Sunday, September 18, 2016

Taking a Bit of a Break

I haven't been posting as much lately and I feel that will continue for a period of time here.

I feel the Lord's leading to work on my other blog a bit more this year as well as to focus my time on the computer revamping a lot of my worship music, noise trade account, worship blog and ministry.

Prayers would be appreciated as I feel the Lord leading me to start a lot of really neat resources for beginner worship leaders as well as work on getting some resources together for other pastors that use my music for their church since they don't have a worship leader.

Please pray for wisdom, time, a recording studio opportunity, direction, skill, and anything else the Lord needs me to have to do what I feel He is calling,

Thank you all!

I will post more when the Lord allows.

In the meantime you can check out my other blog ( or my noise trade account (

Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Hard Part of Being a Help Meet

The many hats of being a wife.
The many hats of being a mother.


Oh how our selfishness can flare up! 

We've been home all day, at the front lines of all the fights, with the scars of the battle apparent on our weary and sore bodies. We've done laundry, cooked meals, arranged snack, taken all the kids to appointments and shopping, made phone calls, solved math problems, sounded out new words, wiped many tears, spanked many butts, corrected many character issues. We didn't get our nap time or our alone time because the troublemaker child decided NOT to sleep. Instead he decided to swallow the last tube of glue. Oh! AND the baby has cried for 8 hours straight and you had to have him strapped onto you every moment of the day. 

Then our husbands come home.

Yay! Relief! We get to check out!

If you have a wonderful husband like mine, I sometimes do get to check out when he gets home. At least for a little while. 

But I realize, and remind myself, it is my calling to come along side him.

My husband carries a lot on his plate. 

Besides being a family called to full-time ministry (which is our primary passion and what we love to do most), my husband also goes to school full-time and works as an HVAC for Bonfe full-time. His work hours are often longer then we expect, especially in the summertime. He's got school classes every day of the week and then ministry (home fellowship leader, sound ministry assistant, deacon). The many phone calls of people needing counsel and prayer. The many "emergency" meetings or circumstances of people needing my husband to serve in this way or another. The many meals my husband takes people out to just to spend time talking, praying, and counseling. These all often come when he just steps through the door at 9pm for the first time since 5am... 

He also has a passion for government. Once he finishes school next year, he is going to be getting more involved in local government. Of course, I have a feeling this will take up more of his time then his schooling currently is. :)

I often say "hello" to him for the first time face to face and the last time at 9pm in the evening.

See you Friday Night! Is often what we say to each other. Jokingly, but somewhat truthfully, since that's our designated family night with just us. Saturdays are also our Sabbath. See my post on the importance of Family Nights, Sabbaths, and Date Nights here.

As a wife, it's my job to come along side my husband in everything he does. 

It's often always at the expense of me. 

Of course I would LOVE for my husband to come home and spend time with us every day, but I know this isn't what the Lord's called our family to.

How do I know this?

Because what my husband's called to, so are we called to it. It's that simple. God wouldn't call my husband to something that He didn't call us all to.

I often find myself envying the families who see their husbands every day for more then an hour.
I often wish we were that family that lived on the country side and life was slow and you enjoyed e.v.e.r.y. m.o.m.e.n.t. 
But then the Lord reminds me I still wouldn't be satisfied. 
What satisfies is doing exactly what the Lord has called you to. 
What satisfies is a relationship with Him.

So then there's the ministries the Lord's called me to. Worship ministry and our radio station (commercials, promos, music). ON TOP OF rearing 5 children and raising them for life, homeschooling, gardening, preserving food, managing a home, and meeting all my husbands needs.

This is our calling women.
We were made for this. 
We were made to lay ourselves aside for the sake of our family.
Other's don't see us do this.
Only our husbands and children see what we do every day and I believe that's why Solomon's mother said, in Proverbs 31:28,

Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.

Speaking of the Proverbs 31 women... do you see how much this lady had on her plate?!? Yet she handled it with such kindness and grace. Also, her husband was known in the gates. He had a ministry and a calling outside the home. She had to "hold down the fort", I'm sure, many a-days when she just wanted her love to be at home with her. 
Now, I suppose it needs to be said that there are some husband who DON'T fulfill their role in the home. They aren't leading their families. They are spending too much time away from the house and their families are suffering. I guess that's the fine balance between doing what the Lord's called you to, and doing more then what the Lord's called you to, or not prioritizing what He's called you to. You need to pray, keep accountable, and know what He's said in His Word and to you. 

As I strive to be a better wife, my husband strives to be a better husband and father.

  • He answers his phone every time I call despite any meeting or anything he's in (or at least calls back right away when he is able)
  • He tells the kids when He is home they are to come to him with their needs unless He is on the phone - this lightens my load and reinforces that HE is the head of the family. I am simply taking over while he's not around
  • He asks me to keep the kids awake as late as I need to so that HE can tuck them into bed and do devotions with them every night
  • He sits and talks to me for at least 10-20 minutes every night even if he's dog tired
  • He says the hard things and reminds me when I'm being childish or selfish (which is more often then I'd like to admit...)

Man what a blessing it is to walk in love. 
Self-sacrificing love. 
It's a joy!

I'm overwhelmed with joy when I choose obedience and choose selflessness, INSTEAD of being overwhelmed with what is my current circumstance.
It's NOT easy in the moment when my flesh wants to just BE SERVED!!!! 
But when I choose it, despite what I feel, or despite that lies others or the lies the world tells me (which could be a whole OTHER blog post - you deserve a break, you have it so hard, you need to slow down, you're doing too much), then I reap the blessings the Lord has for me. 

You know my husband and I were talking. 
Everything is about perspective
How we CHOOSE to view things. 
Are we going to view his LONG work and school hours as a really cruddy scenario that we're suffering through? 
Or a time that can actually be enjoyed
What about this is enjoyable that we couldn't enjoy if we weren't in this situation? 

- The long nights the kids and I get to spend snuggled up reading while we wait for daddy to come home. 

- The long days when schools finished, the house work is done and we get to pull out our guitars and drums and just jam. 

- The pictures I get to snap of the ridiculous things our oldest boy did to get in trouble that day and the slide show I get to show Alex when he gets home from the day.

- Seeing my oldest girls take on more responsibility in helping me load the car up to go places, or carry groceries in and put food away since we don't have our strong daddy to do that for us. 

- Crazy, out-of-control Costco runs with a baby on my hip, a child holding onto my skirt, three more dancing like ballerinas and singing worship songs with a cart overflowing of large bulk items. Oh I get looks like I'm a crazy women. But there's always a smile on my face and a song in my heart and that speaks more then anything I can say to the lost souls at the grocery mart.

Each family is called to something so unique and so precious. 
Each calling is different.
Each wife is unique for their husband. 
I just love the beauty of it all.
Tell me how your family functions!
How does your role as a help meet get hard, yet you persevere through it?

Praise the Lord for His grace and His love. :)


Praise the Lord for His Love and Grace
That He pours upon us as we occupy this place
Gleaning wisdom each day from His precious Word
And applying it to our lives seeking help from above
Wisdom cries out and we answer back
Since without her we would all be but daft
A wife and a mother, there's no higher call
And really no greater privilege at all
Like an art that we study, we craft, and we form
Daily sowing, and watering, doing our best to preform
At the end of it all we look eagerly to reap
All the treasures in heaven that we get to keep
When we look on our Savior, who carried our sin
And present our children and our husbands to Him
"Well Done" He will say, if we're faithful through and through
"You diligently cared for what I left you.
A praise to My heart is what you always pursued,
and because of your love,
Your Daughters and Sons 
They all made it here too."

~ Cassie Deputie ~

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Key to Schooling: Reading

I've posted about home educating before and my view point of it.
It's so much more then reading, writing, arithmetic.
It's training kids for life.

But today I want to focus on Reading.

Staring Phonics: We start phonics with our kids around age 4. We use a book called The Reading Lesson. It comes with a Computer Game that reinforces the lesson. 

Once our kids get a good portion of the way into the Reading Lesson (maybe about 1/3 of the way through), we start to get them onto little readers at their level. Something easy so that they can feel the accomplishment of FINISHING A BOOK! YAY!!!

We use Bob's Books:

These Rod and Staff "Stepping Forward Series" Readers:

Some Level 1 or 2 of I Can Read books:

We also invest in a pack of readers from Heart of Dakota that will continue to challenge their reading level. This pack is our goal for the 6 year olds to read through this year. I'm using it as a gage as to exactly where they are at. They need to complete all of these books this year, however, they are free to supplement as many other books in-between as they want... These books include a Bible at their level (which they've already read through completely)

Then it includes several readers that get progressively more challenging. This ciriculum tries to focus on readers that are educational. Many are biographies or science based readers. Some examples that my kids are reading this year are:

We LOVE to provide our kids with reading material!

Use Your Local Library: We try to go to the library ever 1-2 weeks and the kids browse the reader section and fill a bag with whatever level reader they're on of whatever books their interested in. I always sneak in a few non-fiction books for them to read such as "George Washington" or "All About Turtles" or "Bones". I sit with them and let them read me the books they're not so interested in reading. This way I can laugh at parts that are humorous and show them that I am having a good time reading this book with them. This encourages them that non-fiction books can be fun too!

Honestly, my children have learned more from reading books on their own then they have from the years we went through Science books together.

Our library also has Summer Reading Programs for kids. They received little booklets that had lists of activities they could accomplish for prizes. They've read for hours and hours earning time to check off the boxes for prizes. They've tried new things like origami, writing a letter and mailing it, and reading certain books they normally wouldn't. In fact, our whole family is going to the State Fair tomorrow because Ahavah won tickets through the Summer Reading Program at the Library. 

Benefits of Reading to Siblings: Elias LOVES batman books. He picks all the Batman readers the library has on their shelves. I have his older siblings read them to him. They're learning to read, he's learning to listen and also learning to love books,  and the beginner reader (Hayven) is learning to read words by sight since she's listening to her older sister read them fluently. Haven's fluency in reading has dramatically increased since listening to her older sisters read books and following along with them.

I've learned that getting our kids excited about reading by providing them with what they're interested in reading is KEY to having them become successful readers.

Long-Term Benefits: Once they are a little older, I will be able to hand them a science book or a history book and they will be able to read it and comprehend it because they've practiced so much on books they loved.

Dealing with the Uninterested Reader: Hayven will often get frustrated when she's not in the mood to read. I don't try to force her to read too much if she's not interested. I do enforce a minimum of 2 pages for her age in The Reading Lesson on our reading days. But when she does desire to read, she'll knock out 4-5 pages willingly! 

I also noticed if I can show her that she is able to read a book and keep the books at her level available to her, it encourages her instead of discourages her. She needs a lot of praise. She needs that accomplishment of finishing a book even if the books is simply, "This is Bob. Bob is a cat. Bob can run. Go, Bob, Go! The End." Her eyes light up and her heart is filled with joy when she finishes a book! Then she wants to read it over and then venture onto other books!

Limiting Screens Breeds Happy Readers: Because we limit how much television our children are able to watch, our kids naturally turn to books for entertainment. They'll sit for hours in the living room paging through book after book. Even our 3 year old loves to look through Super Hero books for an hour span. His imagination is following the epic battles of Batman and Robin.

We save movies for Monday nights, Friday nights, sleep overs with Friends and the occasional busy day when things just need to slow down.

Reading is the Foundation of learning.
I'm amazed at the statistics in our country of how many kids graduate and are illiterate. 
My husband and I have decided if there is ONE THING we do academically with our kids, it will be to read. 
If they can read, they can learn. 
They can pick up a history book, a science book, a mechanic book, a car manual, a cook book, or a how-to book and teach themselves to do anything. 

Not to mention, they'll be able to pick up the Bible and find all the answers to life and godliness. Any issue they face in their life, they'll be able to pick up God's Word and find the wisdom they need. 

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Canning: What NOT To Do

In having a VERY, VERY busy week, I realized AFTER, I should have read the directions...

It all started last Sunday..

 Our harvest was PLENTIFUL!

We pulled, plucked and snipped...

From a few jalepeno peppers....

To some ridiculously LARGE zucchini...

"what is that?!?"

"Uh... Mom?!?"

We had plenty of help...

And brought home our first batch of zucchini, pickles, and bell peppers!

The zucchini I blanched and froze on Monday...

Also on Monday I purchased about 200 canning jars for $40 (what a score right?!?)

Tuesday my baby sister came over to can!

The boys watched TV while the girls played upstairs...

I had trusted Mariah read through most of the process and we followed some random recipe online...

We chopped...

We sterilized...

However, I heard that little voice telling me NOT to use my UN-enameled cast iron pot to boil our vinegar solution in...

...My pan immediately rusted...

We proceeded to use the brine regardless.

We did NOT dry the rim of our jars before placing the lids on....

So... with boiling canning pots, we placed our jars in.

We covered the pots and waited 15 minutes (like the directions said) and we took them out.

We finally sat down after about 6 hours on our feet only to read through some articles about canning, including the canning section in this cookbook (which I HIGHLY recommend purchasing) we've been using for this whole process.

Good timing huh?

Apparently, you start timing the processing cans once the water has reached a VIGOROUS boil. 
Ours didn't boil at all after we put our cans in.

We RAN into the kitchen and started the fires back up. 
We placed our jars back into the canning pots and let them sit in there probably a good 20 minutes.

GREAT! We probably overcooked them now!

Needlesstosay, by God's grace, we didn't poison our pickles,

e.v.e.r.y. s.i.n.g.l.e. can sealed,

AND they actually turned out crisp and EXTREMELY delicious!

We sent a few jars to Fargo, ND with my sister to the guys who helped till our garden, as well as cracked open a jar for our monthly family dinner.

That was our first time really canning anything in a large quantity before. 

We're heading back to my mom's this week to harvest more cucumbers, zucchini and a whole batch of bright red Roma Tomatoes! 

I'll let you know how all that goes ;)

With this book in hand, and a plant in the other, we're s.l.o.w.l.y. becoming better at this. 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Babies and Sleep

The largest gap I have had between babies was this one. 
Between #4 & #5. 
The younger boys are roughly 34 months apart. 
Because of this gap, I forgot how to get in the groove of sleep with a baby again!

HENSE this post ;)

~ At what age can/will they sleep for a longer stretch of time? ~
~ How do I encourage them to sleep through the night? ~
~ What "method" is best for teaching them when to sleep? ~

First of all, like most, if not all, things pertaining to children, our job as parents is to TRAIN our children. We teach them everything from how to brush their hair, to how to appropriately close a door, to how to pick up their toys when their finished playing. 

Potty training as well as training a baby to sleep is no different in my opinion. 

Duke loves to scoot his head onto my bed. I think it's because my sheets smell like me. :)

#1) At what age can/will a baby sleep for a longer stretch of time?

They can be trained anywhere between 6 weeks and 3 months. By 3 months baby should be sleeping through the whole night. Some babies start to sleep for longer stretches much earlier then that.

Aryeh is almost 6 weeks now (6 weeks tomorrow) and I started training him 4 days ago to understand when night time is and how to fall asleep in his bassinet without me rocking him or nursing him to sleep.

I look for "ready signs". Each of my babies hit these at different times. The twins at 4 weeks, Hayven and Elias at around 5-6 weeks.

 I look for times of cluster feeding (wanting to nurse every 30 minutes - every hour around bed time) as well as a nap or a night when baby decides to start skipping feedings (sleeping for 4-6 hour stretches!). I also consider baby's weight and overall health.

Have they gained their birth weight and some back? 
Are they sick? 
Have they been having horrible gas pains or signs of acid reflux?

#2) How do I encourage them to sleep through the night?

I've read the schedules/night time routines help babies a lot. I don't personally like giving my baby a bath every night or things like that.

I pick a "bed time". Duke's is between 9pm-10pm. I nurse him as much as he wants in the evening, then a final nurse right after a final diaper change. I tell him I love him, give him kisses, lay him down, give him his pacifier, rub his back a little, then walk away for 15-20 minutes. 

I check on him, give him back his pacifier, rub his back, kiss him, tell him it's bed time and I love him, then leave the room again. 

Night #1 He'll probably scream a good hour or two. He'll fall asleep and maybe wake up to nurse at his next feeding or maybe he'll skip a feeding. 

** Skipping Feedings: If I am training at a young age (6 weeks - 2 months), I still feed every 2 hours if baby wants to, although I've found my babies will start to sleep for 4-6 hour stretches when being trained to go to bed by themselves. I like to encourage a good milk supply for as long as I can and don't force my baby to skip feedings if they want to nurse. However, with my twins I trained them to sleep 8 hours through the night without a feeding at around 2-3 months old. It's all preference really. But at about 3 months, you can choose to make baby to sleep for a longer period of time (8-12 hours). **

Night #2 He'll cry a little less and sleep a little longer.

Night #3 & #4 He'll maybe fuss a little or just go right to sleep. Even if he still screams for a long time, reevaluate if he's having other health issues. If not,  STICK TO THE PLAN!

The point is, it should get easier as you go along. If not, make sure he's not dealing with reflux or other issues. Try different sleeping positions (in a swing, on a boppy pillow, swaddled up, on his belly ect)

#3) What "method" is best for teaching a baby to sleep through the night?

I do not believe that letting a baby cry hurts their "self-esteem" or causes them to have "trust issues". I believe it's good for them to cry, (when they're perfectly healthy and get plenty of love from mama during most of the day)

I'll never forget when my twins were born and my babies were having a good SCREAMING episode at my grandmother's house while we were playing a card game. She encouraged me to leave them be. 

She said,

"They need to know you can't always hold them. They need to be able to play or be by themselves. Crying is good for their lungs and helps them get tuckered out to fall asleep."

My husband also says,

 "I'm pretty sure no baby has ever died from just crying..."

I think letting your baby cry is much harder for the parent then the child, like most things in parenting.

"Hayven, don't walk in front of that swing!"

There she goes in front of the swing... :/

 You run out and grab her before she gets hit. 

Does she look out for the swing next time? 


Because she doesn't realize that it will hurt her, because you spared her from that. Now she's relying on you to save her instead of her learning to be vigilant.

Same principle. 

Your baby is relying on you to comfort them 24/7 for no apparent reason instead of him learning to self-sooth, play alone, fall asleep unassisted. 

**THERE ARE EXCEPTIONS TO THIS! I am not saying NEVER hold you crying baby. I am just giving examples that it is okay to let your baby cry when there is nothing wrong with them and you are teaching them to sleep by themselves or sit without being held for a short portion of time. **

Aryeh and his cousin Jedediah!

#4) Why would I want to train my child to sleep through the night anyways?

I always train my kids with a ministry event in mind. If my husband and I are over at someone's house late night ministering to a family, do I want to have to nurse and rock my baby to sleep, or do I want to be able to lay them down in another room and know that they can comfort themselves to sleep? 

Also, in reality, I have 4 other children that need attention. I often will have baby strapped to me during the day so he gets held and snuggled, but I cannot coax him to sleep for 20-40 minutes every time he is sleepy.

Sleep is important for YOU and BABY.

Time in the evening is important for your marriage. ;)


So with Aryeh, Last night (night #4) I laid him down around 9:30pm, and he went right to sleep with no fussing at all. 

He slept until 3:30am, at which point I nursed him and we both fell asleep. 

He woke up at 6:30am to nurse again.

Once he establishes a good, solid sleeping routine at night, I will start to train for nap times and teach him when I want him to nap (during school, during our whole families nap time, and during dinner prep)

I'll work with his natural awake-sleep cycles, but I'll encourage them at specific times as best as I can.

Maybe another post about this later? :)

Sleep is important. For baby AND for mom. 
Pray about it. 
Look for ready signs.
Ask your husband to keep you accountable to not picking baby up when he cries. 
Commit to a plan!