Tuesday, August 26, 2014

My Walk

If I have asked Jesus Christ into my heart, if I have asked Him to forgive my sins, then I am a Christian!

I have been redeemed!

I was once in bondage.  I was once walking regularly in darkness and foolishness, according to Galatians 4:3~

"Even so, when we were children, we were in bondage under the elements of the world…"

But the Light of Jesus Christ shone into my heart and chased away that darkness~

The Spirit of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, freed me, according to Galatians 4:4~

"But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law that we might receive the adoption as sons."

I am no longer a slave, according to Galatians 4:7~

"Therefore, you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ."

And if I am no longer a slave, this means that I am no longer that old person. 

According to Galatians 5:1, I do not have to be entangled by my past~

"Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage."

However, since I am still human and I'm not yet perfect, this means that I am subject to the temptation to go back and embrace that old person and those old ways.  Sometimes, to me, this looks like the easy way because, let's face it, being a Christian is super hard!

You've seen a tree~~you've seen a tree and the inevitable process of the tree's changing seasons.



I, as a Christian, am like a tree.  I have times when I display emerald green leaves and luscious fruit.  A lot is happening with this tree.  It's awoken from a long sleep and there are times when my tree is strong and tall and gorgeously shady.




I have times when the fruit rots and the leaves die and fall off…


My leaves fall off in certain seasons.  This is sometimes preparation for my tree to go to sleep and just rest and relax and gather strength for a more fierce and busy season….



There are times on my walk when my tree is seemingly bare and stark, but I know that a lot is going on behind the scenes and new leaf buds are waiting to burst forth.

The hardest times in my life are the pruning times.

I'm being pruned.  I'm always being shaped and formed, and branches that don't have fruit or aren't alive get cut off.  The dead stuff gets lopped off~this is normal and healthy in a Christian's life.

As a human and an imperfect Christ Follower, I sin.  I fall down.  I revert back to old habits and mannerisms~this is a given….

But I no longer have to live there. I don't have to be known as that old person. By God's grace and the gentle mercy He extends to me, I can get up, brush myself off and start walking again, reminding myself that I am no longer under the law of sin and death.

I am not perfect and I will never be perfect, but I can still live a full and abundant life! 

This natural human imperfection is NOT a license to live a sinful life.  This human life is an opportunity to live in grace and mercy, and to extend to myself God's grace and mercy.

This Christ Following life is a process.  I want to always be in a teachable state! I want those around me who see me all of the time to see progress in my life.  

Although I will never be a finished vessel until the day that Christ calls me home, I want to be known as one who is striving for that goal of holiness with everything in me….

In every season of my life.



Sunday, August 24, 2014

Courtship?

Courtship versus modern dating is a very, very hot topic, especially in the homeschool community!




Dave and I talk about this subject a lot, in light of the fact that we do have 7 daughters, three of whom are teenagers, and knowing that another of our gals is quickly approaching teenager-ness!

Our 17 year old daughter wants to marry young.  I'll be right up front and truthful with you: I think that, if the two young people are Godly, mature, well adjusted people from very good families, then I'm okay with this! I'm not asking for judgement or conflict here, I'm just stating what I think.

**I know that this is a controversial issue among parents in the church, and I'm not seeking to start any arguments here.  I just want to share a blog that hits home for me and has some really great insight on courtship versus dating…..

For the record, since Dave and I came out of the traditional dating, going steady, youth group culture, and since we've prayed and prayed about this topic since our first girl was born many years ago, we tend to adhere to a courtship mentality and philosophy….  

The thing is, in the homeschool community, particularly the very conservative homeschool community, we have found the thoughts about courtship among "leaders" of the movement to be stifling and legalistic with a very controlling and disapproving atmosphere.

This is very, very concerning to us.

So, I accidentally found this young man's blog the other day on my friend's FB page, and I started to surf his blog, and he has some really good philosophies on dating versus courtship.

For the record, he comes from a large family in Canada who are homeschoolers and they make funny YouTube videos called Jostie Flicks.  We adore this family even though we haven't met them! They're also very talented musically and that makes us, as musicians ourselves, like them even more.  This family toured our region last year and came to a town near us, but we couldn't go to their concert because we didn't have a car at the time! BOO!

I guess what I hope to accomplish by posting the link to this article is this: that those of you out there who are unfamiliar with the courtship thing would hear and read about it from someone who has good things to say from a balanced, respectful perspective.  I hope that all of you mamas out there who are also contemplating the issue of dating and courting will think seriously about this in more depth.

I really believe that this is an issue that needs to be discussed in more detail among families and mamas and daddies, and even at church, because I believe that traditional dating and going steady and the boyfriend/girlfriend thing just isn't working, for so many reasons.

I do hope you take the time to read this young man's article and pray about it.

Let me know your thoughts!!

Here's the article:

Also, surf around on his blog.  He has a lot of good things to say!!

Thanks for reading my blog!!

LOVE Leanne 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Loves

Well, I looked back at my posts for June and July.  I took a 30 day blog challenge, although I didn't sign a contract or make a pinkie swear or anything like that.  I just really want to be a better blogger, and I knew that challenge would help me.

I have lots of posts running around in my head, but once I get to sit down and have a bit of free time on the internet, I always have way too many posts in my mind and can't choose what to blog about!! 

I've blogged pretty steadily, for me, and if I'm going to stick to the 30 day challenge I gave myself, then I currently have 9 days to make up for. I'd like to try to do that by the end of August.  

Anyway.

Today I'd like to share some things that I've recently started using and loving.  It's a random list, like me, but I hope you enjoy it!!



This almond milk.  What can I say? It's the best almond milk I've ever had.  It's brand new at my favorite local store.  I went out on a limb and bought it because my husband likes almond milk and I'm lactose intolerant and this stuff is awesome.  I used this coconut almond milk in my mocha this morning and it's subtly nutty with a great coconut flavor! It's $3.99 for 48 ounces, but I had a coupon for $1 off of each jug and so, I bought three jugs.



I had to look for a new hairspray to use every day because the one I was using, TresEmme, was making huge white flakes in my hair and was itching my scalp.  Now, all you gals out there know how overwhelming it is when you go to the store and are faced with two huge aisles of hair products! And isn't it like a serious world decision to pick a new product? I was at Target the other day and saw this, and it's brand new, and I actually sprayed a tiny bit on my hair right there, and I was sold!! It's more pricey than my last hairspray at $12.99, but it's cheaper than anything I'd get at my salon and I loooooove it.  I use the Casual type, which is more flexible hold.  Unbeknownst to me, I bought the last bottle, so I need to go online to get some more!!



Now, in my opinion, avocados never, ever go out of style.  I could eat them every single day, every season.  Avocados are in my blood, and it's a hold over from growing up in Southern California.  I adore them.  Not only are they filling, but avocados are loaded with good fats and calories, and they also help your body produce and upload seratonin, one of the key chemicals that your brain should produce to ward off depression! YAY!



I've only had three favorite perfumes in my entire life, and this perfume is one of them! It's Pacifica natural perfume.  My favorite is Tuscan Blood Orange. They also make 
coconut, vanilla, gardenia and guava.   
You can get it at Target too, and you can get a totally natural spray cologne or a roll-on perfume that's more concentrated.  We got the roll-on perfumes for each of our older girls in their stocking at Christmas time.  I need a new bottle because mine is almost gone!!



And, because everybody knows I'm a total foodie, I'll include this as my last favorite for today.  It's feta cheese! I simply love it.  I love it on our home grown, fresh from the garden green beans, sautéed with butter and garlic.  I adore it on my home grown, sautéed yellow squash.  I love it on every salad imaginable.  I love Greek food and that's what turned me on to feta cheese.  I'm about to eat some guacamole with feta cheese in it for a new twist! 


I hope you have a fabulous and sunny day!! 








Friday, August 1, 2014

The Rodeo, Part 1!

Last weekend, we all went to The Fair and Rodeo.

Now, before you quit reading this post out of boredom, just know that, for our family of 11, doing things like going to movies and sports games and the fair are almost impossible due to the cost of tickets for all of us.  The money that would be used to go places and do things like bowl or go out to frozen yogurt for all of us could actually start a small country! I mean that!

But last weekend, it was Hannah's 17th birthday weekend, and she loves to go to the rodeo every year, but this year she decided she wanted to go to the fair too.

Gulp.

The thing about Hannah is that she's very organized and she had told us months ago that she wanted to go to the fair too this year.  This gave us time to save money, which is something that we just don't do a lot of in our family!!! Ha.

We love our local rodeo.  Hannah is a cowgirl at heart, as is her sister Samantha, and somebody told Dave that if we went on Saturday afternoon, we'd save $90.

HUH??? Okay.  That's awesome.

So we went on Saturday afternoon instead of Saturday night. It was a relief to go during the day, because the evening show is when the whole entire county comes out for the rodeo and the stands are packed like sardines and you're rubbing elbows with people you've never seen before, and maybe never want to see again….

I digress…..

Anyway, here's some pictures of our fabulous, fun day at the rodeo and fair!! We got to the rodeo at 12:30 that day and didn't get home until 10 PM!! I sat next to Samantha, who is a very knowledgeable horse woman, and she and I talked about each horse as it came out, and that was super fun! She definitely knows her stuff from studying horse encyclopedias and books when she was younger.  We loved the parade of flags.  Each of the sponsors had a flag, and horse women ran each of those flags around the arena.  I have to say, I saw some of the most beautiful horses that day!

So, without further ado, here we go!




The view from our seats in the grandstand of the ferris wheel and the vomit comet



Jack's first rodeo.  Even though his day was really, really long, he did splendidly and he was so good.



The youngest girls.  Look at Pennie! I wonder what she's looking for…..



The rodeo "clown".  He was hilarious! He tried to make it seem like he didn't have a clue what was going on, but this fella is from Okanogan, which is Rodeo Country, and he totally knew what he was doing.  He was a small, wiry horseman himself and he wasn't annoying like your typical rodeo clown. I liked him!


Some of the older girls.  It was hot but there was a really nice breeze and we got to sit in the shady part of the grandstand.


Daddy.  And the beautiful view in the background.  It was such a gorgeous and vivid day!


This is Kellie, before the rodeo started.  She likes to take serious pictures of herself, for some reason!



We had the most fun we've ever had at the rodeo and fair this year.  It really was a fantastic day.  I'll post more pictures of the fair, including pictures of Pennie riding rides for the very first time, and the girls going on their favorite ride, the Typhoon.  I myself would never ever go on the Typhoon, but apparently the girls loved it because they went on it at least 4 times!!

Do you have a fair or rodeo in your town? Do you go to it? Tell me about it!!










Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tasty Tuesday

I have another recipe for you!

It's my hummus recipe.

Now, before you turn up your nose in disgust, hang in there with me! 

A couple of years ago, I began to see a lot of this stuff called "hummus" in the grocery store. Upon reading that it was made of garbanzo beans, I was grossed out! Ewww.  Did anyone eat this stuff?

Fast forward a few years….it's popular! I tried it.

It was hideously disgusting.  The stuff in the stores tastes like bland paste! However, I liked the texture and I could tell that, with some tweaking and reworking, hummus could be wonderful.

So I took on the job.

And here's what I came up with. 

**Let me say a few things first: I use my Vitamix blender for this recipe, and it blends as easy as warm butter.  You can also try your food processor, if you have one, but a good, high power blender works best.  

**One of the unique things about this hummus is that I use essential oil.  I know it seems strange, but my Young Living essential oils are the only essential oils sold on the market that are safe to eat! I realize that most of you don't have this lemon oil, so you can use the juice of half of a fresh lemon plus the zest from that half lemon.  It's a bit more time consuming and labor intensive to do it that way, but I've done it and it tastes pretty good.

You can serve this with your favorite crackers, or you can use baguettes or warm pitas or even serve it with your favorite veggies! 


Mama's Lemon Parmesan Hummus

2 cans garbanzo beans, drained
1/4 C good olive oil
2 cloves garlic 
2 tsp salt
1/2 C good parmesan cheese, finely grated
1/2 bell pepper, sliced
2 TBSP Frank's Red Hot Sauce
1/2 can black olives (I know, it's a strange amount, but give the rest of the olives to your toddler!)
5 drops Young Living lemon essential oil

In the pitcher of your blender, pour the olive oil.  Add all of the other ingredients and blend on low until mixture is smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides frequently.  If blender is having trouble blending this mixture, add more olive oil. When it's blended smooth, taste it and adjust the salt to taste.  That's it! Serve with your favorite crackers and ENJOY!!


Recipe copyright leeswords2014.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Outside

Here are just a few pictures of our life outside!




This is the rose that I got the month after Janie died.



Another picture of Janie's rose.





I just thought this was a really beautiful picture of Kellie.



My sweet little Pennie, in her pink cowgirl boots!



This is my husband.  I love him!



This is a view of the lake in our town.  It's our town's best feature!



The mirror shows the most beautiful 5 year old of all!



Here's a picture from our front yard of one of the most glorious sunsets I've ever seen!


"Peace I give to you,
My peace I leave with you…
     John 14:27













Thursday, July 17, 2014

Diapers Revisited

A while back I did a post on diapers.

I said I had used just about every diaper out there.

I lied.

There was one brand of diaper I hadn't used yet:


I was desperate for diapers one day, and truthfully…..

I was so tired of paying so much money for them!

In my Target Trips, of course I had seen these diapers, but I had had such bad luck with store brand diapers that I was dead set against trying these.

Then I had the Desperate For Diapers day! I was totally out of diapers and didn't want to get the Kirkland brand at Costco, and I wasn't going to pay super tons of money for the Huggies either….

I went to Target because I had been there the day before, and I toughened up and decided to try the UpandUP diapers.

For some reason, I bought a large box.  In retrospect, I wouldn't do that again, since I didn't even know if I was going to like these diapers!

So, I brought them home and tore into them….

And it was love at first feel! 

They were soft.  The tabs were stretchy and really adhered well to the diaper.  They weren't too bulky.

These are the diapers I use now.

There are only two drawbacks to these diapers:

1.  They run very big in size.
      I bought size 3 because the Kirkland diapers in size 2 were too short for Jack. 
         Looking back, I should have bought the size 2 diapers.  The size 3 diaper was
         super saggy on him at that time, so it gapped at the leg……But they still never,
         ever leaked!


2.  They are not very girlie-looking!
      If you care about this sort of thing (and I do), I'd be hesitant to put these blue and
         green polka dot diapers on my girl baby, if I had a girl baby. Yes, I'm weird, and
         I'm okay with that! They work for Jack because they look boyish…..but you
         might want to consider this when buying for a girl baby.
         I think the manufacturer needs to make a more neutral pattern
         on these diapers.


Those are the only two things that I object to about this diaper.  

They're good on Jack now because he's gotten taller, so they don't sag anymore.  They're still pretty big on the waist, but I just pull the tabs to meet in the middle and he's good.  We've never had one leak during the night with these diapers.  He always wakes up dry.  

I probably could still fit Jack into the size 2, but I like that the size 3 is taller for Jack.  He is super long and these fit his height very well.

Now you know about the diaper that I'm using!!