the wealth of her knowledge. Her email is as follows:


My favorites…

Fuzzi Bunz….I personally prefer the perfect size, but I did like the one size also. This is what I have the most of because I love them. These are pocket diapers meaning the outside is made of PUL(a plastic material), then there is a really soft layer of material inside that stays by babies bottom. You stuff an “insert” in the back of the diaper between these two layers(in the “pocket”). This is great in helping baby sleep all night and preventing rashes because the wetness isn’t on the skin. The downside is you can’t use creams or powders with pocket diapers or it will ruin them.

Happy Hineys (These are great for new borns! I haven’t had any for bigger babies yet.) These are also pockets.
Rumparoos….I have used the covers of this brand and love them. They are a little snug fitting so keep that in mind for chubby babies. Great about not leaking!
Charlie Banana is a brand that a I have heard nothing but good about. They are like a fuzzi bun but more expensive. They also have disposable inserts that can be used if you need them.
Kawaii are very cheap and work great. Not a lot of prints to choose from and a little bulkier but I have had no problems with them and love the price. They run a little small.
Thirsties…I really like this wrap. I have not used there diapers.
I have one Bum Genius pocket diaper. It works fine but I personally prefer my Fuzzi Bunz.
Mommy’s Touch is my favorite wrap. Fits great to any baby and doesn’t leak. I only have one because I felt it was expensive, but I have to say it was worth it and I wish I had more. It is a little overwhelming when you see all those snaps but as soon as you realize how to fit it to your baby it is actually very easy.
Places I like to order from….

Mom’s Milk Boutique is my favorite! Super nice people and they are fast.
Fuzzi Bunz store.
Kelly’s Closet….you can rack up points here.
Green Mountain diapers. They have a lot of diaper info on this site. Their work horse diapers are wonderful. If you want cotton this is the place to get it! This is also where you can get the Mommy’s Touch covers.
On all the diapers and covers you have an option of snaps or velcro. They can both wear out and/or break and the velcro is easier, but I personally like the snaps much better. You can get a more customized fit with the snaps and I had a Bummis velcro cover that for some reason kept folding down and rubbed a horrible raw spot on my baby’s belly. (My others didn’t do this but now they make me nervous). But if you want quick and easy velcro is great.
Hemp and Bamboo inserts are more expensive but they are also more absorbent so keep that in mind if you have heavy wetters. If you are concerned about nighttime leaking buy a wool cover. I don’t have one because they are expensive but everyone I’ve heard of that uses them says you will have NO leaks. Most people just get one or two to have for nighttime. I am considering it myself.
Be sure to order by baby size, not age. I have huge babies and ended up with tight diapers at first. My son actually wore large from 4-12 months and then he fit into his mediums when he started to slim down.
Many of the stores sell seconds. They are often unused returned items from when mom’s buy sample packs and send back what they don’t want.
You can spend lots of money for certain brands and patterns and they are super cute ( like daddy’s diapers) but it is just for looks. They do not function any better.
Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any questions. I would be glad to help.

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new Movie and Mercy guest post

Posted by Rusty Wright on Wednesday, December 19, 2012

By Rusty Wright

Could receiving a healthy dose of kindness and mercy help transform a person’s life?

Victor Hugo thought so. The 19th Century French social reformer wove his classic novel Les Misérables around the theme of grace trumping legalism. A new film based on the successful musical opens Christmas Day across the US and Canada, soon in many other nations.

Until recently, I was one of the few in the western world unfamiliar with this powerful saga, somehow having missed it through formal education and beyond. I now understand why it continues to attract audiences 150 years after it was written.

Kindness and Mercy Shine

Spoiler alert for Les Mis novices: this article encapsulates the essential story. But understanding the plot and characters can help you appreciate the film.

A kindly bishop provides dinner and lodging for paroled convict Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman). In return, while the priest sleeps, Valjean steals his silver.

The next day, approached by constables who’ve apprehended Valjean, the bishop tells them that the silver was a gift. He then privately counsels Valjean to see this as part of God’s plan for him and to use the silver to become honest. The priest’s heartwarming mercy evokes a biblical admonition: “Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”

Rescuing the Needy

The bishop’s benevolence cascades through time. Actor Jackman notes: “Valjean is the recipient of one of the most beautiful and touching moments of grace from the bishop…. He decides to mend his ways and dedicate his life and his soul to God and to being of service to the community. He is constantly striving to be a better person, to live up to what he thinks God wants from him.”

Using an alias, Valjean becomes a generous factory owner whose grateful townspeople elect him mayor. He inspires us by rescuing the needy.

Valjean rescues Fantine (Anne Hathaway), an ailing single mother turned prostitute to support her daughter, Cosette. Before Fantine dies, Valjean promises to care for Cosette.

Freeing the Innocent

When an innocent man nearly is convicted of being parole-violator Jean Valjean, the real Valjean agonizes: Should he retain his comfortable anonymity or reveal his true identity and risk prosecution? He comes clean, thereby rescuing the wrongly charged. Valjean’s altruism is stirring. He credits God with giving him hope and strength for life’s challenges.

True to his promise, Valjean rescues the now-orphaned Cosette from cruel foster parents, raising her as his own daughter. As a young woman, Cosette (Amanda Seyfried) becomes enamored of Marius (Eddie Redmayne), a youthful revolutionary in the 1832 anti-governmental French student uprising.

Driven by love for Cosette, Valjean rescues Marius from death during a harrowing excursion through the Paris sewers.

Most Gripping Rescue

Perhaps Valjean’s most gripping rescue involves Inspector Javert (Russell Crowe), a policeman dedicated to the law and obsessed with tracking and bringing Valjean to justice. Remember The Fugitive? Think Tommy Lee Jones’ relentless US Marshall character on steroids.

When students discover Javert has infiltrated their rebellion, Valjean volunteers as executioner, then surreptitiously releases Javert, who is stunned. Mercy has no place in his law, and he cannot fathom Valjean’s compassion.

When Javert later reciprocates, releasing Valjean, the inner turmoil is more than Javert can bear; he kills himself. In Victor Hugo’s world, mercy indeed trumps legalism (unhealthy devotion to or emphasis on law), a lesson Valjean exemplifies but which evades poor Javert.

Tempering Justice with Mercy

Of course, any properly functioning society needs justice. Knowing when to temper it with mercy can be a challenge for societies and individuals. The proper balance helps make civilizations civilized. Which world would you rather inhabit: one tilting toward Valjean’s mercy or Javert’s legalism?

Les Misérables touches other important themes: romance, unrequited love, care for orphans and the poor, even prison reform. Bring a handkerchief, and someone you love.

Rated PG-13 for “Suggestive and Sexual Material, Violence and Thematic Elements.”

Rusty Wright is an author and lecturer who has spoken on six continents. He holds Bachelor of Science (psychology) and Master of Theology degrees from Duke and Oxford universities, respectively. www.RustyWright.com

Copyright © 2012 Rusty Wright


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New beginnings so important

Jan 7th

So we begin to see a new year. Soon it will be time for Chinese New Year. It is always mentally refreshing to have a do over or start over. The cool thing about The Lord that His mercies are new every morning, so we can have a new day or new year every day. With the internet we can have a very world view of all the different cultural holidays. When I had a grand child ask about culture we were trying to understand how to explain difference. Over and over again talking to others that around the world no matter what cultural difference there is a big difference in lives based on rural versus city. The more civilized and the more heat, hot water available the more the world changes in what one is able to do. Staying in a big old cold house in the Ohio river valley on Jan 6 it is clear that if it is a lot of work to keep warm and clean. The basics are taken care of instead of the extras of mental acuity and creative endeavors. Who had time to read and write when major time and effort are about shelter, and keeping warm. I so understand how a pioneer may not want to bathe all winter, the thought of taking off your clothes and climbing into water when the ambient temperature is 45 degrees inside. So why would I get wet when it is all about staying warm. A modern shower with hot running water is such a delight under these conditions.

Most people don’t know that in the middle of rural America is a third world country.

I am most grateful for conveniences that most take for granted and I love that I live in the south east where there are often breaks in the long cold winter.

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Life is Messy

I was looking for Bible commentaries, trying to tap into another’s mind about some of the mysteries of scripture. I know that in my relationship with Jesus I can tap into what He says about His own words, but sometimes I like a human person to show me how others may think, and go astray or process. I feel the work I do with ministering is to understand how to lead people to their own relationship with Jesus. I am always searching for understanding of other’s thinking process. He never leaves us or forsakes us. He is the Source for life and truth.
As I researched I ran across an article about mental illness. The story was about a person that is a cutter or self harming individual. I do know the power of the Holy Spirit to invade our minds and transform our ways of thinking but often it does not come easily or quite in the way we would think or like to see. In this story the young woman ended up in a mental health facility but in the process of healing she had an experience that fully equipped her to reach out to the next person that God brought into her life. She was able to reach out with personal revelation, and hang out with the student as she walked her own path into mental health treatment. Our processes are never quite as efficient as the creator. As we wait on God and follow the path He gives us to reach out to each person with their own uniqueness, I am reminded that life is messy. Situations often take time. Our time is not God’s. He has a plan and I find it usually does not look like the one I envisioned. Mostly that is good because as I look back I know that His plan was perfect and I did not have all perspectives.
Relationship is the key to all things. I have heard that if we master marriage we can develop a relationship with God. I have come to understand that the relationship with Jesus that is based on unconditional love is the pattern that we must learn in order to have any relationships.

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Wisdom for life, health and relationships- what really matters

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