Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Homeschool Art Class

At the moment, all school-book school is at a temporary stop. Instead, we are starting a garden unit, and I've been having art class up in my bedroom. It's been quite fun!

Here's my *ahem* "quarter bath" that's off my bedroom, in the beginning:

It's needed some work for a while now, and being that we're having a little time off from school, it seemed the perfect time to give the little room a cheap face lift - a couple coats of paint. While Mom and I were at Home Depot getting supplies for the garden, we picked up a gallon of "Cloudy Dream", aka Melon-y Pink, to bathe the walls in.
Of course before painting the little room needed some prepping. Thanks to Active Boy the ugly towel rack was removed.

Then I primed the walls and cupboard white...

While I was at it I primed a little rocking chair we've had for while that Mom and I thought would look so cute white!

After priming I painted the trim white. I also took a little while to quickly get the chair done, which looks great in the corner of my MIT #2's bedroom holding the teddy bears Mrs. Noa has made for us girls now (Thanks so much!).

Painting the color was the fun part. By then I pretty much had it down and was whippin' through. Here is my finished master piece!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Blink Blink...

Along with learning new words practically every day, Baby MIT has a new trick - she now plays "The Blinking Game"! I caught her on camera the other day... and as you'll see I tried to get her to say "diaper", her new word, but alas, she would not perform. Anyway, her is Baby MIT playing The Blinking Game. :)

**For some reason, the sound and picture are off, so bear with me!**

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Ambassador of... What?

I think it's really easy for young ladies to get into the mindset that if so-and-so isn't as modest, pure or has "got-it-together" like they do (and really, do any of us have it together?), then they're instantly in some sort of position to critisize the girl within every inch of her life. This story gives us a little heads up on the topic, and reminds us what really matters.

Ambassador of… What?

By Sarah H. [a blogger at Destiny of One]

“Have you met Tracy?” Rachel asked one of the five girls standing in a little huddle in the fellowship hall.

“Tracy who?” Karen asked

“Tracy Smith,” Rachel replied.

“I think I have,” Hannah responded. “Isn’t she the one that is always wearing the really low cut dresses?”

“That’s the one,” Rachel responded.

“Oh, so she was the girl sitting in front of me who couldn’t keep her hands off her boyfriend. Didn’t that girl hear the pastor’s sermon on purity last week?” Karen asked, shaking her head.

“Well, she does go to public school,” Emily said with a knowing tone. Emily looked over at Bethany, who remained silent with her arms crossed.

“Public school is ruining that girl,” Karen agreed. “Did you see her this morning? She had on so much make-up I don’t think you could see her face.” This brought giggling from all the girls; all that is, except Bethany, who sat just listening.

“I sat behind her two weeks ago, and she kept talking through the whole service. She has a horrible mouth. Well, she didn’t say that many bad words, but she was disrespectful to her mom and she was criticizing every one,” Hannah said.

“Oh, I know it,” Rachel said with a nod. “My mom says that she is a manipulator and can get her mom to do anything.”

“Maybe her mom needs to learn who is in control,” Emily interjected. “Why, if Tracy were my child she would be leaning a few of life’s hard lessons right now.”

“That girl needs to be out of the public school system and in her home or she will end up getting her self in jail or something,” Karen remarked.

“I don’t think Tracy would …” Bethany started to say but was interrupted.

“And to think that she signed that pledge of abstinence a year ago,” Rachel said shaking her head.

“It is sad, but she is running her life,” Hannah said. All the other girls agreed, and there was a pause for a moment.

Excuse me, girls, but whose ambassadors are we?” Bethany asked, and four sets of eyes turned to her with questioning looks. “I mean, listen to yourselves! You are all going on and on about how bad Tracy is and what she needs to do, but not one of you is even close to fixing the problem.”

Hannah, Rachel, Emily and Karen looked blankly at Bethany. Bethany sighed.

“It would seem from this conversation that Tracy’s crime is that her parents have not chosen to home school her and that her greatest issue in life is that she has chosen to date. But is that her real issue? The four of you are so busy looking at her make up, low cut dresses, and her boy friend that not one of you sees the real problem.

“Rachel, whose ambassador are you? Or for what? Homeschooling? What about you, Hannah? Are you now the official advocate for modesty? How about you, Emily? Are you now part of the purity police force? And you, Karen, when did you begin to listen to what was going on behind you instead of the sermon?

“Really, you girls you ought to be ashamed. Whose ambassador are we supposed to be? Homeschooling’s? Courtship’s? “Respect’s? Well, I don’t know about you, but I am not an ambassador for homeschooling, courtship, honoring your parents, or even the pastor. I am not even the advocate of abstinence, prayer in schools, modesty, or any of the other things that you have mentioned. I am an ambassador for my lord Jesus Christ, and nothing else, I hope.

“You guys, Tracy has issues, I know. But you are talking about masking symptoms of a disease, not finding a way to cure it. Tracy’s problem is not that she is going to public school, or that she is dating, nor even that she is wearing revealing clothes. Tracy’s problem, Tracy’s disease is that she doesn’t have God.

“Which one of you has tried to be her friend? Which one of you has tried to love her and show her the way to God? Until you lead her to the point were she is broken at the feet of the cross, nothing will change Tracy. It isn’t that homeschooling isn’t a good thing. It’s not even that I wouldn’t like to see her stop dating and start having godly relationships. Rather, it’s that until you give her God it won’t make any difference.

“We have been sent to this earth to bring salt and light to a world that desperately needs it. We have been called to live radically different lives to be a witness to a country that is going downhill. But if we start preaching step sixteen before we have even said anything about step one, they are going to be confused and not listen to us any more.

“Have we forgotten that we are the privileged few? Not many kids are raised in radical churches and radical homes. We have been given much but we must remember that to whom much is given, much is expected. God did bless us with believing, homeschooling parents, not so that we would walk around with a holier-then-thou attitude. He gave it to us so that we could be his lights in a dark room.

“Tracy does not need to hear a sermon from you on how to dress; she needs to know that there is a white robe waiting for her in heaven if she will believe in Jesus. She doesn’t need us to tell her about how she is being brainwashed in school; she needs us to tell her that there is a God willing to wash her sins away and make them white as snow. She doesn’t need to be told that her love life is wrong; she needs to be told that there is a God that loves her and will fill the emptiness that is obviously in her heart.

“We will have many Tracys in our lives, girls, and they need us to be ambassadors from God to them. In order for us to do that, though, we have to deicide whose ambassador we are. I am my Lord and Savior’s, for even though I have never been ‘as bad as most,’ I killed Jesus with my sins, and he spilled his blood for me as much as he did for the murderer and the adulteress. It will be hard, I know. I don’t like Tracy and girls like her, but Christ spilled his blood for them, and he wants her to know that. Can I despise one to whom God extends his love?

“Let us decide today, girls, for whom or for what we are ambassadors.”

Monday, March 23, 2009

"Who Will Speak Up For the Little Ones?"

My dad recently shared this video with me... it almost made me cry! Here's Phil Keaggy with "Little Ones":

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Our Passover Preprarations

As many of you know, Passover is creeping up quickly. This year it starts April 8th - less than three weeks away! For our family, that means eating up all the leaven in our house before having to chuck it all out, in accordance to Exodus 12:15:

"Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel."

Like Missi's family, we put all our leaven in boxes so we can make sure to use it up! Here's what we had when we first put the boxes together...plus about 50lb of flour, and a good amount of crackers and granola bars in the van as "emergency snacks" to be used.

Now we've used up a good amount of the pasta and crackers and some of the cereal. Of course, we don't eat cereal, granola bars and pop tarts very often (actually the pop tarts are Dad's), but now that we're getting closer to Passover we're eating them a lot more, which of course everyone likes. :)

Another thing we do is clean. Although many of the rooms in our house probably don't have any leaven in them, it's a good time to do a good thorough cleaning of the WHOLE house. Even the storage closet that holds toiletries is on our clean-up list!

Of course, after all the preparation comes the actual Passover part. This year we're having a large Sedar dinner at our house with many Messianic friends. Then, the next day, my dad is going to do one for us children. That's usually pretty fun. :) We have an uncomplicated skit of the story using homemade oversize masks, a decorated table with frogs, flies and so on and lots of explaining. It usually takes about a half hour to forty five minutes, which is good for the littles!

Like it says in Exodus 12:15 (above), you're not supposed to eat leaven for seven days. Sounds easy, no big deal. Just don't eat sandwiches and spaghetti, right? He he, well don't we all wish it were that easy. If you've ever gone without leaven before, you know how hard it is! You feel like you're practically living on matzah. :)

Last year, Active Boy's birthday fell on Passover so I made him a non-leavened apple cake. It turned out all right, but as soon as the leaven-fast was over I made him a real one!

Another time, our family took a trip to Costco on Pesach (Hebrew for "Passover"). It turned out not to be such a good idea because they were sampling a ton of bread products that day...not that we remembered it was Passover or anything. Yep! I remember I was on a little blueberry muffin when Mom quietly said to us to quick throw our samples away - it's Pesach!

So yes, we are still learning, but are thankful to be celebrating the Lord's appointed feasts!

You can read more about what we do for Passover on Mother Dear's blog here: Getting Rid of Leaven and Preparing for Passover.


March Cakes

Well, our computer is back in the game, so here I am! Here are the promised cake pictures I've done.

'Lil Active Boy's fourth...

Now, for some reason I can't move the pictures anymore, hence the two in a row above. So, I'll just tell you about each one down here.
The evening right after I finished the airplane cake, I stayed up doing the dolphin cake, my second one ordered! (To see my first cake-for-money, a wedding cake, go here.) It definitely got my creative juices pumping as I had to work around some difficulties, but in the end I think it turned out pretty good. The little nine year old who's birthday it was for liked it, anyway.
Then, today I did Mom's cake for her thirty-fifth birthday! She didn't really want anything fancy, I just had to be sure it was chocolate mint - her favorite. :)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A Little Life Update

Well, here I am, at the library, loving the use of this computer! Our internet has been down for a few days, and I haven't really been on the computer much at all for the past week altogether. This month, I've got cakes galore to make! Well, at least more than I'm used to. :) Like you saw, the second was Baby MIT's birthday, then last Tuesday was 'Lil Active Boy's, then on Wednesday and Thursday I had a cake order to do, then this Saturday I've got a chocolate mint cake to make due to Mom's birthday... Anyone else have a birthday I need to bake and decorate for? I think I've got some leftover blue and orange icing in the fridge... :) Unfortunately, I can't share any pictures from here, but as soon as I'm able I certainly will!

Some other things going on in the Darling Household?

- Baby MIT is working to master running (too cute!)
- The boys have a multitude of clubs going on in various parts of the house. One of them is a spying club. I think Creative Genius has been delegated the Serenity (my favorite sister) Case.
- We are preparing for Passover. More on that in a future post.
- Mr. Darling will be sanding and refinishing the hardwood in the kitchen, living and dining room. Yahoo!

Ok, well Mother Dearest is standing impatiently behind me waiting to g-o. Hopefully more soon!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Happy Purim!

As some of you may know, today is Purim, the celebration of God working through Queen Esther to save her people! Unfortunatly, I'm (hopefully) getting over a bad headache that seems to keep moving to different places, so this won't be too long!

Here's MIT #2 as our little Esther all dressed up for our family Purim play.

At the bottom here I've listed some places you can visit to learn more about the holy day...

To read the Purim story from the Bible, go here, to the Book of Esther.
Want a sixty second version? Head on over to aish.com.

Growing in Grace Magazine put out lots of articles on Purim this month from a few different laides. Read Purim, The Holiday of Joy.

Purim Sameach,

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Monstrous Regiment of Women

A few nights ago Mom and I snuggled up in some warm blankets to watch a documentary that our good friend Alena lent to us. We didn't know quite what to expect, only that it was "really good".

Not only was The Monstrous Regiment of Women good, it was wonderful! It was such a blessing to my mother and I by not only encouraging us in our views as feminine, godly ladies, but by also (at least to me) exposing what feminist actually are. Very interesting. Definitely worth the watch!

Note: I would suggest that parents watch the documentary with children, older children, at that. There is a good amount of screen time that talks about abortion and promiscuity, as well as a clip of a baby being aborted.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Another First Birthday!

Monday was our little Baby MIT's first birthday. I can't belive she is already this old!!! It seems like yesterday that she was born in our living room. I remember that evening very clearly. The midwives came at about two o'clock, I watched the children until they went to bed, and by eleven PM that night we had a little new born baby to love on. And now...well, now we have a talker, walker, climber and another member of the little's gang. She doesn't seem like our teensy-weensy babe at all! It's amazing how much babies change in such a short amount of time.

Of course, with the birthday came cake. It was a super fun one to do! I love the scrapbook-y look to it. :)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

What is it About a Boy and his Treehouse?

You've gotta love 'im. :)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

10 More Things All About Me!

1. When I was about seven or eight, I had "days of the week" panties that I loved. I was always one who loved matching, so of course wearing my panties that said "Monday" with a pink sparkly cupcake underneath on Monday seemed perfect.

2. One time when I was about three I was standing on our deck off our apartment. I remember looking down at a boy who was pointing a gun at me, and really freaking out. A few years later I
learned from my mom that it was a water gun. :)

3. I enjoy sending my friends packages for birthdays and holidays. My favorite part? Decorating! Cute wrapping paper, paper stripes, sparkles, stickers, marker polka dots, swirls, stars and vines have all been on one package or another.

4. I do not like it when someone comes up behind me and scares me. Lately Creative Genius has been hiding behind and popping out of things at the moments when I least expect it, letting out a banshee scream. So, if you were worried about all those piercing screams coming from our house in twos, don't worry. It's only him, then me. :)

5. I love Taco Bell's chalupas.

6. Since we only eat kosher meat, I have a mental list of the food places I want to go when I one day go to Israel where practically everything is kosher. My number one food? A spicy chicken sandwich from Jack in the Box.

7. I hate cleaning out the fridge.

8. MIT #2 and I have the same middle name, practically. Mine is Elissa, which is derived from Elizabeth. Her's is Elishava, which is Elizabeth in Hebrew. They both mean "God's oath".

9. I love the rain. There is just something about being in your warm and cozy house while it is dark and wet outside.

10. When I was little, I loved playing dress up!

If you would like to share ten things about yourself, please do so! Write a post on your blog with them, then copy and past the URL code for it in the bottom space, with your name on top. We'd all love to learn more about you!