Introducing Princess!

Today I would like to introduce everyone to my third (and hairiest) daughter....Princess!


Awww! A face only a mother could love!

Let me tell you how she came to be a important part of out family:

We started out with a different border collie named Gretchen. We bought her from a local guy who raises them. She was the most beautiful dog you've ever seen. She was only six months old and very rambunctious! We all became very attached to her very quickly. She was the first dog of our own as a family and we all loved her very much.




She was what I think you call sable and white. She was so beautiful!

One day she was chasing and playing with my mother-in-law's dog that we had inherited (Sophie) and she hit her head on our brick fireplace! Immediately after she hit her head she began to have a seizure. We called her vet's emergency number and over the phone the vet told us what to do. After she had recovered somewhat we were supposed to let her rest and just keep an eye on her. I don't remember the next time she had a seizure, but it happened again and so we took her to the veterinarian as soon as possible. The put her on some medication.

A few days go buy and lo-and-behold she starts having seizures again! The vet tells us to up her medication dosage, but it doesn't seem to help. For the next week or two, it seemed like she was either having seizures or was so tired from having one that she cant move and only wants to sleep. That's when my husband and I had to make the very hard decision to put her down. We all cried and cried, but her quality of life was so bad that it seemed selfish to keep her with us. She obviously was not going to get any better and the medicine was having little to no effect. I remember my husband carrying her to his truck to take her to the vet's office. We kept petting her and telling her how much we loved her and what a good girl she was while kissing her face. We could not control our tears. My husband had to say his goodbyes and leave the room because he said he could not watch her being put to sleep. We were all very sad for a long time.

Then one day a couple of months later my husband, who at the time was a Sheriff's Deputy, received a call that a cow was loose in the county and was blocking the road. That happens a lot in rural Texas! lol! He answered the call and helped the owner, who happened to be a guy my husband already knew. While helping him get his cow back in the fence he notices that the guy has several Border Collies on his ranch. So, my husband tells him that if they ever have any puppies we would be interested in one. The man tells my him that they are all fixed, but he has one two year old puppy, that if his wife says its ok, we can have.

A few days go by, and the man gets in touch with my husband a tells him that his wife gave the ok, and he can come get her. My husband was on duty, but he went by and picked her up anyways. Before he could bring her home though he kept getting calls he had to answer so she had to ride around with him for a while. We tease that she had a short career as a K9 unit! lol!

A week or two after we got her. We were at the property on the river. :)

She immediately took to the girls and fit right in to our family. It was like she knew this was her new family. and the rest, as they say, is history. We've had her for five years now and we couldn't imagine life with out her. We still miss Gretchen very much, but having Princess helps a lot!

At the beach where we use to live


My baby loves Princess, but Princess is not too sure about this


Getting in on the fun!

 She says, "I cant believe you guys went went on vacation without me!"

Christmas 2009

Christmas 2008

Chillin'


South Texas's first dog sled team!

She's a total daddy's girl!

Trying a new do!

Daddy's girls

Everyone enjoys a good book!


She is such a daily part of our lives and a essential part of our family! I hope we have her for a very long time!

Extreme Parenting

I was surfing the internet looking at other home school blogs and I came across this post written by SpunkyHomeSchool. Its a wonderfully written post that, I think, is filled with truth, insight, and is still very relevant even though it was written in 1995. She does have some more recent stuff, but I enjoyed this particular post very much! I think you might too!

Extreme Parenting

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Everyone who heard about the double murder of Kara Borden's parents by David Ludwig was saddened and shaken. Parents asked themselves, "If it happened to their children, could it happen to mine?"
In the wake of this tragedy, the Kansas City Star examined what is going on with the youth today. They placed some of the blame on the electronic media available.
Some wonder whether the Internet and cell phones give children more places to hide. A family acquaintance said the Bordens took away Kara Beth's Internet service when they discovered her relationship with Ludwig months ago. Apparently it had been restored. Friends of Borden's and Ludwig's said the couple stayed in touch via cell phone text messages and computer instant messages, both difficult to monitor.
Many teens do seem to be in their own universe. Living in a home with parents they do not know. Between school and their electronic links there seems to be little desire for family connections. As the Bordens illustrate, this is true even in Christian home school families.

Some suggest moving off to a remote area. Away from "the influences". That can help in an outward way. In the same way moving a plate of cookies from my two year old keeps her from wanting one. But that "tactic" is only a temporary fix. Even in the remote Amish community of Otterville, Iowa is having its struggles. Parents are battling a culture tempting their youth in their neighbor's barn.
Amish children are taught to shun modern conveniences and technology. But the room's contents suggest those who gather here have interests and hobbies not unlike teenagers from the "English" world.
A line of tattered garage-sale couches face a big screen TV that's attached to a VCR and DVD player. A row of ratty recliners and other mismatched chairs sit on a riser constructed behind the couches.
Video tapes and DVDs sit in messy piles around the room, and hundreds of cases line shelves built into one wall. Many of the titles would be at home in a college dorm: "Animal House," "American Pie," "Baywatch," "Wayne's World."
The image of a scantily clad model smiles on a giant cardboard beer ad for Old Milwaukee hangs on one wall. Cigarette butts litter the chilly concrete floor.
So what's a parent to do? Some just throw up their hands and say, "Well teens just need to go through this." They seem to be giving a "right to rebellion" with a hope that they will come out okay on the other side. While the children dabble in one extreme, parents seem to gravitate to the opposite extreme. Fearing if they hold too tightly to a standard they will lose their child. But what is often missed is the heart of their children may already be lost.

"My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways." Proverbs 23:26

When a few local incidents happened in our area, I had a conversation with my own 15 year old son. He is not perfect by any means. But he doesn't keep me up at night worried about what he is doing or who he is with. I asked him why, even though we have our struggles, we don't see any major rebellion in him. He replied, "Mom, those parents don't have the hearts of their boys." It is so simple and yet the most difficult of choices a child will ever make. The choice to willfully honor their parents and the Lord.

A two year old can be made to obey. A fifteen year old needs to want to obey. That's the difference. The choice is theirs to make. We can't choose for them nor can we make them choose correctly. But we can make sure they know exactly what the choices are.
Teens have one tactic that they use most often. The rules of the house. They will select one or two and decide that these are just not for them. In Kara's case it was a boy and a curfew. In another family it can be music or the computer. But the child draws a line and says, "This far and no farther will I bend." The parent responds with, "Well in my house we...." It seems that the more they argue the more the defenses go up and the relationship breaks down. They fear that giving in to the demand but they fear losing the child just as much. The disagreement becomes parent against child. This is never a good strategy for either one. There is one solution.

The Bible and the Joy of Discovery.
You hand a child the Bible and say, here is God's Word. Let's figure out what God's word says about this. Give them the liberty to study the scripture and learn truth for themselves. We need to give them the joy of discovering that God's Word does speak to us. That's the way I became convinced of truth. I remember the light bulb going off so many times as I read a passage of scripture and how it applied to my life today. Don't deny your children the same pleasure by "giving them what the Bible says." We must let God speak to our children. Our children want to make us the quarrel. They think they can battle, wear us down, and win. God's Word is able to take down the strongholds and defenses that the child and the word is tempted to build. Let them wrestle with God about this issue. The parent becomes a faciliatator in their search for understanding and truth rather than the enemy. I have found that it is a lot more pleasant walking with my children in truth than constantly pushing them in truth.

The Dating Dilemma
A friend was telling me about a man that her Christian daughter was dating. They were concerned and uncertain about what to do and asked what I would do. I asked her what her daughter's convictions were. She told me a little about what they had taught her. But in the end they were the mother's convictions and not the daughter's. All is not lost though. This is what I told her might be helpful.

Go out to dinner. Tell her that you both are going to separately look at the scripture and study what God's plan for marriage, how a man should treat a woman, and what a woman does to prepare herself for marriage. Then you give her a time frame and let her go study. You do the same. Come back together after a few weeks and discuss what you both learned. Each being willing to listen and learn from what the other has discovered.
So many times as a mother I have developed ideas that I have found were not necessarily rooted in the truth of scripture. Often these ideas were developed as a reaction to a particular situation or adopted because of a convincing presentation at a conference. Studying an issue again has given me an opportunity to learn, futher strengthening my convictions and walk with the Lord.

The mother protested, "But she won't study God's word. And she isn't about to listen to my interpretation either."

I told her she had a bigger dilemma on her hand. She had a professing Christian that refuses to submit to the authority of God's Word. Dating this young man was a symptom of that problem but not the root. She had not given her heart to seeking out what God desires. At this point you must acknowledge where she actually is. Not where you want to BELIEVE that she is at. The mother paused.

We want to believe and pretend certain things about how life is. Her daughter went to church and provided enough cover to make them believe she was living a life for Christ. But when it came to denying herself and her desires for the Lord, the light of truth shined brightly. Her daughter wanted to be a Christian without surrendering her desire for the world.

Redefining the Extreme
True Christianity doesn't define the extreme by how close to the line we can get while still being a Christian. The extreme is how far from the line we can run and how close we can get to our Savior.

This is going to require extreme parenting. A parent who is willing to deny their pleasures in life for a greater pleasure to come. A parent who is willing to refuse a job or a promotion because of the time away from the family. A parent who is willing to sit next to a child on the computer and work together rather then let them build a virtual family. A parent who is willing to talk with a child and not just at them. A parent who is willing to walk daily with their child and guide them to HIS truth. A parent who is willing to tell their child daily what the real choice is but give them the liberty to make their choice. These and many more require an extreme commitment. A parent willing to die to themselves so that their children will walk with the God.

"God demonstrates his own love for us in this that while we were yet sinners HE died for us." Romans 5:8

I want to become an extreme parent.

one more cooking...

On Saturday, while I was getting everything ready for a carefree Easter Sunday, one of my tasks was to make homemade bread. I LOVE to make homemade breads and rolls. Its one of my favorite things to cook and or bake! I sifted through my recipes and I came across one I have wanted to try, but I hadn't given it a shot yet. It looked yummy, but as I looked closer at the recipe I noticed it was a traditionally Jewish bread made for the Passover celebration. It's called Challah. Its eggy, and slightly sweet. You don't use sugar though. Its made with honey! It turned out delish! Give it a try!

 
 
 

 
Here's the recipe:

 
Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 8 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds (optional)
  •  
Directions
  1. In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast over barely warm water. Beat in honey, oil, 2 eggs, and salt. Add the flour one cup at a time, beating after each addition, graduating to kneading with hands as dough thickens. Knead until smooth and elastic and no longer sticky, adding flour as needed. Cover with a damp clean cloth and let rise for 1 1/2 hours or until dough has doubled in bulk.
  2. Punch down the risen dough and turn out onto floured board. Divide in half and knead each half for five minutes or so, adding flour as needed to keep from getting sticky. Divide each half into thirds and roll into long snake about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Pinch the ends of the three snakes together firmly and braid from middle. Either leave as braid or form into a round braided loaf by bringing ends together, curving braid into a circle, pinch ends together. Grease two baking trays and place finished braid or round on each. Cover with towel and let rise about one hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  4. Beat the remaining egg, add 1-2 tbs. honey, and brush a generous amount over each braid. Sprinkle with poppy seeds if desired.
  5. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for about 40 minutes. Bread should have a nice hollow sound when thumped on the bottom. Cool on a rack for at least one hour before slicing.
You can add 1 cup raisins or golden raisins to the dough just before shaping too! I think I will do that next time! Also, I think I will double the honey to make it sweeter!

From the cooking tab...

Take-Out from Home

One of my husband's favorite meals that I make is my Chicken Fried Rice. We live about 40 some odd miles from any "Chinese" restaurants and even those aren't very good. So, when we are in the mood for take out this is what I do!

The cast & crew are:
1c. uncooked jasmine rice
2c. water
sesame oil
olive oil
pepper
soy sauce
ginger powder
brown sugar
toasted sesame seeds
garlic powder
chicken breasts





 

First, you need to put the rice in a microwave safe bowl with the 2c. water. and nuke it for about 15 min. depending on you microwave and the settings.


While the rice is cooking you need to cut the chicken breasts in to small pieces.




Now brown the chicken in a pan with a couple tablespoons of brown sugar, soy sauce to taste, ginger powder to taste, and garlic powder to taste.


Now cook the chicken until its cooked all the way through. You may have to let the juices cook down some. You want it to look kinda like this...


Set the chicken aside and put you wok (or big pan) on the heat. Add a couple table table spoons of sesame oil and one or two of olive oil. Add the rice after the oil gets hot. Stir the rice around a bit to coat it lightly in the hot oil. Shove the rice to the side and scramble two eggs on the empty side. Mix together. At some point, it doesn't really matter when you should add the soy sauce. None of this is exact. It all depends on your taste.


Add peas and carrots and stir around ever minute or so until the rice is browned somewhat and the veggies are cooked.



When the veggies are heated up, taste it and see if you think it needs more of anything. Next, put the chicken on top and sprinkle on some toasted sesame seeds.




 Viola! Plate and serve with egg rolls or spring rolls, or dumplings, or wantons.....you get the idea! You don't even have to buy any of that canned Chinese stuff ( Very rarely will I eat anything from a can....it just grosses me out. I know, I have problems.) or a boxed dinner thing. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

From the Homeschooling page

Curriculum Chaos!

As I'm prepping for a hopefully successful first year I'm being bombarded by all of the curriculum choices out there. There are so many choices! While I am personally leaning towards hodgepodge of different pieces pulled from different publishers I understand the convenience of getting all subjects from one place. There are even DVDs you can pop in the player and online courses you can use. Right now I am reading a great book that was loaned to be by a friend that tackles all these issues and more! If you are a veteran home school mom you have probably already come across it, but for those of us just testing out our legs its a wonderful resource!

The name of the book is Christian Home Educators' Curriculum Manual by Cathy Duffy.



Its a book I could look at a thousand times and not adsorb all the information! I'm going to have to get my own copy!

What curriculum do you use? How did you choose it? Do you have any helpful resources that help you navigate the vast ocean of home school curriculum?

Moving things around a bit.....



I'll be moving things around a bit today. I have tabs for cooking, sewing/crafts, and homeschooling. Im going to do away with these tabs because they don't function the same way my "home" page does. So, Im going to be re-posting the things I have posted on those other tabs and then posting everything on the main "home" page from then on. I will be looking for a solution to the problem (I would really like to have fully-functioning tabs, but I have more learning to to so I can get there. So, bear with me as I switch things up a bit today. :)

Cool Beans!

I'm so happy with myself!! I found a dress I like! It IS a BIG deal! I never, *repeat* never find dresses I love. But that's not the best part! The best part was that I was a t Ross and the dress was originally $80.00 buuuuuut the Ross price.........drum roll please..........was $11.99! That's over 80% off! How cool is that?


I think I'm going to wear it to my twin nieces' baby dedications!

Time to break out the self tanner for my blindingly white legs!

I love it when I find good deals!

Happy Hump day! Two more to go, and then its the weekend!




Im mealting!

Its ridiculously HOT in south Texas today! The temp it something like 103!! My car, when I got off work around 3:15pm, said 110, but I think it might have just been because it was sitting in the sun. Although, if someone told me it was 110 degrees out side I would believe them! Why does the heat make you feel so tired? Is it you body's way of slowing you down so you don't do too much and get over heated? I could so go for some ice cream or a snow cone right now. Or any time really, but it sounds extra good today!

Any one remember these?


I had one once...where is that thing! I sure could use it now!

I think I might have to make an ice cream run!


What is your favorite flavor of ice cream or snow cone? Or popsicles for that matter?


Hows about: What is you favorite cold treat? There! That's better!

Do you like bomb pops, coke floats, or straight up vanilla ice cream? What sounds so good to you that you would be willing to load up two kiddos and brave the 100+ degree weather to go get?


Easter Re-cap

Yesterday was the anniversary of our Savior's Resurrection and we had a wonderful day of celebration! I had spent about 14 hours on Saturday prepping for Sunday so I would not have to do anything more than enjoy the day. I cleaned, made potato salad, cleaned, made bread, cleaned, prepped the veggies to roast in the oven, cleaned, ironed our clothes for church, and cleaned some more! How did this place get so dirty?!!! Oh yeah, all four of us -five if you count the dog are crammed in a 750 sq. foot house! (That's a whole different story!) When you have such a small place if everything is not in its place then it gets claustrophobic in a hurry! Princess, our long haired border collie, is more of a culprit than you would think. I think she sheds 1/2 her body weight in hair daily! Even after you sweep or vacuum there is always a clump hidden somewhere; you can NEVER get it all!! Its the bane of my existence! That and laundry, but that's for another day. Anyways, I finished all the hard work on Saturday. Sunday morning the kids woke up at 7:30 am (I had told them not to even think about getting up before then!! I'm NOT a morning person!) and informed us that Mr. EB had indeed made his delivery. The rest of the day entailed church with my in-laws, a yummy lunch of brisket and the fixins' and then the much anticipated egg hunt. Here's where I messed up! I regretfully did not get any good pictures!!! On top of that I forgot to get pictures of the girls in their dresses!! They were so cute!

Oh well, I'll have to get some when they were them again next weekend for my twin niece's baby dedication. Then I can just label them as Easter pics in my computer and no one will be the wiser. Shhhh.....don't tell!

Here are the pictures I did get. I don't know if they are worth posting, but at least you will see that I tried somewhat. I'm going to have to  work on making taking pictures a priority again, like it was when they were younger. It wouldn't hurt, of course if I had a new SLR camera......maybe someday.

 What's with the goofy face?!!




This scrubby thing on the ground is a mesquite "tree" the girls decided to save from the mower by putting bricks around it. Did I mention how silly they are?!!!

Also, I'm sharing with you one of our most memorable Easters! It was 2007 and it snowed! Ummm.....we lived in central TEXAS! We don't even get snow in the WINTER most of the time! This was a BIG deal!

Sorry, my camera was even worse then!





Even Princess go in on the fun!


We made a "snow BUNNY" instead of a snowman!

How was your Easter? How crazy are you about taking pictures? Do you find yourself getting lazier about taking them as your kids get older?

Hello!

My name is Leah. I love to sew, craft, cook, read, and I will soon be homeschooling my two baby girls! OK, they aren't babies anymore, but I can't I just pretend for a while? I've been married to my husband for almost 11, sometimes hard...but always blessed years. We live in the middle of nowhere in the great state of Texas and have a border collie (who is my third child) named Princess. We didn’t name her that believe it or not. She was two when we got her and was already named, but let me tell you, she tries everyday to live up to it!

I named my blog Just Call Me Blessed after stumbling upon this verse: “Then Leah said, “How happy I am! The women will call me happy!” Genesis 30:13. If you know the story about the love triangle between Leah, Jacob, and her sister Rachel you know how seemingly disappointing her life appeared to be. The Bible says, “Leah had weak eyes, but Rachel had a lovely figure and was beautiful.” Many believe that this was a reference to her homely looks. How's that for starters?! Then to top it all off Leah's father has to trick Jacob in to marrying her so that she would not be shamed by her younger sister, Rachael, being married before her! Now she is homely and unloved. To me that sounds like a perfect excuse to wallow around in your pj's and eat ice cream right out of the carton! What I admire about this girl is that even in the face of all that is against her she is happy...she CHOOSES to be happy! So, I look to this amazing woman of the Old Testament and in doing so I remember that happiness is more like a choice you have to make everyday. Leah is blessed by God and eventually has six sons and a daughter. Her son, Judah, was the ancestor of the house of David out of which Jesus, our Savior, was descended. Indeed, the Lord was looking out for Leah. I believe He is watching out for all of His children for He says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 We should all keep that in mind!
I hope you will bare with me as I try to make a go of all this. I promise to try my best to share some on interesting topics, let you in on how I do some of my sewin' and such, Keep you updated on our adventures in homeschooling, post a book review every once and a while, and share with you parts of my life you might find interesting or amusing. Most of all I promise to try to remember to choose to be happy and realize all the blessings God has given me!

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