Where Homemakin, Homeschoolin, Home Cookin, Sweet Tea, Babies, & Jesus are a part of life.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Are Family Integrated Church's a Cult?

All this Doug Philips "affair," talk has stirred up quite a few opinions in blog land. I briefly Googled Vision Forum to see what was going on from Vision Forum itself and before I clicked on their link I found a rather interesting site referring to Vision Forum, Above Rubies, Michael Pearl, Family Integrated Church's, the Quiverfull movement and large Christian families like the Duggar's as either cults or their cult followers.

This stopped me for a moment. I clicked on the link and skimmed this person's website. What I read wasn't worth repeating in my opinion, and is not what this post is about. However, I will speak of a couple things he touched on as he shared his beliefs that he/she stated as facts which were blatant lies. As my 'about me' page says, "I am allergic to liars." Whether this person is just ignorant or has some ulterior motive, it is irrelevant to me. A lie is a lie.

I am not here to say whether a family integrated church is right for you and your family. I am simply writing this post to state my personal experience with family integrated church's. All of which opposes the author's webpage I read tonight.

For starters, what is the definition of a Family Integrated Church?

Wikipedia says:

A family integrated church is one in which parents and children ordinarily attend church services together, children stay all through church services without attending Sunday school or children's ministries, and organized groups and activities for children and youth are normally non-existent. Other terms used are family discipleship churches, family-centered ministry and inclusive-congregational ministry.[1]
A spectrum of such churches exist with some completely eliminating all age-segregation and others allowing for some in certain contexts. Although segregation may take place during weekday events, family-integrated churches are generally united in having children in the main worship service

So what is a Family Integrated Church coming from someone who has attended one?

In a Family Integrated church (hence family integrated) children are not excluded from the service.

This pretty much sums it up.

Can it be that something that simple is being referred to as a cult? Oh yes, it can, and it is.

Here are some other questions I want to answer...

1. Do Family Integrated Church's embrace the "Quiverfull Movement?"

Some families do and some don't. Some have 11 kids and some have had surgeries to stop them from having children. God's church is filled with different kinds of people. Do Family Integrated Church's teach that babies are a blessing and should be accepted as such? Yes. It's so odd to me that women killing their babies as a form of birth control so they can live as they wish is not only accepted in our society but also praised, yet welcoming life and especially welcoming more than three babies is crazy. Seems to me that something is a wee bit off with that.

2. Do Family Integrated Church's do everything together?

No. They have Bible studies and other activities that children don't attend as well as youth activities. You will always find parents there running it instead of a 'youth pastor.'

3. Do Family Integrated Church's enforce homeschooling?

No. This is so silly. Yes you will find lots of homeschooling families in Family Integrated Church's but you will also find children who are public schooled as well as some in private schools.

4. Aren't Family Integrated Church's only for families?

This question coincides with #1 and the answer is no. The author of the bizarre webpage stated that Family Integrated church's only had families in them. How weird is that?! In family Integrated church's you will find single people, widow's, and even divorced people. You name it. That author had no clue what he was talking about. I wonder where he got his information from. Clearly he has never been to a Family Integrated Church. Maybe he should take a trip to Voddie Baucham's Southern Baptist Family Integrated Church in Spring, Texas and ask him some questions. I'd love to hear those answers.

5. Do Family Integrated Church's believe in male dominance?

This one makes me laugh. I'll answer this one with the answer that can be used on every question I've answered. Family Integrated Church's are biblical church's that believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God and follow it as such in all aspects of their lives.

Blog author man or woman stated that Family Integrated Church's are unscriptural cults. This had my jaw on the floor. It shocked me that someone could be this ignorant. During the Apostolic age children worshipped with their parents. They didn't send them off into the other room. That didn't start until much later and yet now that is accepted as scriptural. Children were not a burden. And on another note, the Bible states that it is the parents ultimate responsibility to teach their children about Him. I was raised in a faith that deceived me with their man made doctrines. My husband and I don't want that for our children and sadly we have had some not so great experiences with youth leaders teaching our daughters unscriptural things. These people had Bible school backgrounds and yet were teaching my children their opinions about such teachings. I don't want that. I want my children to learn the truth and it is my responsibility to see that that happens.

Back to the question. The answer is no. The Family Integrated Church believes in a God-ordained order and that my friends is Biblical. It amazes me how this one thing can freak so many people out.

Mention the word submission and watch people go crazy.

God's order:


I always say that there are only two kinds of people in this world. There are those that believe the Bible is God breathed and those who don't. Those who don't, can't possibly believe its truths and those who do believe that the Bible is inspired that argue, obviously haven't read all of it, or they've read a counterfeit Bible. Many religions add to the Bible in some way and some take away from it. Whatever works for them. And people like my parents and their parents are deceived every day in the name of trust. I learned four years ago to read the Bible and see what God said about everything. That was an eye opener and is why I left the religion I once knew and loved.

(Did you know that many Bibles omit entire verses? How about that a very popular Bible refers to satan as Jesus?)

How is it that a church that has decided to go back to how the Apostles did everything is being called a cult? It's simple. Jesus warned us that this would happen. No slave is greater than His master. If we are to follow Him and do what He says, we too will be persecuted.

Since the last question seems to be the one people (esp. women) seem to have the most issues with, I will touch on it a bit further. Women in these types of churches have been compared to FLDS and that is plain odd to me. They are nothing like them. Authors like the one I read depict women in Family Integrated churches who submit to their husbands as miserable, fake, smiley women who are abused and mousy, submitting to their husbands out of fear.

This couldn't be further from the truth. I have met many women who share this belief system and you will find anything but mousy, abused women. You will not find women who only wear skirts and cover their heads. Instead you will find jean wearing, skirt wearing, strong, happy, women who enjoy talking. (and even speak in the church. They just don't teach) You will find real smiles. You will find laughing, joking, and even some complaining at times. You will find women loving their husbands and husbands loving their wives. These are not abused women. They don't submit out of guilt or force. Maybe some do, but I've never met any. They submit out of respect and love and each one I know has a husband who adores her in return. Each woman has a voice. A mighty loud one at that and each husband listens to his wife. They reflect God and His church, just like the Bible said married couples would. Do they disagree? Yep. Do they talk about it in front of other people? Sometimes. I've sure seen it.

 Like I said, these women have opinions and mouths. What you won't typically find is disrespect of their husbands. You may find women talking amongst themselves and relay some funny story about how her husband may have frustrated her, but you will never find a woman belittling her husband. If this happens, it is rare. These women know how blessed they are to be loved by strong men, willing to lead in a day and age where men are becoming more and more effeminate. They don't take that or their husbands for granted. It is their goal to lift up their husband with love, even on a day when he may have upset them. If critics find this weird, so be it. I however, don't. My husband is special and he should know I feel that way. I can show him by respecting him.

That authors accusations were just plain silly and he/she was highly ignorant.

On to another question.

6. What's so wrong with daycare and why don't Family Integrated Church's have it?

There's nothing wrong with daycare and it's a misconception that there isn't ever any daycare option at a Family Integrated church because there can be. It all depends on the church. I have been to one where different mom's take turns and sit in the back of the church, creating a daycare.

7. What about screaming babies? How can anyone concentrate? What about those that don't have children? How would they feel with all the screaming?

I grew up in a church that had a cry room. It was poopy and I could never hear anything. It was lonely and I felt isolated. My baby didn't cry if I was walking her but walking her in the church would have been weird and possibly disrespectful. In the Family Integrated Churches I have been in there was rarely crying. This is no lie. Babies cuddled next to their mama's and others played quietly. When a little one would get loud, their mom or dad (this isn't unusual to see) would walk them which would usually solve the problem. Family Integrated churches aren't loud. The children are happy and the parents are free to get up and walk their babies or take one to the potty. There typically is no screaming and no need for a cry room.

Here's another difference about Family Integrated Church's. In my experience, the Elder's do not get paid. All of the tithes go back into the church, into the community and to helping missionaries. The church members are involved in this. You will find leaders who lead because of their genuine love for Jesus and His church. Money has nothing to do with it. It's not a job.

I could go on but this post is already pretty long. If you've read all of it, I hope it answered some of your questions and gave you some answers from someone who has attended a Family Integrated Church.

As I'm sure you've gathered, I love Family Integrated churches. Do I think other churches are bad? I sure don't as long as they line up scripturally. I know of some families who are blessed to attend terrific churches that have phenomenal youth programs. Even still, if I have a choice, I want my kiddos with me, and given the choice (which they have been) they choose to be with us, no matter what church we attend.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Should Christians put up a Christmas Tree?

From the above picture I am going to assume you know what I do beings those are three of my girls putting up my tree. LOL

Once upon a time, I didn't think twice about having a Christmas tree. It was what everyone I knew did and then I found out how pagans worshipped trees and shortly thereafter I met some Christians who didn't celebrate Christmas and surely didn't put up a tree.

After talking and praying about it, my husband and I decided that we would still celebrate Christmas in remembrance of whenever our Savior was really born and we would continue to put up our tree.

So here's why...

We do not worship the tree, never have and never would. It is nothing but a fun decoration. I am a creative spirit and I decorate for every season. I would have a tree up other seasons and decorate it. Maybe not as big as this one, but I totally would.

We still celebrate Christmas because we enjoy it. Our children know the truth about the season including its myths and we're all happy with that. Jesus Himself told us not to let any man judge us as to what days we focus solely on Him and that would include December 25 or 26 or 27. You get the picture.

So now I bet you're wondering if these pictures are this year and the answer is yes.

Think I'm crazy? LOL

Every year in November on my husbands birthday we put up our tree and lights.

It is our little family tradition to decorate the Christmas tree on Thanksgiving night after all of the dishes are done. After a couple of years of putting up the tree, doing the lights that night and then decorating, I decided something had to change. I was way too tired to do that again. Especially on a day I spend on my feet cooking a big meal. The next year we put up the tree and lights in advance and boy was I happy when Thanksgiving came and all I had to do was help decorate! I could rest and enjoy the time with my family. Now, it wasn't work anymore. It was fun!

Of course there are some of us (all my girls) who think that putting the tree up is just the most wonderful thing ever. Clearly they have never put lights on a tree. O.O LOL

And then there are those too little to do much. They tend to find other things to do like try to eat their sisters Magnadoodle pen when Mama isn't looking. O.O Uh oh, busted.

And then there's the wee one who is just content at that moment to be being held by Daddy.

Tis the season to be jolly... fa la la la la, la la la la

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

When a 4 yr. old Dresses Themselves

This my friends, is sometimes what happens when my four year old dresses herself.

Hmmm... I told her that she couldn't just wear her tights even though they are crazy thick. I didn't mention that I wasn't too fond of the black tights with the purple shirt. She was so proud of her outfit. I figured it was one of those moments I should just keep my opinions to myself.

This is the end result after she finished her outfit and mommy fixed her hair. Check out that smile!

And for an added bonus her little sister snuck in the picture.

The end result, albeit being better than the first try at her outfit, was still not what I would have chosen.
A child is only 4 years old once.
I say, wear those black tights kiddo and enjoy being little.

Beaver Butt... it's what's for Dessert. Say What?

Oh yeah, you read that right. The FDA has been using a secretion from a beavers anus to flavor foods as well as in perfumes. Nope, no kidding.

I think it might be time to think twice (or once even) before buying anything vanilla, strawberry, or raspberry flavored ever again. O.O

You can read about it HERE at Natural News.com

*Today I decided to Pin this to my Trim Healthy Mama pinterest file for all those mama's to see. Back when I was on Facebook I knew of many mom's that used these flavorings regularly and would want to know what they were consuming*

Monday, November 18, 2013

Meet some of my 'Extended Family'

As a mom to all girls my life may be a wee bit different than moms of both boys and girls. You see, I am raising future mom's, and only future mom's. With that being said, I would like to show you what I see often on my furniture. I call them my extended family.

These are my children's "children."
And each and every one of them has a personality. Maybe it's in the genes. I'm not sure. As someone who took acting in school and was in the theatre since age eleven, I am not new to the world of pretend.

Six of those little dolls are American Girl dolls, three being my eldests and one being a joint doll which was a gift from my mom last year. The twins belong to our four year old and McKenna is our seven year old's.

If you're even remotely familiar with American Girl Dolls then you know they are not cheap by any means. I have seen so many blog posts on how getting a 'My Generation,' doll from Target is just as good. I am here to say that if that's all you can buy and your child will never come in contact with an American Girl doll than that may be true. However, my girls have had those dolls and they aren't made nearly as well as the pricey American Girl dolls. Their hair is almost unmanageable and if you're planning on these little things being around for awhile, their hair is semi-important.

My husband and I aren't well off by any stretch of the imagination. We have had to save to get our girls these dolls and I am so glad we have. They are a wonderful addition to our family and are around us all the time.

I have learned much as I've gotten older and one thing I've learned is that I don't like junk in my home so my girls don't get nearly as many presents as they used to. It never failed, I would end up getting rid of tons of junky broken things by spring or summer. That was a waste of money.

Meet "Johnny boy and Amy," our Bitty Twins. Johnny boy is pretty special. He's our only boy. These belong to our sweet four year old who takes great care of them. She had a Target doll whom went bye bye awhile back. Her hair was everywhere! Ew... My poor girl pretended she was Johnny and Amy's big sister. When I got rid of that doll my daughter looked at me all sad and said, "Mama, who will babysit them now?" It just about broke my heart but the amount of hair all over my floor and the floofed up, unbrushable doll hair won out and that doll said her goodbyes.

Here is my sweet baby girl playing with her big sisters doll, "Brenedette." Brenedette is seven years old and my eldests first American Girl doll. She is very loved. Sunshine is now letting my four year old babysit her every now and then but my little one still misses her doll. Mama and Daddy might just have a special surprise for her this Christmas. My hubby is unemployed now that he's off of orders but before he was we were able to buy each one of our daughters one Christmas present.

One may not be much, but we don't believe Christmas is about presents. It's when our family has a birthday party celebrating Jesus' birthday and I'm pretty darn excited about this Christmas!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Mama's Little Secret Energy Drink (THM FP)

I am so excited to be sharing this information with you. I have learned so much from Pearl and Serene (authors of Trim Healthy Mama) which is where I first heard the word Matcha. Serene makes a pudding with it.
I read a little about it and was instantly interested. It is a wee bit pricey but beings a serving is as little as 1/4 tsp. that made the price much more appealing.
Now, I have to tell you just how much I love this stuff!!
It is amazing!
I don't know about you but in my house as we approach dinner time I tend to get more tired and my kiddos seem to have found some hidden energy without sharing with their mama.
So not fair I tell you. lol
Each day the dinner yawns would approach and I begin to daydream about Costco pizza and chocolate cake, both of which are uber-yummy and I wouldn't have to prepare; both of which I do not need.
Then I began making this drink that I'm going to share with you.
It is life-changing!
 Within an hour of drinking it I have energy and lots of it. Not the kind of jittery energy that caffeine can give. I'm actually so sensitive to caffeine in coffee that I don't drink it.
Mama's Little Secret Energy Drink not only gives me energy for hours, but it (bizarrely enough) provides a sense of calm when I need it most. It is the oddest thing I tell you!
It has a light creamy vanilla flavor with just a hint of green tea flavor. It's unbelievably yummy and so good for you!!
And here are some of the wonderful things about it...
  • Boosts metabolism and burns calories
  • Detoxifies effectively and naturally
  • Calms and relaxes
  • Enhances mood and aids in concentration
  • Provides vitamin C, selenium, chromium, zinc and magnesium
  • Fights against viruses and bacteria
  • Is rich in fiber
  • Lowers cholesterol and blood sugar
  • Does not raise insulin levels

  • Oh, and did I mention that if you're a Trim Healthy Mama plan follower it's a Fuel Pull?! Oh yeah!!!

    Here's what you'll need:
    • 1 cup unsweetened Almond Milk
    • 1/4 tsp. Matcha powder (I heap mine)
    • 1/2 Scoop Swanson Unsweetened Vanilla Protein Powder
    • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
    • a dash of pure salt
    • pure white Stevia (to taste)

    1. Put all ingredients in a blender and blend for a couple of seconds. I then add a couple of ice cubes, just enough to cool the drink to perfection.
    2. Now drink and feel the difference!
    *This drink is so awesome that I double the recipe and share with my hubby. (aka Mr. Meat and Potatoes, Sweet Tea and nothing green) He loves it!!!

    On a day like today...

    When my list of things to do is high... when my job as a homemaker & homeschooling mom requires me to reach into my bag of tricks and be in as many places as I can, seemingly all at one time... when tomorrow is my husband's birthday and I am wanting to make him a homemade coconut cream pie from scratch (minus the crust. I'm cheating and using a premade one this year ;).... and when my youngest jewel is teething and doesn't feel so great, I am once again reminded of how much I love being a mom and how much I love my Ergo baby carrier.

    I am also reminded of how I love attachment parenting and what a blessing it has been in my life to both me and my little lovies.

    Seven years ago I was blessed with my first high needs/highly sensitive child.

    $100 seemed like a crazy amount for a baby carrier, even though I was so desperate to be able to get things done around my house without my baby yelling non-stop. (and mine don't agree with the cry it out method. They are stronger than that game) so I tried every other carrier I could find, including slings and the ever famous Moby Wrap. (As you can see, I had spent the cost of an Ergo by now, all in the name of not spending that much money. Oy... we live and learn, huh.) I definitely learned a few things back then. One in particular was that women who wear Moby Wraps amaze me! I am in awe of you ladies... seriously. I have babies who cry and there was no way I could figure out how to wrap that thing properly so I gave up.

    My sweet hubby finally told me just to spend the money on an Ergo baby carrier and I did. I have never regretted that decision and 7 years later and 3 more babies I still don't!

    I now also have the KTan and I love it, especially when your babies are tiny. To me it's the equivalent of a non-confusing Moby Wrap. That I love! It's so easy to understand how to use which is a total plus in my book.

    It seems like it would be wrong if I didn't talk a little about Attachment parenting on this post, because after all it's why I carry my babies. Once upon a time I didn't know what "attachment parenting" was. It wasn't until my 7 year old had to wear cloth diapers only weeks old that I was introduced to those two words. After a little research, I came to the conclusion that I had been that kind of parent since our first was born.

    And now years later, the many hours devoted to holding my little ones close, lengthy, painful attempts at breastfeeding, endless nights of co-sleeping and lots of kissing I don't regret being this kind of a parent.

    When people see us in stores and ask me how I have such well behaved girls I typically say it's because of homeschooling but now that I think about it, homeschooling is only part of the reason my children act the way they do.

    My children are happy because of one thing and that is the fact that they know how loved they are. It's because of my husband and I practicing attachment parenting.

    Being a stay at home, homeschooling mama definitely allows me much more time than working mama's to spend time with my babies but I have to say that even if I was forced to work, I believe my babies would still have smiles on their faces. All because of one word... love.

    To me, real love is attachment parenting. In one word... Agape. It's what Jesus wanted from Peter. It is the best, most pure love. It is selfless. It is what the makings of a great parent take, nothing less.

    And it takes work. But the benefits and rewards are infinite.

    Love isn't selfish. It means making the time to focus on your babies, even when you might not be having the best of days. One mom once pointed out that we should think about our facial expressions. It's what our kiddos see when they look at us. A furrowed brow definitely doesn't spread joy and it sure doesn't show someone you love them. This convicted me years ago and since then I've been more conscience about what my kiddos see when they look at their mama's face. I want it to be love.

    Love means listening to their heart and showing them you are really interested in what they are saying. This can be a challenge for a busy mama but it's important we take time to listen. Our babies are only little once and we only have one chance to be a good parent.

    It means wiping runny noses, dirty bottoms and all the other things that are a part of caring for another little human being with a smile on your face. (and in your heart) If you're a mama, some of the best advice I can give you is pray to find joy in serving your little ones if you don't, and if you do find joy they will see this and it will rub off on them.

    The above picture is our oldest and our youngest.

    'Sunshine,' our eldest daughter didn't think that her hair was pretty enough for me to take her picture but I couldn't resist. Ashlyn (our youngest) looked like a happy little duck which made me laugh. She adores her big sister 'Sunshine,' and the feeling is mutual. Our eldest loves to care for others. She has experienced the rewards and they are great indeed.

    In conclusion, on a day like today when the business seemed to be endless, naptime finally arrived and I was gently reminded as I rocked my teething baby and as three of my five were lulled into sleep, that I am so thankful I have babies and am able to love them like crazy.

    Life happens, and now as I wrap this post up I am holding my two year old while listening to my others talk happily with each other. Naptime is over. Let my evening begin.

    The Lord gives the barren woman children. I am that woman. I went 7 years calling my uterus a uterine graveyard, crying inside every time I saw a pregnant woman. I lost 3 babies in the course of that seven years and one more a couple years later yet God eventually blessed me and now I have a full house. I ache for women who can't conceive and I feel sorry for those who can and don't realize what a blessing God has put in their lives.

    To need/want an Ergo is such a blessing, and on a day like today I am reminded of that.

    Monday, November 11, 2013

    Homemade Vapor Rub

    Cold and flu season is here and so is my arsenal. Every year before the season begins (or after it starts lol) I began preparing for the possibility of my family getting sick. This year we've already had a pretty fun cold come through our family. One that knocked 4 of my 5 girls down. Runny noses, fevers, and throwing up from the crazy amount of mucous their little bodies were producing.

    Vapor rub is a must during this season as far as I'm concerned.

    I was a Vicks Vapor Rub girl growing up. My mom loved that stuff. It wasn't until last year that I discovered what it was made of and that it wasn't necessarily something I wanted to use on my family. Especially when I found out that there have been cases where it has hindered a sick baby's breathing as well as adults. (this was using both the infants and also the adults) Don't take my word on it, google it. It isn't pretty. 

    Anywho :)

    I began looking for an alternative, (after already buying a brand new jar of each type of Vicks) and low and behold women all over the world were smarter than me. They already knew that Vicks wasn't really great for us or our precious babies. With this being said, I found what seemed to be endless recipes for homemade vapor rub. I settled on this one and we all love it! My kiddos actually ask for it. I found it so long ago that I don't even remember where I got it. Just know, I didn't create this. :) The credit belongs to some smart mama who was well advanced in her healthy walk before I was in mine.

    I would totally hug this woman if I could!

    You will need:
    • 2 parts coconut oil
    • 1 part beeswax (I have made this using both pastilles or a 1 oz little bar)
    • Eucalyptus essential oil (about 10 drops per ounce)
    • White Camphor Essential Oil (about 5 drops per ounce)


    1. Melt the coconut oil and beeswax in a double boiler (You can really use any pan you'd want. I use a double boiler so my ingredients aren't directly on the heat)
    2. Then add the essential oils.
    3. Pour into your metal tins or containers. (You can purchase metal tins at most health food stores. If you don't have one by you, you can order them online. Google metal tins and find the best price for you. They're everywhere:)
    4. Let it cool for 10-15 minutes voila, homemade vapor rub. It really couldn't be more simple!

    Friday, November 8, 2013

    Today I Was Not a Good Wife

    Yep, you read that right, and if I would have remembered the verse above, I might have been in a better situation.

    Today started off as a really good day. Hubby, girls and I ventured into the city. Everyone's spirits were high and the weather was beautiful. Then right around lunch time something happened. Right as the weather began to get cloudy and the sun hid itself, my daughter asked a question that her father misinterpreted, causing him to respond in a manner that hurt her heart.

    And mine.

    Why mine?

    Well because I know my daughter, and I could feel the hurt as her father's last words rolled off of his tongue. I wanted to cry. Poor man didn't even know what he had done wrong. He had been brainwashed  raised by a family of cops that assumed the worst of him, including him doing drugs, which he never did and by default he assumed his daughter meant something that she didn't. Her sweet, innocent question had been misconstrued all because of my husbands parents and how they raised him.

    A person's family matters when choosing a partner in this life. I didn't know this when I met my husband, and I love my husband dearly even with the struggles he and I have encountered through the course of our marriage, but as I raise my own daughter's you can rest assured that I will teach them that there is a way bigger picture to the one they're considering as a life-partner and father than how sweet he is to them or how charming he is. (I would teach the same thing to sons about their future life-pratners if I had them)

     Don't mind the bad haircut. This was a couple of years ago and I had cut it myself. Mistake not repeated ;)
    Here's a recent picture of us.
    I am so blessed that God sent me a husband who loves me as immensely as mine does. Afterall, I am a sinner and sinners can be hard to love. My past ain't so pretty and yet this husband of mine has loved me through hell and back. A lot of hell I caused on my own.

    Today I pulled a Boo Boo. And my husband, showing more maturity eventually than his mouthy wife, called me out on it. (as well as he should have)

    After I felt the hurt my husband caused our daughter my face said it all.  He asked what was wrong and I called him out politely. When he began to justify what he had said I got upset and closed off. (sigh... this is never a smart move) He pushed for me to talk. I asked if we could wait and talk about it later. He got more upset and said now, and then off went my mouth. (sigh again) Word after word came out of my mouth, proving my point, justifying my side, and tossing me deeper and deeper into a hole of disrespect, all in front of our girls.

    My husband apologized but his apologies were for him coming off as a jerk, not for being remorseful for how he reacted to a simple question about gmail vs yahoo. I didn't like that and I knew they were empty apologies in our daughters mind. He felt he was right. I knew he was wrong. My daughter was crying. I was worried about him losing her heart. Some children are more sensitive than others and this particular child wants nothing more than to please her father. If she feels that a simple question will frustrate him it was my worry that one day the questions will stop altogether and so will him having her heart. I know my husband and I know he would never want this. So I forged on trying to show him what was at stake.

    Hubby and Sunshine, the daughter hurt today

    Eventually my husband kind of got what I was saying. Only after I belittled him in front of our daughters. (ugh... no points for me)

    God blessed me, imperfect me, with girls to teach how to be a good wife. Today I failed miserably. Today I reminded myself of my mother who had no problems belittling my father in front of us. Respect was drilled into me by my father and yet he didn't even receive it from his own wife. I don't want to be her and I don't want my husband to be disrespected like my dad was.

    Not too long after that our bigger girls went to the restroom in a grocery store and their father and I stood outside and waited. He looked at me, apologized again, told me he loved me and then convicted me about my disrespectful spirit. He told me that he would appreciate it if I didn't speak to him like that in front of our children ever again. He told me that it hurt him and that I shouldn't have done that. He was right. I had been so wrong.

    I swallowed my pride and told him he was right and asked him for his forgiveness. I also told him I would pray the next time I was upset like that.  I typically do, but today apparently I didn't. Today I acted on my emotions, no brain or Bible verse attached.

    My daughters lovin their daddy.
    My girls need to be taught to respect their father and it is my job to show them how. My attitude is important. My actions are important. My words are important. My heart and what it is filled with is important. All of this affects our daughters.

    I'm not telling this story because I'm proud of it. I'm sharing it because I read all the time about how to be a submissive wife and how important it is. All of which is true, but we are human, at least I am, and I wasn't raised to be submissive to my husband. I think it's great that so many women are rising up and speaking out about God's plan for good marriages, for women and our roles in our marriage. I just wish there were more stories about how women messed up like I did today and picked themselves back up and started over. I don't know about you but I was raised in a "Women are as strong, if not stronger than men," world. I was raised being taught not to let a man walk all over me. I was raised with a lot of worldy slime, if you will, tossed at me as teachings, presented as truth, when instead they were all lies.

    I'm not perfect and I'm assuming some of you who will read this will appreciate my honesty. Have you failed your husband with your less than meek attitude? If you have, like I did today, you can always do what I did. Repent and ask for his forgiveness. It's painful to lower yourself if you were raised like I was, at least it was hard for me, but it was worth it. My husband took me in his arms, kissed my forehead and told me he was sorry that he gave me a reason to disrespect him.

    Good marriages don't just happen.

    Respectful daughters don't just happen.

    We reap what we sew.

    Thursday, November 7, 2013

    Military Life-When Your Hubby gets the Flu from the Flu Vaccine. What to do.

    It's that time again. Every year my husband is forced to receive the flu vaccine. Now I know from experience that the subject of vaccines can stir up some crazy heated debates. You won't get that from me. I have an opinion and I'm allowed that. So is everyone else. :)

    What I'm writing about today is that every year my Air force husband is forced to get a flu shot and every year my husband gets the flu. I know some people who would say it's just a coincidence but I don't think so. (Remember, I'm entitled to my opinion) I can also tell you that every year my elderly mother gets her flu shot and every year like clock work she too gets the flu.

     If the shots are so wonderful then why does everyone we know get sick after taking them? (Don't feel the need to answer. I have my own assumptions. :)

    I'm not going to rant and rave about our world and the force of their opinions on others. What I will tell you is what I did to heal my husband.

    I gave him raw garlic.

    If you're a health conscious mama like myself, you are no doubt already familiar with garlics incredible properties and just what it can be used for. If you're not, take some time and research it. It's really incredible. Garlic works as an antibiotic and works fast!

    When my hubby started showing signs of the flu coming on I cut up a clove of garlic. I drizzled raw honey (you can use any kind) on a spoon and put the garlic on it. I did this for him every two hours and by the next day there were no more signs of the flu. I had caught it fast and kicked it out!

    Now if you're later in your flu cycle, you might have to take it more than 24 hours to kick yours. I'm not doctor so I'm not sure. All I can tell you is my experience and my experience is pretty awesome.

    Another story: Last month my girls came down with some nasty cold thing. My eldest and I were the last to catch it. During this time was when I remembered reading about garlic so we tried it. My chest had been hurting and I could only cough dry. After taking the garlic and honey twice I began to clear my chest. I didn't take it as often as I gave my husband but I felt better by that night. I took it only once the next day and was all better by the next morning. So was my daughter!

    My one tip: Garlic is some potent stuff. I took one dose with the clove not chopped as fine as I would assume they should have been. I also took it on an empty stomach and instantly my stomach didn't feel the best. After I realized that my decision hadn't been the best I started trying to think of what I could do to feel better. All I could think of was milk and I'm glad I did. I put some raw milk into a glass and drank it. In less than 5 minutes I felt better.

    Kristy's garlic tip of the day: Chop it small, and don't take it on an empty stomach. ;)

    Tuesday, November 5, 2013

    Homestead Blessings DVDs... A true blessing!

    I had wanted these dvd's for years, seeing them here and there on other women's blogs. It wasn't until this year that I was blessed to be able to purchase them.

    The day they came in I squealed with joy! As a mom to all girls who is interested in raising my daughters to go against the flow of society and be like the proverbs 31 woman, I jumped for joy inside at the wealth of information these dvd's held.

    I will never forget the day we watched the first of these videos. My house is never as quiet as it was that day! lol My girls sat together on the couch and didn't make a peep. They were so interested in what the West ladies were teaching.

    It's been months since they arrived and we've watched them all. I still have requests to watch them now and then and we do. This time though, my daughters will talk as the dvds play. Each daughter states something they like, or what they would do. It's so beautiful! These dvd's are so much fun!

    If you are a mama to girls or could just use some helpful homemaking ideas, these dvd's are great. For more information or if you want to purchase one or all you can link to them from my amazon store. The button is on my page. :)

    Mirror Mirror on the Wall... Who is the most perfect homemaker of them all?

    Mirror Mirror on the Wall... who is the most perfect homemaker of them all? 
    Are you a Christian mama who browses blogs for encouragement? I am. I can't tell you how many times I have been blessed by another mama sharing some sort of recipe or story about their life. I can also say that God used my last blog to touch others. I've literally had women contact me so I know the power of the blog world personally.
    Even with the encouragement I have found, I have also shut my computer down many a night only to feel depleted after browsing Christian mama blogs.
    After I found out the truth about salvation back in August 2009 I was what could be referred to as a baby in the faith. I had known Jesus all my life but not His Word. I knew religion well but I didn't know the God of the Bible intimately. I had no knowledge of the words the Bible held in it.
    As I began to read I learned what God had to say about wives, mothers and the role of women in general. I have to tell you. It bothered me some. I didn't feel good enough or even capable to be the kind of woman, wife, or mom that God said He wanted me to be. So when we found our first church after this I was looking at the women around me to see how they were handling it all. What I witnessed wasn't pretty.
    There was a lot of competition.
    There was women burnout.
    It's hard to try to keep up with other people.

     Before we go further, if you are new to my blog, maybe you were just linking to a recipe and decided to get to know me personally, then there is something you should know. I'm not a typical Christian blogging woman. I don't feel I have any right to try to teach anyone anything. I am not preaching. I am not stating my opinions as fact. I am not placing myself on some Christian pedestal and telling you how you should live or what decisions you should make. That is not my job, nor would I want it. I used to tell my father "It's my life," and I was correct. It was my life and yours is yours. However, this is my blog and I get to write about what God puts on my heart. And right now, it's a serious issue I've witnessed among Christian women that should be addressed.

    Now that that's covered, it's back to my story. If you stick around, this post will either comfort you so you know that you are not alone or it might convict you. It may even just get a "I totally agree" from you. Either way, I hope it blesses you. The below picture is just for fun. It cracks me up. :)

    During the time that I watched women try to outdo, or to be as far in their spiritual walk and homemaking wonderfulness as others I also entered the blogging world, and wow, there are a lot of mama's out there wanting to share their lives with the world. I'm one of them.  I just don't have the time to invest in making my blog a priority like some of those other women do. No judgment here. I'm just not them.

    I have found so many encouraging and helpful blogs over the years and I am so unbelievably grateful to those women for taking the time to give this fellow mama a window into their kitchens and homes.

    On the other side, which is why I'm writing this blog, I have also noticed some other things in the homemaking blog world.

    What I found was a world of blogs with a whole lot of, "This is how to love your husband," and "How to be the best homemaker you can." I've also seen blogs in the realm of healthy living that talk about everything they use to make their family healthy.

    You might be asking yourself what's wrong with that?

    My answer to you is, "Nothing."

    What's wrong in my opinion is the lack of both sides of these women's lives. So much good is talked about, but what about the bad? Things can't always be perfect. What about the nitty gritty of life? Why aren't more women talking about the problems in their marriage and what they're doing to work through them? What about parents stepping up and admitting they didn't do the best parenting job that day, year or years for that matter. Why am I not seeing more women talking about their financial issues? If their blog states that it is meant to be an encouragement to others than why is this not happening?

    Some blogging mama's live behind an imaginary internet door. It is a common mindset in Blog land to get on and type what is encouraging to other mom's. No one wants to hear what went wrong with your day, right. No one wants to hear how a healthy mama blogger who writes about health and wellness, cheated and gave her family processed food? I say they do. I say we need that!

    How can we reach out to other women and let them know we're all on the same team? They're not alone. They don't have to be perfect to be the perfect wife and mother to their family? Why must women be so secretive about the trials they are facing.

    My heart hurts because of this problem. In a time when I needed to know I wasn't a failure and there were other mom's like me out there, what I mostly found was a lot of women who appeared to have it all together and that, my friends, made me feel even worse. What was wrong with me?

    I was tired.

    I was worn out.

    I had been divorced and struggled with my daughter from that relationship.

    I struggled with intense hatred and bitterness towards her biological father.

    I have a tattoo.

    I struggled with feeding my family non-processed foods all the time.

    I wasn't always the submissive wife.

    I wasn't patient during my husband's stay at basic training, tech school, or the many times of unemployment. I was mad.

    I failed at diets.

    I had high needs, fussy babies that took up a lot of my time leaving me none for private prayer time.

    I was a failure at breastfeeding.

    I didn't have the money to make crafts for my home.

    I had no clue how to sew.

    I didn't always wear skirts.

    My girls didn't (and still don't) wear modest swimwear. (have you priced that? I can't afford them)

    I didn't know how to play a musical instrument and couldn't afford lessons for my kids.

    We didn't have family worship.

    I was the complete opposite of what the women appeared to be. Lovely, skirt wearing, submissive, humble, breastfeeding wives whose sweet little babies cooed up at them and weren't on a mission to rip their hair out like mine were. (Mine love hair! lol)

    As you can see, I wasn't winning the award for most perfect homemaker. (and still wouldn't)

    I felt like a total failure. That is until God opened my eyes and allowed me to see past everyone's words. I began noticing women around me who might have said one thing but their actions and esp. facial expressions said another. I even watched a pastors wife have a semi-meltdown during a service where her kids were climbing all over her. Her husband was preaching and she was done. Quickly I saw this put together, always smiling (sometimes very fakely) woman raise her eyebrows in a scary fashion and say her husbands name in a pitch and tone that hurt my ears. She had cracked. All the pressure had gotten to her and I was there to see it. My gift from God. She wasn't perfect even though she wanted to appear that way. Her inability to save face was beautiful in my eyes. She was human.

    I also had a very smart man whom I am blessed to call my husband tell me that those women couldn't be as happy as they seemed every day and neither could their children. When I asked him how he knew that about their kids since all I had seen was pretty pictures and sweet antidotes their loving children had said, his response was this, "Tell me this honey. Where are there kids while they're spending all this time blogging? Where is their husband?" That stopped me in my tracks. He was right! There was no way I could blog as much as those women and be the kind of mom I want to be for my kids, or the kind of wife I want to be for my husband.

    After that it began to look exhausting to be those women and soon I wasn't so envious. Neither did I feel like such a failure anymore. My husband had pointed something out to me that opened my eyes to the possibility that behind their internet door it wasn't always as pretty as I thought.

    Why is it so hard for some women to open up? I don't find anyone who seems to have a perfect life impressive. Why? Because I don't believe them, that's why. I pray for these women.

    I believe the time has come for peace and serenity.
    I believe as women we are called to strive to be our best and admit our failures to each other. Why is it so important to admit to others where we've failed. I'll tell you why. It's because God can use our story to give someone the encouragement or strength they might need. If we never open up, they, like I did, will feel alone and they aren't. So I plan on changing that. I don't know who God will lead to my Blog. It won't be by the amount of fans I have. But I can tell you this, the women who come here will get a dose of a real Christian mama not afraid to show she's not perfect. They will leave not feeling judged and hopefully feeling encouraged to keep on moving on. Tomorrow is another day. None of us are perfect and God knows that and loves us anyway. Isn't that beautiful!
    It is my prayer that more women think like this. There are some women out there like this already. It is my hope that more and more emerge.
    I want no "perfect" women in my close circle of friends. I want honest, humble women who stand up and say they've failed a time or two, or three or four hundred. Then I can encourage them to get back up and they can do the same for me.

    Friday, November 1, 2013

    About Me

    1.  I'm a follower of Jesus.
    2. I've been married 13 years to my best friend. We are both sinners who are in the practice of forgiving one another. This is why we are still married.
    3. I'm a homemaker and love it.
    4. I'm a homeschooling mama to 5 daughters ages 9 months old to 12 years old.
    5. I'm an imperfect wife and mother but I work hard to make my hubby and kids happy and healthy.
    6. I'm a military wife. My husband is in the Air Force.
    7. I've had babies both naturally and with an epideral. I've had a midwife and doctors.
    8. I'm a sinner with a past and forgiven by my God. (1 John 1:9)
    9.  I make mistakes.
    10.  I am not perfect.
    11. I have 4 babies in heaven.
    12. I love making homemade all natural products.
    13. I love to read. 
    14. I love to cook.
    15. I'm Cajun French born and raised in Houston,Texas on boiled crawfish, etouffe, gumbo and boudain. Some of my favorite memories as a child are going to my aunts house in Gueydan, Louisiana and eating her food. Everything was prepared from scratch.
    16. I'm a southern girl through and through. Flip flops and boots are my thing. I love boots and so do my girls!!

    17. I say y'all and fixin to and am proud of it.
    18. I love watching bull riding.
    19. I am allergic to liars.( Matthew 5:37)
    20. I love to laugh.
    21. If I could only have one seasoning to cook with I would choose Tony Cachere.
    22. I love tea! Sweet, unsweet , herbal... I love it all!
    23. I strive to be healthy but I don't obsess over it. There's only one God in my life. 
    24. I don't like to exercise but I don't like to not exercise, so I exercise. :)
    25. I love children and my heart breaks over those being aborted by their mama's. My heart also aches for the regret and pain some of those mom's feel after its over.
    26. I love horses, deer, moose, dogs, cows, alpaca, kittens, elk and more. Basically I have a love of animals. (I think they are so much nicer than some humans. Just sayin...) Meet my moose 'Chocolate.' He lovingly sits on our bed and every now and then can be found sleeping with one of our daughters.
    27. I have a creative spirit and love making things to decorate my house with. It's so much cheaper to do it on your own and typically stores never have what I want so I make it. :)
    28. I make most of my household cleaners.
    29. I love being a woman and believe the Bible's teaching about women submitting to their husbands. (Colossians 3:18 & 1 Peter 3:1) One of my favorite books is 'Created to be a Helpmeet,' by Debi Pearl.
    30. I will stand up for God's laws, and have, even if that means I lose those closest to me, which I did. (Matthew 19:29)
    31. I believe actions speak louder than words.
    32. I have a tattoo but wouldn't get another one.
    33. I believe in miracles.
    34. I have seen first hand the power of the name of Jesus!
    35. I believe there is only one mediator between God and man and that is Christ Jesus. (1 Timothy 2:5)
    36. I believe women should dress modestly (1 Timothy 2:9) but that doesn't mean that a woman has to wear a skirt to do so.
    37. I believe angels are very real and a part of our every day lives. (Hebrews 13:1)
    38. I once was lost but now am found.