Saturday, June 28, 2008

My New Apron

For sewing class I made an apron. It did not take very long. I like to sew, it takes a lot of practice to get good at it. I can't wait until I get to sew clothes for my future children.

Me in my apron

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


A Servant's Heart

I am so pleased that my daughters are learning to have a servant's heart. Of course, it starts at home. Here is a wonderful example of one of them demonstrating a servant's heart toward her Daddy.

Alicia loves to take her Daddy's shoes and socks off after dinner and give his feet a good massage. Her Daddy loves the luxury. She is truly a servant to her father

Garden News

The Noa gardens are doing very well. We have radishes that we have started to pick and eat ,We have six tomato plants growing in our gardens one of them alredy has a flower on it . We also have ten tomato plants in our green house.We have eight corn plants growing that do not have corn heads yet. We also have lettuce and spinach.My mom also has some chamomile growing.

Mom's carrots

Alicia holding her radishes

One of my corn stalks

My mom's chamomile

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Banana chips, Bread, Soap

This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it. We had such a wonderful day today. The sun was shining and the rays were so warm. We started our day early. We weren't able to do laundry (our machine has been broken for 5 days), so we decided to just get to work doing our kitchen work before we headed outside. We started by making bread, we were fresh out so needed to get it made first thing.

Then we made some banana chips. We really enjoy bananas, but can't always find them, so we buy them in bulk when we can, then dry some, make some into smoothies and sometimes freeze them too.

My young ladies making banana chips

Once the bread was rising and the chips were in the dehydrator, we headed outside with all the makings for soap. This was a first for us, we have never made lye soap before. I was a little nervous, so I took a lot of extra time getting the ingredients and supplies together, and still I had the girls running in and getting things that I had forgotten.

I am melting coconut oil and palm oil

Here I am adding GSE for preserving

I am taking the temperature of the lye
I tried to take good notes so I could see exactly what I did, in case something went wrong, or even went right!

Here is the finished product. It will set for 24 hours, then I will hopefully cut it and set it to cure for 6-8 weeks. Isn't that a beautiful color!!

Well, it went smoother then I expected, except for the fact that I had gotten the oils TOO hot and had to wait for about 2 hours for them to cool down. Thankfully the lye stayed warm enough in the interim so I did not have to reheat it. Tomorrow I will open the soap and see how it is doing. I hope I will be able to cut it and set it to finish processing.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Christopher-Our Dapper Son

Christopher had a suit taylor made for himelf while he was in the Middle East. he looks REALLY sharp in it.

I am so thankful that he is a godly man, so he does not allow the world to influence his beliefs. He has remained strong in his relationship with God.

The Retirement Home Visit

Hannah, Kylie, Sarah, Becky and Baby Elayna @ retirement home

The girls made their monthy visit to the retirement home this past week. It is always good to see them interacting with the residents. This time they had a questionaire for the residents. They had to go around to the different residents to get the answers to their questions. They had questions like: Who has served their country in the military? Who had more than 5 children? Who had the same occupation as their father? They went from person to person until they had all of their questions answered. One of the residents really took to Alicia and just sat and talked with her and continued even after everyone else left. When we were getting ready to leave she asked Alicia if she would come back to talk to her again and Alicia assured her that we would return next month. I love seeing the respect that the young people are showing to their elders. We have a great group of young people who come out every month to spend an hour with the residents.
Alicia, Hannah, Little Anna, Stephanie waiting for residents to arrive

Tyler conversing with Jacob while Little Anna loves on her brother, waiting for the residents to arrive

(We didn't take any photos of the residents out of respect for their privacy)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Keepers of the Faith

My daughters have been participating in a Keepers of the Faith group for almost two years. We have six families who participate. There are 31 children in our families. (but only about 15 are old enough to participate.)The boys have learned lots of skills that are important to Young Men. The Young Ladies have made lots of things and learned new skills, such as soap making, flower pressing, candle making, gardening, plastic canvas, baking, decopage, scrapbooking, sign language, rubber stamping, learned about trees and flowers, worked on the trait of cheerfulness and spend one day a month cheering up and playing games with the elderly in a nursing home. They have also memorized several portions of Scripture, as well as the Books of the Bible. This month they learned basket weaving. They really enjoyed this. Their Daddy even told them that they could make them and put some of their homemade soaps into them to sell them.

Hannah with the basket that she made

Alicia with the basket that she made

Our Keepers group ready to get started listening to children say their memory verses

Monday, June 16, 2008

Preparing for the hunt

Ralph and I were busy on Saturday morning looking for the proper hunting clothing we would need. We have the other gear we will need, but not the clothes. So we decided to take advantage of our trip to my Dad's to make a stop at Cabela's in Lacey, on the way to my Dad's. The girls had never been there, so they were very much impressed with this huge museum of stuffed animals and fish of ALL kinds and even a small plane hanging from the ceiling. They were having a great sale for Father's Day so we went to work finding what we would need. Ralph found the pants, shirt and jacket he would use. I wasn't sure, as I love my dresses and skirts, but I did find a pair of over alls that I felt wouldn't leave me less immodest than the pants. I will have to do some altering to them, as I am a little short for what they had to offer. I also found a jacket. Now we just need to wait for the proper time and get out there and bring home the "bacon".

Here is Ralph and I "modeling" our hunting clothes for the girls. Can you see us in all the camouflage?

Here is a close up "shot". Not a bad couple, if I don't say so myself!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Father's Day with My Dad

Hannah & Alicia being silly, posing at Grandpa's home

Today we went to spend the day with my Dad to celebrate Father's day. I am thankful for my Dad. I feel very blessed having a father who loves God and raised us children to love Him too.

Grandma, Hannah, Alicia and Grandpa

We had a lot of fun just sitting around talking or enjoying the out of doors. It was a beautiful day. Ralph BBQ's a couple of awesome tri-tips, we also had tossed salad, a jello salad to die for (it was orange jello with mandarin oranges and mixed with vanilla ice cream and set, it tasted like orange sherbert ice cream), baked potatoes and green beans.

Penny, Ralph, Me and Dad

Thank you Dad for being such a great example of a godly man to me and my children. I love you, Dad.

Friday, June 13, 2008

A busy week

This has been a very busy week. I am just now getting around to uploading our photos. So we will have a montage here of our week.

Hannah and Alicia have been working on Election lapbooks all year and are just about finished with them. Most of the work left to do will come after the conventions and then finish up with the general election. They thoroughly enjoy learning this way.

Here is one of my favorite photos (it is almost two weeks old but I just had to put it on) Don't these young ladies have beautiful faces? God has truly blessed our family with these two young ladies.

Hannah and Alicia decided they wanted to start a book club with some friends, so here they are on Thursday going over the book and some questions they had regarding the first chapter.

Here is the first book they chose to talk through. It is an excellent book for young ladies.

Here are their friends Kylie and Stephanie (holding little Anna) as they are discussing their book.

The ladies were continuing with their dessert baking class this week. We were blessed with oatmeal/raisin cookies, Snickerdoodles and here Hannah is checking the temperature for the Almond Roca. When making candy the temperature must be just right or it won't set properly.

The temperature is almost right, but you must be patient! Hannah is doing a great job at being patient.

Alicia is reviewing the recipe to see what they need to do next. They have become quite proficient at reading and following recipes.

We had waaaaaaay toooooo much rain this week so we are not sure how our garden will fair. Most everything is turning yellow from too much rain. We keep praying that God will still bless our crops as we attempt to provide for the needs of our family.

We had a wonderful surprise on Tuesday with the appearance of our oldest daughter and her husband coming over for dinner. We had a great visit with them and look forward to many more visits.

We had a great week and look forward to tomorrow as we venture down to Yelm, Wa to visit my dad for Father's day.

Friday, June 6, 2008

New Experiences

Last night, Ralph and I purchased our first hunting licenses. I am excited about the prospect of being able to bring home our own meat. I have never been hunting before, so I am a little nervous but know that Ralph will be a great help in calming my nerves. I look forward to being in the great outdoors, enjoying God's creation and finding food for our family. With the price of food these days we must do all we can to lighten the load there. So we have a good garden started and now we hope to bring home at least a couple of deer or elk or big horn sheep for our freezer (that we still need to buy). Our food bill will much less if we don't have to purchase store bought meat that is filled with antibiotics and hormones.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Why We Must Have Charitable, Irenic Debates on Bio-Medical Ethics in the 21st Century

Standards Are Inescapable. The Question Is—-By What Standard?

A central theme of Vision Forum Ministries and our Witherspoon School of Law and Public Policy is that God’s written revelation—the Bible—is sufficient for all of faith and practice. The Bible, not human emotions, pragmatism, natural law reasoning or utilitarianism, is the basis for all ethical choices. The Bible is the only standard.
Not everyone agrees. Even within the community of professing Christians, other standards are touted—both explicitly and implicitly. We hear people attempting to solve ethical issues with significant life and death implications by appealing to human experience, autonomous reasoning, nature and feelings, but rarely do we hear people appealing to Scripture as the exclusive standard for ethical decision making. Some will even argue that they believe that the Bible is the standard, but then go on to deny its applicability to practical issues. Such individuals often use harsh and condemning words to judge Christians who stand in the great tradition of the Reformers when they attempt to apply the Bible to real world settings.
There are even those who rail against people for articulating biblical standards applied to life—as if to do such is unfair or unloving. There is a great hypocrisy here. Such individuals use their own private standards to condemn those with standards which are different from their own. The fact is that standards are inescapable. The only question is “by what standard?”
Of course, believing that the Bible is the only standard, on the one hand, and determining the implications of that standard on specific ethical issues, on the other, are two different things. The first is a non-negotiable presupposition. The second is an exercise in humility, study, and meditation. The simple truth is that we live in a complex world with complex issues. We need clarity from God’s Word (the only true source of clarity), and this requires the humility to go before the Lord and seek answers to the hard questions.

The Challenge of Bio-Medical Ethics
One of the most challenging and difficult areas of personal decision making and public policy for 21st century Christians is biomedical ethics. The challenge of modern biomedical ethics is made more difficult by the fact that we live in a culture that hates God, and has determined to be at war with life.
The Witherspoon School of Law and Public Policy does not have the answers to all the difficult questions. But we do believe that we are right to assert the Bible as the only source book for ethical decision making. Furthermore, we believe that now is the time to raise a generation of Christians that have been forced to wrestle with the complexities of Christian bio-medical ethics theory long before they find themselves in a crisis. In fact, the worst time to wrestle with a bio-medical issues is when you are emotionally embroiled in a crisis concerning that issue.
As a ministry that has fought vehemently for the life of the unloved (see our Life and Liberty Medical Fund) and has been engaged in rescuing babies deemed by bureaucrats or physicians to be unworthy of protecting, we have witnessed first-hand the pressures to compromise which are placed on families in times of distress. Too often personal emotions, intimidation from social workers (or even individuals within the medical establishment), and pragmatic peer pressure win the day. The results can be horrifying. In some cases emotional decision-making and peer pressure leads to the unnecessary death of the very individuals we should be protecting. In other cases, the consciences of Christians are seared because they are forced to live with the consequences of unwise choices. Too often, rather than acknowledging error, they justify their behavior and excoriate anyone who dares to ask what the Bible says about such an issue. I have seen this where Christians have aborted their babies because they were told they “had no other choice” to protect the health of the mother, and where they have terminated the life of disabled or sickly children or parents by withholding food or life support at the advice of physicians.

Should Christians Oppose All Abortions, Or Just Most of Them?; Is Starving a Disabled Dependent Always Wrong, Or Is It Only Wrong In Some Cases?
There is not a local church or family in America which is not effected at some level by the challenge of biomedical ethics in the 21st century. But the only thing which seems certain is the uncertainty of most churches to articulate a biblically defensible ethical standard.
Christians today are confronted with question like these: Was it murder to pull the feeding tube on Terri Schiavo, or was it compassion? Is embryonic stem cell research valid? Is it improper to use contraceptive devices like “the pill” which have abortifacient potential? May couples use surrogates to carry their children to term? Is in vitro fertilization using donor sperm a legitimate consideration? Is it adultery? Is it something else? Does “brain death” constitute death? May we consider the “quality of life” of an individual when deciding whether to continue feeding them? Frankly, these questions are hard, but there are much tougher ones coming down the road—questioned destined to redefine our view of motherhood, compassion for the infirm and care for the elderly.
Some Christians maintain a 100% pro-life, no abortion philosophy. Others believe that it is acceptable to abort a child in the case of rape, incest, or where the life of the mother is threatened. The latter is the position of the Orthodox Jews. And there are many questions presented to us by our “brave new world” that raise noodle cookers of equal emotional challenge and philosophical complexity.
But the fact that questions are difficult does not mean that we can hide from them or brush them under the rug. It was precisely an unwillingness on the part of the Evangelical Christian community to identify and communicate a biblical ethic for tackling issues like feminism and eugenics in the early part of the 20th century, and on abortion in the years preceding Roe v. Wade, which contributed to the widespread acceptance of birth control, abortion, and euthanasia within our culture—including within the Church itself. We are living with the consequences of a century of cultural retreat driven by antinomianism—an antinomianism which has fueled the deplorable silence of the Church in the wake of ethical chaos.
But here is the rub: It is not merely that we have failed to speak to the broader culture, we have failed to disciple the Church itself. We have failed to honor that portion of the Great Commission which obligates us to make disciples, teaching them “all things, whatsoever I have commanded.” And this is why there is precious little demographic difference between the professing Christian Church and the secular culture when it comes to the numerous life and death issues swirling around the current biomedical ethical maelstrom.

We Will Begin to Debate the Issues Now, Or Our Children Will Drown In Sea of Ethical Relativism
Whether it is always wrong to kill an unborn baby, or whether it is acceptable to kill some unborn babies that threaten the lives of their mothers is a legitimate ethical question. It is a question that can only be settled properly by appealing to Scripture. The same goes for decisions to pull the plug on grandma, to use sperm donors, or whether or not to harvest organs from “brain dead” patients in order to save the lives of others.
There are those who would shut down the very type of dialog presented by Vision Forum Ministries at academies like the Witherspoon School of Law and Public Policy. They would do so amidst a barrage of name calling and emotional furor. For such individuals it is sin to even ask the ethical questions, let alone reach conclusions that would differ with their personal experience. I disagree with them. In my view, it is precisely this haughty spirit which has led to the irrelevancy of Evangelical Christianity’s witness in culture. It is this spirit which is causing the children of our present generation to drown in a sea of utilitarian ethics, and moral relativism.
We will never be able to address those questions, unless we agree to set aside hyperbole, name calling, motive judging, and hyper emotionalism in our dialog. We expect such tactics from the world. For more than a century feminists, eugenicists and humanists have built their anti-life campaign on precisely these type of arguments. But it should not be so for the people of God. The mission of the Christian is not self-justification and emotional coddling. It is not personal convenience or self-empowerment. It is not some man-centered social agenda. Our mission is the advancement of the Kingdom of God by proclaiming the crown rights of Jesus Christ over all of life. Our mission is submission to Him. It is humbly acknowledging that we are the creature and He is the creator. This means that His law-word revelation trumps our feelings and opinions every time.
And that is why Witherspoon students are encouraged to reach their own conclusions on issues ranging from ectopic pregnancies to the Terri Schiavo case by breaking the issues down into their various component parts and distilling the most applicable biblical principles necessary for sound Christian ethical theory.

Come Let Us Reason Together—With Compassion
We need to reason together—through the Scriptures. And we need to do so with compassion. Compassion is needed for the tens of thousands of women who have been lied to by the state, by Hollywood, and the government school systems. Compassion is needed for a generation of men and women who have received little to no instruction from the pulpit on these issues, and who have been taught that the Bible is “silent” on matters of bio-medical ethics.
But we must also have compassion for the unlovely—for the unborn, for the sick and infirm, and for those whose lives hang in the balance waiting for us to choose wisely. And dear friends, there is nothing compassionate about making selfish ethical decisions that place the lives of others in jeopardy.
My heart breaks for the untold thousands of parents who have found themselves navigating through such difficult ethical waters without the benefit of the Word of God. And even more so for those who have been required to consider these issues for the first time amidst intense pressure and emotions. And how can we have anything but profound compassion for those who have made wrong choices, only to realize their error after the fact.
But isn’t this true of all of us? Haven’t we all sinned and fallen sort of God’s requirements—repeatedly! And isn’t it the message of the Cross—that there is forgiveness and hope for new beginnings at the feet of Jesus.
Sometimes the answer to our ethical inquiries will include repentance. But is repentance such a horrible thing? Must we always be about the business of blame-shifting and self-justification?

The Church as the Great Defender of Life
We live in a culture which possesses remarkable medical technological accomplishments. We have the technology, but we often lack the moral maturity to use it for the glory of God, We are like toddlers in the cockpit of a giant space ship headed for the stars. We have the ability to press buttons capable of moving engines and machines of remarkable power. The power is in our hands, but we are not quite sure what to do with it. This makes us very dangerous. Only by returning to Scripture can we hope to go from suckling babes to mature men and women capable of intelligent navigation.
The Church is the great defender of life. Of all the people on earth, we should be the most sensitive to the preciousness of life. But how will we be advocates for life if we refuse to thoroughly examine the biblical implications of the increasingly thorny questions our children will be forced to resolve? What ethical inheritance are we leaving to them—objective truth, or subjective opinions? We must return to the Bible—all of it—all sixty-six books. The answer to the ethical crisis therefore is not denial or neutrality. It certainly is not ethical silence. The answer is preparedness through prayerful study and humble willingness to reexamine the twisted ethical standards which our culture defends and we often embrace without question. Only then can we avoid being part of the problem itself. Only then can we be the defenders of life to which God has called us as His chosen people.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Yesterday was my birthday

Here I am enjoying being Queen for a day

Yesterday was my birthday. My daughters started the day off by making me a crown and coronating my queen for the day. They then made me breakfast, washed my laundry and got most of my ironing done. I was really a lady of leisure yesterday. They made my favorite lunch, macaroni and cheese with tomatoes and mushrooms, and served watermelon on the side. They also made dinner, Shepherd's pie and applesauce. They then surprised me with a cheesecake that they had made. It was very light and tasted wonderful.

Ralph brought me a beautiful bouquet of flowers when he came home from work. I received some wonderful gifts, very large fluffy bath sheets made from turkish cotton, an herb gardening book for Washington/Oregon, a necklace and earrings and a memory box full of wonderful verses, original songs, and thoughts from my daughters.

Hannah and Alicia singing to me

My oldest daughter, Nicole and her husband dropped by for a little while in the afternoon, which was a wonderful surprise. Nicole gave me a handmade card with a wonderful poem that she had written.

I am so blessed to have a family who loves me so much and thinks about me like this on my birthday. I wish everyone could experience this type of love.

Ralph and I relaxing at the end of the day

Yesterday Christopher had to work all day so he missed my birthday. Today he came home though with my birthday gift. He gave me a Dutch oven table. It will be great for using outside on hot days or when we go camping.

My Dutch oven table

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Brother's Home!

Here is Hannah (on the left) and I (on the right) with our brother when we were little.

My Brother came home on Friday night. We picked him up at the airport at 11:30 pm. We were all so exsited to see him! Our dog was so happy to see him that she started to jump on him. We had a special dinner for him on Saturday, we had: BBQ'd tri-tip, macroni salad, homemade baked bean's, and watermelon. It was really good. I am so glad that Brother's home.