“God is not a belief to which you give your assent. God becomes a reality whom you know intimately, meet everyday, one whose strength becomes your strength, whose love, your love. Live this life of the presence of God long enough and when someone asks you, “Do you believe there is a God?” you may find yourself answering, “No, I do not believe there is a God. I know there is a God.”~Ernest Boyer, Jr.

And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul and with all your might.~Deuteronomy 6:5

Friday, September 9, 2011

When the shadows are long and the days are short

I have a hard time picking favorites of things I just hate it when people ask my favorite meal, I want to say "what this week?" Or my favorite color, "well that depends on the season". Not that I don 't know what I like but I like so many things I hate to settle on one thing, but one thing I know is my favorite is Fall (or maybe spring..see my problem) the truth is I love the different seasons and await each one. But Fall, what a relief it is after the South's hot summer days are gone I get a burst of energy. Sometimes here in the south the wait for fall can be a long one, some years it is still to hot at Halloween to wear some costumes.
This year I noticed at the end of August that the dogwood outside my kitchen window had just a few red leaves on it, could it be could fall be on it's way already so soon? Now leaves can be a tricky fellas and you can't always trust them as a sign of fall, they are hope for fall but not always a sign.
This week however we have enjoyed very cool temps for this time of year...70's already?? Could it be could we have a long fall this year, or could it be the result of the recent hurricane in the gulf ?
For the past couple of days I have noticed a sign of fall I consider dependable, when the shadows grow long and the days are shorter. I can't really explain it but when you look outside the shadows are different from those of summer(I'm sure there is a scientific term for this but I don't know it). Now I'm not foolish enough to believe that fall is really here to stay it's tricky here in the south we could still be in the 90's come October. But as for today the air is crisp the shadows are long and the days grow shorter. As Caleb said the other day "mom I'm just feeling like carving some pumpkins" I know son me to I do love fall!! Even if it is just a tease I'll take it.
Thank you Lord for the seasons each one something to look forward to

So welcome fall to my house and feel free to bring a couple of your friends

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Our new adventure

So summer is almost over and school has already started back but things here at the Loudon's are a little different this year.
We are homeschooling this year, yes you heard me right HOMESCHOOLING! I know I said I would never home school but once again this is proof be careful of what you say you'll never do;)
As I sit here writing this on Sunday afternoon we have successfully completed week one of home school, when I say successfully I mean work got done and nobody cried.
Homeschooling is one of those funny things that you never know how people are going to react to I have found there are 3 basic reactions when you tell people you are homeschooling
  1. Genuine excitement..usually from a fellow home schooler
  2. The "oh I think that's great" with the look of "oh I think your crazy"
  3. and finally the "well I could NEVER home school"

I belonged to at least 2 of those categories at some point in the not so distant past, I'm sure I've given people the I think your crazy look when they told me they home schooled and I know I've said I could never do it. So how did I get here you ask? I started reading different homeschooling sites on the Internet trying to help my struggling son when I came across Simply Charlotte Mason, now I had heard a lot about Charlotte Mason and her ideas on education but until I read them and started digging into it I just didn't quite get it. This "new" way of educating children to teach them to think for themselves through great books and observation made sense to me in fact I wished I had be educated this way. I'm not going to get into Charlotte Mason right now but you can read more here at Simply Charlotte Mason. Check out the free e-books at the top of the page.

After my first week of homeschooling I like it because

  1. you get to shape what your children learn based on what they need
  2. you get to do fun things like make Turkish Delight when you read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe just so you know what it is and what it tastes like

    Our Turkish Delight

Monday, July 25, 2011

So this post is really late but what's new for me?? This summer has been so busy especially this month started with a birthday always a big deal, followed by VBS an even bigger deal concluded almost with a 2 day bible club at retirement home...I told you crazy. Which is why I am just getting around to some random posts for July.
Caleb's birthday always an adventure and new obsession see last year's Mario Party well this year his new obsession is the Green Lantern! Yes he saw the movie and that's all it took, this is his first obsession with a superhero.
OK so party theme is nailed down now on to picking a cake, did I mention this year is just a simple party with a few friends to play and sleep over? So Caleb says "I will keep it easy on you mom just cupcakes"...each with a different lantern sign aww thanks kid - in case you didn't know there are many different lanterns with different powers oh the things I have learned.Not really hard just tedious making each piece but he loved them and now my "mommy guilt" is lessened for another year. The rest of the party was fairly simple movie, pizza, cupcakes, ice cream and some fireworks. Can't believe my boy is 9 years old!! A few years gone by way to fast marked by different obsessions. Wonder what it will be for 10

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Jesus in a tortilla

For those of you who don't know we've started having a bible study at our house on Tuesday nights. We have a GREAT group of people, we are all very different and that adds a great bit of fun to our bible study. In fact this week it was said "I always come here and hear about things going on that I've never heard before, it's like news of the weird"

That statement came about because somehow we got to talking about "Jesus" sightings and how people have seen "Jesus" in all sorts of crazy things the most recent a tortilla.

Jesus in a Fish Stick
Jesus in a Tortilla

People see "Jesus" in all kinds of crazy things and all kinds of crazy places except for the place they should see Him. Do people see Christ in you?
As Christians, followers of Jesus the Christ, people should see Jesus in us. Maybe if we all lived more like Him people wouldn't look to a tortilla to see Jesus.
For a conversation that started off really silly it tied in beautifully to the text we were discussing
"To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Colossians 1:27
If you are a Christian then Christ lives in you and people should see Jesus in you!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Creating Beauty, Choosing Joy

I know some who think spending time and money in our homes to make them beautiful, lovely places of rest is a waste of time but for me it is a necessary means of surviving an ugly world. I need to beauty of flowers in bloom,birds song, beauty all around to see God in His creation. The difference between happiness and joy is happiness depends on life circumstances true joy is contentment when our circumstances are not happy. Joy is not based on emotion, joy is a practice of choice. When I create a space in my life that is beautiful, peaceful I am choosing JOY. I am choosing to fix my eyes on the beauty of God and his perfection.Beautifying our homes conveys some of the more creative qualities of the God we serve. If we want homes that display His glory by reflecting His character, then it helps to become students of beauty and creativity. Sometimes it's decorating for different seasons like Easter

or sometimes it's just a simple vase of flowers sometimes it's a new center piece for the table or a new plant for the garden and most times it's just tidying up our home.

Our house is far from perfect and in fact need a lot of work but it's my space and I choose to make it beautiful because that brings me joy. It is my desire to make our home a relaxing, inviting,refreshing place where Christ dwells.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

On the table

Ok so I haven't made my weekly menus in forever and it has been driving me crazy so in an attempt to be more organized I'm back on the menu wagon

Monday Pork Medallions with Chipotle Orange Glaze, mashed sweet potatoes and steamed asparagus
Tuesday Belizian Stewed Chicken with Stew Beans and Rice, fried plantains
Wednesday Church
Thursday Pasta with pesto, mushrooms and sun dried tomatoes
Friday Pizza night
Saturday Cheese Night

For recipes for this menu go to pamelaskitchen.blogspot.com

So the big clean go t off to a good start last week but due to different events I only got 2 days done, so this week I begin again. This week I will focus on our living space..bedrooms, dinning and living rooms. These are harder I think because I have clutter I need to weed through and decide what stays and what goes. Yesterday I cleaned the dinning room

Common Areas: (1 hour per room)

o Dust ceiling, corners
o Clean ceiling fans/lights
o Clean wall art
o Polish all wood surfaces
o Vacuum cloth seats
o Sweep floor
o Scrub floor

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Day 2 Spring Cleaning

Kitchen done now on to the bath room

Bathroom: (1 to 1.5. hours)

o Wash down walls
o Wash light fixtures
o Disenfect counter tops
o Clean toilet
o Clean area around toilet
o Scrub shower/tub
o Swap out towels
o Sweep/mop floor
o Empty trash- wash trash can
o Wash dirty towels
Clen out closet

I'm cleaning with white vinegar, baking soda and tea tree oil what do you like to clean with?

Monday, March 28, 2011

A week of Spring Cleaning

Ok so I've said it before Spring has sprung here in the South. Spring is a time of renewal the earth wakes up from it's long winter sleep and bursts forth in glorious bloom. Spring is also a time for me to shake off the clutter of winter and for me to refresh my home after a long winter of being closed up and stuffy. That's right today starts Spring Cleaning! Some think this is an antiquated tradition of a bygone generation, but I love to get my house clean and I mean really deep down clean. This year I am taking this task on one room a day. Today the kitchen here's the checklist for my kitchen:

Kitchen: (1-2 Hours)

o Clean out fridge
o Wipe down freezer/fridge
o Scrub oven/stove top
o Clean appliances
o Wash Cabinets front and top
o Move fridge out and clean behind it
o Vacuum refrigerator coils
o Wash out trash cans
o Wash windows
o Clean tile floors

Follow my progress this week and keep me on track sometimes I think I have cleaning ADD. Do you do special cleaning for Srping? Let me know your thoughts on this age old tradition

Sunday, March 27, 2011

In Like a Lion and you know the rest

Wow so here it is the end of March and as I look back over the month it seems to have blown in like a lion and well just roared on until here we are at the end of the month. This month we had Mardi Gras, St. Patrick's Day, Spring Break and then allergies or was it a spring time cold who knows. One thing I do know is Spring has arrived no matter what the calendar says, and the proof is everywhere flowers are blooming, bees are buzzing and pollen has covered everything in a light green powder. I am thankful for the pollen even though it makes me sick and makes everything a mess because today's pollen is tomorrows honey, God made everything work out so SWEET! So since I've been to busy this month to post much here are a few of my favorite spring things

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Happy Fausnaught Day to all my fellow Pennsylvania Dutchmen
What is Fausnaught Day you might ask well only perhaps the most perfect day in the year...Doughnut Day!

I can almost see my mom there in our small kitchen in her red print cotton apron dusted with flour cutting, frying and glazing doughnuts. We always made the classic fausnaught made with mashed potaotes but we also made jelly filled and biegnets. Seeing our little kitchen table covered with fresh fried doughnuts is one of my fondest memories of family and tradition. Of course growing up in the rural south we were the only family celebrating doughnut day but oh how our friends loved when we came around with bags of doughnuts.

Fausnaught day marks the beginning of Lent just as does Fat Tuesday or Strove Tuesday. All 3 days share the common thread of using up all the butter, eggs and flour in a house to for lent which was meant to be a time of fasting, prayer, and bible study in order to prepare ones heart for Easter. Now while we never fasted or celebrated Lent growing up we did always recognize Fausnaught Day.

I guess that's why I'm just a little blue today because for the first year in many I am not making doughnuts! My kids love celebrating Mardi Gras complete with decorations and King Cake of course. I know it's called FAT TUESDAY but we can't handle doughnuts and king cake in the same day! Unless we do fast for the next 40 days...hmmm there's a thought.

Eat a doughnut for me!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Less of me, more of You

When I first started this little blog it was a means of sharing my life and the life of my family with those I love. As time went on it became a source of pride and frustration for me, taking any joy I had once found in it. What happened?

I lost my vision of sharing our life and my thoughts with the ones I love, I became more concerned with hits, comments and how my blog compared to others. I became conscious of the fact that I am not a great or even good writer. My blog became about me in the prideful sense, I wanted recognition, I wanted to be something more.

I took a long break and refocused my life on what really counts to me, I have begun to view life and all I do through the lens of eternity. When it's all said and done will it matter how many hits I got? I regained my focus and the vision is now clear. I want to encourage and uplift with this blog, not for my sense of pride but for God's glory. I no longer care about hits or comments but my prayer is someone will read this little blog and their relationship with God will be strengthened and their heart will be encouraged.

I found this over at A Holy Experience (a favorite blog of mine):

A Bloggers Prayer

I am no longer my own blogger, but Thine, O Lord.

Refine me with each post how You will, rank me how You will.
Put me to service, or put me to suffering.
Let me post for Thee or be put aside for Thee,
Lifted high, only for Thee, or brought low, all for Thee.
Do with me and each post whatever you will, because You alone know best.

Let me not strive but submit Let me not compete but care
Let me not desire hits but holiness
Let me be a follower, instead of seeking followers.

Let my blog be full of Thee, and let it be empty of me.
Let me crave all things of Thee, let me care nothing of this world.
Let my words be worthy of the greatest of audiences: You.
And You are enough.

May I write not for subscribers… but only for Thy smile.
May my daily affirmation be in the surety of my atonement,
not the size of my audience.
May my identity be in the innumerable graces of Christ,
never, God forbid, the numbers of my comments.
May the only words that matter in my life not be the ones I write on a screen ---
but the ones I live with my skin.

I freely and heartily yield every sentence, every title, every post, every comment… or no comments… all to Thine pleasure and perfect will.

My only fame is that I bear Your name
My only glory is the gift of Your Grace
My only readership, Your eyes that seek to and fro to find a heart hard after You.
Make this so, oh Lord…

Yahweh, You alone are my God, not Google
Jesus, You alone are my Savior, not site meters
And Holy Spirit, You alone are my Comforter, not comments

So be it, today, yesterday, and every post to come.

This is my prayer I have made on earth and over this keyboard… let it be ratified in heaven.

Weather therefore you eat or drink or whatsoever you do, do all to the glory of God
I Corinthians 10:31

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Thinking Love– Simply Charlotte Mason

Once there was a king who had a very special child.
The king could not entrust this child to just any of his
subjects to raise; he searched for a couple who, he knew, would
raise the child after his own heart. He lovingly placed the child in
their home with the commission, “I am loaning her to you for a
short time. Raise her as I would.”

A Whole Person

God has entrusted our children to us. They belong to Him
and we are merely stewards with the commission of teaching and
training them. Most likely you already know this truth. But it is
important to review it every now and then, for when we understand
this truth, we know how to view our children. And how we view
our children will have a profound influence on how we choose to
educate them.

“And first, let us consider where and what the little being
is who is entrusted to the care of human parents.

A tablet to bewritten upon? A twig to be bent? Wax to be moulded?
Very likely;but he is much more––a being belonging to an altogether higher
estate than ours; as it were, a prince committed to the fostering
care of peasants.”

If we view our children as whole persons, entrusted to us by
God, we will be careful to educate their whole persons: body,
mind, will, emotions, soul. We will not isolate just the intellect or
just the will.

A Thinking Love (free e-book) – Simply Charlotte Mason

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Right around the corner

This weekend as the temps crept upward to 68 I ventured out of my house to inspect the yard and make plans for this year's garden. This time last week my herbs were under a blanket of white snow again this year which is rare here in the deep South.

As I rushed cold and shivering from the car to the back door last week I had failed to stop and take note of what was happening in the garden. That is why this caught me by surprise:

Is that what I think it is? Could it be true? Dare I say the words out loud? The first signs of Spring! Yes there in the snow (did not take the pic that day) peaking out my crocus, the first to bloom...early Spring bloomers... that would mean only one thing...this must be early spring! I refuse to get what I call "Spring Fever" and start planting but boy it is hard when the days are 70. After a week of warmer temps my daffodils popped out their happy faces

Spring is right around the corner my friend!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Simple Pleasures

I have reached a very contented place in life, I think I have learned how to be satisfied, deeply content sometimes it is the simplest thing that brings me happiness. Right now it's birds, I love the simplicity of the bird motif the peacefulness and serenity. It all began with a simple table cloth I found with a simple bird sitting on a branch with little red flowers. I looked at it a few times and did not buy it then it went on sale and I knew it was meant to be mine. Something in it just spoke to me and so it began.

At Christmas my sister gave me a simple white bird, I loved it and knew just the place for it, on my table.
A few years ago I found a great perfectly round bird nest in a light and saved it for one of the kids to take for show and tell that perfect nest made by real birds is home to my stone bird , it just speaks to my soul. Maybe I will add a few blue eggs to it, just for color. I am thankful for SIMPLE PLEASURES that bring contentment.

Live Simply and fill your day with simple pleasures.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Cherish the Moments for tomorrow they will be gone

Hurry get to school, hurry get home, hurry do homework, hurry to church and hurry home for lunch our lives are lived in such a hurry. I remember when Caleb was just a tiny baby I thought oh I hope we hurry up past this or that phase in life, hurry and learn to walk and talk and read. Why do we rush life so fast? Sometimes I think how did I get to be 38 years old where did the days go? Why was I in such a hurry to grow up? Now I look at my children in love and wish I could just slow it all down they are growing up to fast and in my hurry have I missed something? The bible says life is but a vapor and then it is gone, I don't want to live my vapor of a life hurrying chasing after things that don't really matter. I want to savor the moments, cherish the days see the fullness of each day. Take time today to hug your children a little longer, snuggle in bed with your husband or wife, and live your life for Christ each and every day for in Him is the fullness of life.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Ultimate Religious Decision

So here we are already over half way through the January 2011, each New Year brings a new start to our lives, a new opportunity and new decisions to make. We all have one ultimate decision to make and it is the most important in our lives even if we get all the other decisions in our lives right and miss this one what have we gained? Listen as John McArthur teaches on the Ultimate Religious Decision.

The Ultimate Religious Decision

Glory, I’m saved! Glory, I’m saved!
My sins are all pardoned, my guilt is all gone!
Glory, I’m saved! Glory, I’m saved!
I’m saved by the blood of the Crucified One!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Nothing left to say

This old hymn is a free paraphrase of Psalm 103:1-6 and is a joyful, triumphant expression of praise to God for his sovereign care over his creation and for his people. It calls God’s people and all creation to praise God for his mercy towards us. It happened to come on today as I was praying...what sweet worship. I have noting left say but PRAISE TO THE LORD THE ALMIGHTY