Friday, November 28, 2008

A Delightful Poem

Yes, this is the second post of the day!

But I found this poem, I thought you would enjoy. I loved it. This will be one I print out and place somewhere I can see it and read often:

“Some houses try to hide the fact that children shelter there,

Ours boasts of it quite openly, the signs are everywhere.

For smears are on the windows, little smudges on the doors,

I should apologize I guess, for the toys strewn on the floor.

But I sat down with the children, and we played, and sang and read,

And if the bathroom doesn’t shine, their eyes will shine instead.

For when at times I’m forced to choose the one job or the other,

I want to be a housewife, but first I’ll be a Mother.”

We are enjoying the Thanksgiving Holiday here at the Acklen Household. Yesterday we had a slow day, eating a late dinner at around 3:00. John's boss fried our turkey for us, and in addition to that we had cornbread salad, sweet potato casserole, homemade mac 'n' cheese, corn on the cob and yeast rolls. For dessert we had a delicious pecan pie. After dinner, we threw a sheet over the table (so to speak) and all laid down for a looooooooooong nap :). The kids had been up playing all day so they were exhausted. It was so nice. It has been a long time since we had a day at home as a family. It's got us all a little off, though. We feel like today should be Saturday and it's only Friday.

We went to John's grandparents' house today to get our Christmas tree and a few other things that have been left there since our move. Tomorrow we plan to finish putting the den/family room in order so we can put up the Christmas tree. This includes moving the gigantic piece of sheetrock that is leaning against the wall, putting up blinds in the pictures window, hanging the curtain rod and my new curtains (pottery barn--good deal found on ebay), and positioning the two book shelves on either side of the window. I'm excited! Hopefully, I will have pictures to post.

I hope you all had a good Thanksgiving. I can't help but dwell on how much I have been given, and how much thanks I do owe my Lord. "In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."


Saturday, November 22, 2008


It is dawning on me. I am realizing. I am seeing!!

Four years ago (in January) when Elijah was born, I was such a green horn. So wet behind the ears it's not even funny. I have always loved children--since I was big enough I was carrying one around on each hip. By the time I was 13 I was babysitting a small daycare (7 kids total one summer). I've always wanted children. But I was raised with the 'a girl for me, a boy for you, and we're through' mentality. I thought if you spank a kid enough he will mind whatever you say (LOL). My Mom was a yeller, kwim? When she got to a certain pitch, you knew to find refuge. Things might start flying through the air (lol again). Nah--that happened only once that I can remember.

My Mom went to work when I was 2. I can vividly remember standing in the doorway, looking out the glass of the front door of my babysitter's home, my heart breaking as I watched my Mom drive away. I vowed at a young age that I would stay home with my kids (although I totally understand that some people have no choice but to work).

When Elijah was born, I was fresh out of college and working my first job, trying to pay off student loans. He had a great babysitter--an older lady in our church who was a retired nurse. And even though I knew he was in good hands, it literally broke my heart to leave him every day. I would cry when I left him, and I would cry when I picked him up, knowing that I was missing all the milestones and cute things, only getting reports of them second hand. I wanted to be the one to see his first step and hear his first word. It just killed me. So from there the desire to quit work and stay home grew.

God worked it out, miraculously, for me to stay at home (it's a long story). I don't stay at home because my husband makes scads of money and I don't "have" to work. I stay at home because it is my calling. We sacrifice a lot so that I can be here every day doing what I do. But God always provides, and we have everything we need.

In the last year or so, I have learned SO much through reading other women's blogs (see my blog list). I am learning the value of living more naturally, the technique of training my children's attitudes and behaviors (so much more to learn there), how to be a wife (Created To Be His Helpmeet--if you haven't read it, READ IT!!)--not a better wife, but a WIFE. What God intends for a wife to be. PERIOD. I've learned how to be organized and manage my home and my housekeeping ( And most importantly, I've learned that I am right where God wants me to be. That what I do every day is beautiful in his eyes. No matter what society says, or what the worldly, feminist crowd may say or think. I am serving Him with every dirty diaper I change, with every dish I wash and basket of laundry I fold. He gives me joy and fulfillment that I never came close to having on the job.

This is my thankful for today. Thank you, Lord, for allowing me to be able to fulfill your will for me to be a stay at home Mom. Please keep teaching me what I need to know to please you and care for my family.


Friday, November 21, 2008

Our (Sort of) Fun Friday Report

Well, I'm not sure how much "fun" we had today. I started out with plans of us doing some exercises together--something to get our blood moving (to help us get warm). So I looked up an exercise at home video on youtube. Just a little ten minute work out shouldn't be that bad, right? Umm....well, after three minutes of my bra falling off and my hairpins flying, I decided that was enough. Not to mention I was about to have a cardio. Go ahead, laugh out loud. I am! ;).
Here's a look at our exercise attempt:

Clue: I. am. out. of. shape. I think I'll try some mild Leslie Sansone walking workouts next time. oooh me.

Most of the day we spent watching Road to Avonlea reruns on youtube. We had a lunch of corn dogs with strawberry jelly on them (Elijah's idea). Then it was naptime and by the time we got up, almost time for Dad to come home. Grace and I made some chilli and a pan of cornbread. She helped me measure and pour the ingredients, and I can tell she really likes to "help" me. While Grace and I cooked, I put some Indiana Bible College Choir videos on (also youtube) and Elijah had a ball with his drumsticks, playing the drums along with the choir. If you like choir music, these college kids are aweSOME.

This evening, after supper, we had a family trip to WAL-MART. We took the kids down the toy aisles, to see what excited them the most. Elijah, well, he wanted everything he saw. Particularly the Fisher Price Geotrax train sets, some toy guns, and a drum set (of course). Grace was into the dress-up stuff, although I'm not sure if she is old enough for it yet.

I am going to do better next Friday. This week I am going to focus on coming up with some fun stuff to do with them, indoors on Friday. It is absolutely impossible to do anything outside in this cold.

Please forgive the lack of pictures--the batteries on my camera are dead and the charger has not been working, either. We are buying regular batteries instead of rechargeable so when they are dead we have to run to the store for more. I hate it! But we will be back on the picture taking train soon, I hope.

Till next time...

Fun Friday

I've decided that today, I am going to do the basic chores around here, and after that, the kids and I are going to have some FUN! Not sure what we are going to do yet, but we are going to spend some time just chillin'. It sure is chillin' outside, but we are going to "chill" inside in the warmth. Why, we might even have some chili soup for supper (how much cornier can this post be?). Will add pics at the end of the day of our Fun Friday (yyyyyyyyyyeaaaaaaaah).

Photo Tag!

Wendi tagged me, so here goes!............It's another picture of Emma! This hasn't been cropped or edited, but that's the beauty of the tag. Here are the rules:

* Go to your sixth picture folder then pick your sixth picture.
* Pray that you remember the details.
* Post it on your blog.
* Tag 5 others, leave a comment to let them know they’ve been tagged.

I guess this project could've been worse :).

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Today's Schedule

First of all, my thanks for today: I am thankful that I was able to get up and fix a hot breakfast for my husband this morning (at 5:00 am!). He has not been feeling well, and got up extra-early in order to travel to another town to attend to a matter at our rental property. We had coffee, wheat waffles, and bacon. It was nice to have some quiet time with him, and after his departure, have my quiet time with the Lord. I was really cold and sleepy afterwards, and fell back to sleep, but it's a start. Goal for tomorrow morning: instead of going to sleep, stay up and get dressed and blog before the kids awake.

I have been getting up in the mornings and after breakfast write out my to-do for the day, taken from my HMB. Today:
  • Clean bathroom (tubs, toilet, mop floor). I have a little boy whose aim is a little off in the toilet department, if you kwim :).
  • Laundry--do all kids' laundry. It is hard for me to start on the categorized laundry thing. I am used to doing a load a day--washing everything from the previous day and then it's all done. I don't know about there being laundry piled up and doing a different person's/type every day. But I am doing it anyway. What do ya'll think?
  • Supper: Tonight is chicken enchiladas and green beans. Can't wait.
  • Project: Decorate Elijah's bedroom walls with the cowboy stickers I bought a long time ago but have never put up.
  • Research: Reading about natural remedies for Rosacea, which I have a chronic, spreading case of. So far I have learned that plain yogurt applied directly to the face will reduce redness and swelling. Rosacea is thought to be caused by too much yeast in the body,and yogurt counter-acts the effect. Apple Cider Vinegar (taken by capsule) helps, as well.

Of course, we also have our daily chores of dishes, sweeping, emptying trash, and picking up in general. I also am trying (if weather permits) to tackle one thing a day that needs doing out of doors such as raking, cleaning porch, etc.

It is a busy life around our house. The relaxed rythm of being at home every day is something else I am thankful for. That's about it for now. May your day be blessed and peaceful.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Emma is 3 months old!

We had a little photo shoot today--to celebrate Emma's 3rd month.

What do you think? I used an editing website ( that is just wonderful--it's free!
This is my favorite!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Giving Thanks

I've decided that from now until Thanksgiving Day, I am going to make a daily thankfulness post--listing those things I am thankful for in my life. And hopefully, if blogspot will cooperate, photos to illustrate them. Today, I am thankful for my friend Avril, who watched my kids for me this morning (for free!) so I could go grocery shopping. The cupboards were bare, friends. I am thankful that I was able to buy my groceries under-budget. Yeah, me! I am thankful that it is pretty outside and I can get out and rake my yard. Ok, these things are a little superficial, I guess, but they mean a lot to me. What are you thankful for today?

p.s.--A little apology for all the typos/spelling errors in my last post. I'll trie tu doe beter I promiss :0).

Thursday again?

Wow....another week! And what a week it has been...cold weather, snotty youguns, church every night (except for Tuesday night when I stayed home with oldest and youngest, who were both sick). But I am excited! I've been working on my HMB this week, and it's got me psyched! I'm just starting out with the basics, I figure I will revise as I go. I can already tell it is going to make a huge difference in the organizatin/upkeep of my home, as well as being a great stress-reducer for the homekeeper :).

Last Saturday night, we had a bonfire/hayride get together at church as a sort of Veteran's Day/Fall fest in one. They hayride was during the day, decorated with balloons, flags, and signs saying "Thank you, Veterans". They passed out fliers for our revival and Veteran's Day service on Sunday. That night, everyone was around the fire roasting hot dogs. The kids were all playing together on the swings. I was checking on mine every 15 minutes or so. I fixed them a plate, and when I went to gather them to eat, no Gracie! I called a few times, and she would not answer. I could not find her! I guess people noticed me calling and before long about 5 people were calling and looking. It was pitch black outside and in a wooded area close to a thicker woods. We looked and looked. I told myself not to panic, that she was probably fine. Finally, I decided to go across the road to the church and see if she had wondered over there. She is scared of her shadow, so I didn't think she would walk that far by herself in the dark. I went into the building and called her, but nothing. I walked all the way to the back of the building, and there she was, sitting in the fellowship hall, in a chair, all by herself, drinking a bottle of water. RELIEF! The little stinker was sitting there listening to me call for her and not answering! I guess she is braver than I thought.

It seems this week my mind has been going ninety-to-nothing, thinking about the president-elect, the economy, hearing people's opinions and predictions, and dwelling on what the future is going to hold. I've got past the point of worrying about it. God will provide for His people. Bottom line. But I have this overwhelming desire to sell everything here and move to the country (Alabama, Kentucky?). Grow a garden, raise some animals, and live as simply and independently as I can. We are in dire need of selling our rent house (please help us pray), and now we have this one as well, which we bought in hopes of flipping (not much chance with the economy like it is). So I know this is not highly possible. I just feel like I would feel safe in a farmhouse somewhere with barns and sheds for canning and storing naturally-grown produce and other foods. A place where my kids could go outside and play without the danger of getting ran over or kidnapped. KWIM? Anyway, enough of these dire thoughts.

There is so much to pray about, more than ever, ever, ever! I think we need to remember to pray for one another, for the families out there who are trying to live right and holy and pleasing to God. And in the meantime, cherish every moment. Make more special memories. Invest your time and energy in the things that really matter.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

It is raining today. Cold, cold, cold. Drizzle, drizzle, drizzle. Elijah is scared of the thunder, so he is sticking by my side like glue. The heater in this house will not heat consistently. We are all bundled up in layers. The kids are snotty and coughing, which I guess just comes with the weather territory. I am so thankful that I am able to be here to take care of them. To wipe their noses and soothe their coughs. To snuggle with them at naptime. Thank you, Lord, for letting me be a mother at home.

This week, our church is in revival with Rev. Kevin Bloomfield. It has been really good so far. God is really helping us. However, revival=less time at home to get things done, so blogging will probably be scarce. Blogspot still refuses to upload my pictures, anyway, so what blogging I do will be text only.

I really wanted to post a pic of the beautiful bouquet of flowers my husband brought home to me on Friday. They are a beautiful array of fall--purples, oranges, and yellows. My dining room looks so brightening by their presence in the center of the table. Every time I see them, I smile in my heart at the gift of thoughtfulness from my best friend. Thank you, honey ;).

Hopefully I will not be too busy to sit down and read the happenings and every day sweetness of my faithful blogging friends. Your blogs mean so much to me--they are very good friends of mine. Have a good rest of the week!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Getting Through Thursday

Here it is........the day before Friday...ugh. The day I work hard to get everything done, so we can relax on the weekend. It rained most of the day, so I had to keep the kids occupied indoors. It's going to be hard when it gets too cold for them to go outside to play. Elijah learned the letter A yesterday. He traced it for about 1/2 hour. Down, down, and over, he would say as he traced. Down, down, and over.

Our neighbor, Mr. Charles, brought over some "new" toys for the kiddos. Toys his grandkids had outgrown and didn't play with anymore. A new doll house, a doll stroller, and a little push-car. They have really enjoyed these. I had a mountain of laundry to fold, which I did after the kids were in bed. It was somewhat glorifying, for lack of a better word, to see it all stacked high (and I mean high) on the table :). I took some great pictures but, alas, blogspot will not upload them. I'll keep tryin', though.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Valleys & Mountains

We all go through seasons in our life, and in some aspects, seasons change more than they should. Spiritually, we go through times of tests and trials. It seems I'm either about to enter a valley, in the middle of one, or just coming out of one. It's this process that teaches me to depend on God more than anything. And every now and then He gives me a mountaintop, and I stand there, arms wide, the wind blowing through my hair, viewing in awe the breathtaking view of the sky above and the earth beneath. From way up there, I can even see the beauty of the valley that seemed so dark and desolate as I was passing through it. This is the moment when I wonder why in the world do I question God's perfect plan, His infinite wisdom, His unfailing direction? He told me in His Word that His ways are higher than my ways, and His thoughts are higher than my thoughts. From way up on that mountaintop, I can see His view of the valley. And I hope and pray, that when it comes time to go through the next one, I'll remember what it looked like, and I'll thank Him for it, and I won't take a step through it without consulting Him. Because the peak of the mountaintop is much smaller than the slope of the valley, and so it takes longer to make it through that valley than it does to pass over that majestic peak. We can't stand on that mountain forever, we have to keep going, to move on to the next season.

Right now, I am on a mountaintop in my marriage. God has given us a renewal of consideration and appreciation for one another. Our looks are more tender, our words more carefully chosen, the tone of our voice softer than ever before in our relationship. This is a mountaintop I do not want to come down from! ;). As a matter of fact, I think it's probably something that should be permanent. And people, I am willing to fight for it! It's evident that as I grow closer to the Savior, that intimacy spills out on every other aspect of my life. Oh, I want more! I want more of Him. I want to see what else He will make richer and sweeter.

Looking around at the state of the world around us, the uncertainty and the change crackling in the air, it makes me want to hold onto what I know is real and solid. My relationship with my husband and my Jesus are the two most important ones, the ones that will be my strength in the months to come. I sense that the results of this election will bring on a valley of enormity such as we have never, ever experienced, as a country and as Christians. It is frightening, yet exciting! I truly believe, with all my heart, that we are the generation that will be raptured in the second coming of Christ. WOW! That is HUGE! Can you really grasp that? We will experience the rapture of the church! We will hear the trumpet sound, and in an instant, we will be in Paradise, gone from this world, no more flesh to battle. That will be the biggest mountaintop of all, my friends, and the end of all valley trials.

This will be my train of thought this week, as another Monday rolls around. Live every day the best I can. Slow down. Give Him a chance to show me what He wants for me. Get to know Him better. Apply it. See the results. Praise Him.