Wings As Eagles: October 2008

Friday, October 31, 2008

Fruit of the Spirit: Faithfulness

Memory Verse: II Timothy 2:13
If we are faithless, He remains faithful. He cannot deny Himself.

Bible Lesson:
Fruit of Faithfulness - Grapes

What does it mean?
Loyalty and trustworthiness, sticking to the truth, staying true and honest with God, being obedient to God's Word. Consistent in performing duties or services to others. It's not always easy. It requires making a decision and the doing it, no matter what you feel like doing.

How does Jesus show us an example?
Matthew 25:14-29 - the parable of the talents. We did a little skit acting out the three servants in the parable that Jesus told. I gave servant one 5 talents, servant two 2 talents and servant three one talent. They were to go out and make use of their talents and then when the master returned after giving them the talents, they were supposed to multiply them. (The kids had fun acting this out, especially when the third servant had to give his talent to the first servant! - see photos below!)

I clipped a name tag on each of the servants and then they were supposed to run about the gym looking for their colored egg holding more talents. To watch them running around was just too fun looking for their talents or rather coins I had in the eggs. As each one found their own, they came back and we opened up the eggs to reveal how their talents multiplied. It turned out to be an excellent way to illustrate an example of faithfulness that Jesus taught in the New Testament.

How can we show faithfulness?
What are some ways you can show faithfulness this week? If we are faithful in the small things, God gives us bigger things in which to be faithful. You should be faithful to do what your parents to tell you to do or expect you to do everyday. If you tell someone you will do something, you need to go ahead and do it. Be faithful to be on time to school and church.

I had each of the kids write down one thing they could do this week to show faithfulness on two dye cut grapes. Then they hung them one up in the tree on my sketch pad and the other one they took home to remind them to do it. Next week we will pick the grapes from the tree and see if they produced the fruit of faithfulness the previous week. (see first photo for grape tree or pretend vine)

memory verse time!

picking the tree from last week!

"hmmm....what did you do to show goodness last week?"

"What did you do with your talents?"

Tackling this month: The oven!

My cleaning task for the month of October is the oven! For several weeks I've had on my list to clean the oven and I decided that was top priority this month! Since I made a quick trip to Houston, I actually ran short of time this month, but with only a few hours left in the month, I finally had a clean oven!

Just look at all that grease and blackened stuff!

The oven is a self-cleaning oven, but that doesn't mean the cooktop is self-cleaning. And that is the hardest part to clean! I have this love-hate relationship with the smooth cooktop. It's much easier to clean spills and I love the smooth space it provides, but...

But it is much harder to control the heat with the burners. It takes longer to heat, does not keep a consistent temp. and takes longer to cool down. Not only that, but if you spill the littlest thing, even a pan boiling over with just a teaspoon of water, it burns it to the cooktop. And since you can't clean it off until it's cool, you (1) have to wait a while to clean it up and (2) it takes a bit of scrubbing to get it off once it is burned on.

Burned water spot on one of the burners.

It is easier to clean since you don't have the element coils, drip bowls and such as our old oven, but whatever boils over and burns on is no easy task either! You have to be cautious what cleaners are used on the glass cooktop so it is not scratched, but I finally ordered one from GE that after lots of soaking and scrubbing finally gets it off.

It took several times using the Cerama Bryte on the glass top and the glass door inside the oven to finally get it clean. I also soaked it in warm, soapy water to help to loosen the tough spots. And even then I had to scrap some of it off with a small blade to get it clean. But get it clean, I did...completely clean and looking just like the day we brought it home!

I even had Dad pull the oven out from the wall and cabnets so I could clean behind and on the sides. Needless to say I found several of Skittles toys she lost months ago under that oven. As a little kitten (she sometime still is!), she batted her toys under the oven with her paw.

the cooktop clean and ready to use!

The oven is self-cleaning, so the inside pretty much cleans itself. I did brush out the burned parts and just rinse the bottom and sides with water after the cleaning cycle. But the racks and glass door are not included in the self-cleaning - that takes your two hands and lots of elbow grease!

Looking so clean! Feels so nice!

For the racks, I let them soak in hot water in the bathtub for a couple of hours to loosen the tough spots and then started scrubbing them down. Those took quite a while, all the scrubbing and cleaning, but they are virtually spot-free!

clean and looking brand new!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Fruit of the Spirit: Goodness

Memory Verse: Psalm 23:6
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Bible Lesson:
Fruit of Goodness - Strawberry

What does it mean?
Moral and spiritual excellence shown in kindness. Goodness enables you to do good things to those who hate you and to other believers. Being good and kind to people is letting Jesus Christ shine through you. We are to do those things for God's glory, not to life up ourselves or make us look God, but to be pleasing and honoring to God.

How does Jesus show us an example?
Romans 5:7-8, "For scarcely will one die for a righteous man, yet perhaps for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth (shows) His love toward us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

We are not good or kind without Christ. We are awful sinners and yet Jesus Christ died for us, even though we are far from good. Jesus did many good deeds in the parables He performed, such as healing the paralysed man, restoring the blind man's vision and raising Lazarus from the dead.

How can we show goodness?
What are some ways you can show goodness this week? How about opening the door for other people, letting other go ahead of you in line, getting the mail for your parents, picking up something that someone has dropped, doing your chores or helping one of your friends with homework?

I had each of the kids write down one thing they could do this week to show goodness on two dye cut strawberries. Then they hung them one up in the tree on my sketch pad and the other one they took home to remind them to do it. Next week we will pick the strawberries from the tree and see if they produced the fruit of goodness the previous week. (see first photo for strawberry tree or rather bush, vine, plant - whatever a strawberry grows on! :)) And yes, I know my stawberries are a little out of proportion with the tree - several of the kids thought so as well! :)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sadness, but joy

Yesterday a young man from our church, only a junior in high school was killed in a car accident. Although I did not know him that well, I have visited with his family on multiple occasions at church. It has been a sad weekend for everyone at church, including our family.

I really understand what his family is feeling right now. There are decisions to make they never thought they would be making. There are events to plan that would never have entered their minds last week.

Yesterday as I was at the church, his little four year old sister was there, smiling, laughing, almost unaware of the situation her family is in. At one point she asked why everyone was so upset. One of the ladies there said they were all sad because her brother wasn't here. And she responded with, "But he's in heaven with Jesus, so that's good."

So simple and sweet. So totally trusting. He's in heaven with Jesus, so why is everyone upset? In her mind, that's a good thing, not a sad thing. If only more of us adults could have that same sweet outlook. And that is the hope we have, the encouragement we lean on, knowing that he is free of pain and suffering in a much better place than we have here on earth. But there is still the sorrow and grief we face here on earth.

The time between now and the funeral is hard, but it really gets hard when the funeral is over and life is expected to go on as normal. And yet it isn't normal. Days go by and the shock of the news and events wears off and reality sets in. That person is not here and he's not coming back. Knowing that he is with the Lord is comforting, but missing having him right here still takes time to get through.

We faced the same thing with Mom and still almost two years later, those days before and after Mom's funeral are vivid memories. Funerals and hearing of someone's loss have whole new significance since we lost Mom. I didn't fully understand or comprehend what if feels like to loose someone close until we went through Mom's sickness and death.

And yet as I really feel for his little sister who probably won't really remember her older brother, I have to smile at her little words, "But he's in heaven with Jesus, so that's good." That has been my encouragement for this weekend!

image courtesy of

Whipped Apple Salad

I made this for a funeral dinner at church last week and because it sounded so good, I made another batch for us to eat here at home. It really is more of a dessert than a salad, but it is yummy!!

Whipped Apple Salad


2 eggs
1 can pineapple tidbits and juice
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 TBSP cornstarch
3/4 cup cool whip
2 cups chopped apples
2 cups miniature marshmallows
3/4 cup chopped nuts


Beat eggs; add pineapple and sugar mixed with the cornstarch. Cook mixture until thick; should resemble pudding thickness. Completely cook and add remaining ingredients. Mix well and refrigerate until serving time. Can also slightly freeze for a very cool salad.

Baked Pizza Mac

This tasted really yummy when I fixed it last week as well as being quick and easy!

1 can (8 oz.) pizza sauce, divided
1 pkg. boxed macaroni & cheese dinner
1 lb. cooked hamburger
1 egg lightly beaten
1/2 tsp. dried basil leaves
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese


Preheat oven to 400°F. Make macaroni and cheese dinner as directed on package and set aside. Remove and set aside 1/4 cup of the pizza sauce for later use. Combine prepared macaroni and cheese dinner, two-thirds of the meat, the remaining pizza sauce, egg and seasonings.

Spoon evenly into 9-inch pie plate. Top with the remaining meat and reserved 1/4 cup pizza sauce; sprinkle with cheese.

Bake 15 min. Let stand 5 min. before serving.

Fruit of the Spirit: Kindness

Memory Verse: James 4:17
Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.

Bible Lesson:
Fruit of Kindness - Tomato

What does it mean?
Tender concern for others. A desire to treat others with care and respect. Showing care or concern for those who are unkind to you.

I had two buckets, both filled with plastic eggs and had two girls throwing them at each other. One finally decided to dump the bucket on the other, which of course the other one had to dump her bucket. The point of this little episode is that when someone hit you, you want to hit them back. When someone dumps their bucket of eggs on you, you want to do the same to them. Therefore NOT to do it is showing kindness, even when you want to get back at them.

How does Jesus show us an example?
Luke 6:35, "But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.

Jesus showed kindness to those who hated him and were unkind to him. Many of the miracles He did were evidence of the kindness He showed. Peter cut off the ear of the soldier as they were trying to arrest Jesus. Instead of not doing anything, Jesus reaches out and heals the man's ear, showing kindness to His enemy.

How can we show kindness?
What are some ways you can show kindness this week? What about the things you think about? Are they kind or unkind things in your head about others? What about the things you say? Are they helping or hurting your family and friends? What about the things you do? The things you email, text message or write to others, are they showing concern for that person?

One simple thing you can do to show kindness is smile! Just that smile could make someone's day and encourage them.

I had each of the kids write down one thing they could do this week to show kindness on two dye cut tomatoes. Then they hung them one up in the tree on my sketch pad and the other one they took home to remind them to do it. Next week we will pick the tomatoes from the tree and see if they produced the fruit of kindness the previous week. (see first photo for tomato tree or rather pretend vine! :))

Fruit of the Spirit: Patience

Memory Verse: James 1:2-3
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.

Bible Lesson:
Fruit of Patience - Pear

What does it mean?
Long suffering; the ability to endure injuries caused by others and willingness to accept painful or irritating situations. Slow to anger. Able to endure hard situations.

To show endurance even when it gets hard, I had two kids come up and push their hands against each other. Each one pushed as hard as they could for as long as they could. It gets hard pushing against someone; it takes endurance.

How does Jesus show us an example?
Isaiah 53:7, "He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth.

Jesus was laughed at, mocked, beaten, almost stoned and rejected and yet He did not strike back at those who tormented him. He endured with patience those hard situations.

Noah waited patiently while building the ark, enduring those who laughed and mocked him. He had to wait for the rain to finally fall. Zacharias had to wait to speak until his son, John the Baptist, was born.

How can we show patience?
What are some ways you can show patience this week? Waiting for a special event? What about enduring a really hard subject in school without complaining? Not getting angry with younger brothers and sisters who try your patience or do things to irritate you?

I had each of the kids write down one thing they could do this week to show patience on two dye cut pears. Then they hung them one up in the tree on my sketch pad and the other one they took home to remind them to do it. Next week we will pick the pears from the tree and see if they produced the fruit of patience the previous week. (see first photo for pear tree)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - week of October 13th

The last couple of weeks we have been eating things out of the freezer. I had quite a few things in there we needed to use and on top of that Dad was gone for several meals each week, so our menu has been rather unorganized, especially for my standards! But hopefully this week will be back to normal.

It's been cold, dreary and rainy (hooray for the rain!) the last few days and so yesterday I put potato soup in the crockpot before church. Oh...the house smelled so wonderful when we walked in the door and it tasted fantastic on a day like yesterday! That's one thing I love about Fall and Winter; cooking and eating soup! MmmmmMmmmm!!!!

It is supposed to be chilly this week; staying at 70 degrees or below. Plus through Wednesday there is a 70% chance of rain and it's staying cloudy, so I'm planning soup this week! :)

Here is what we are eating for dinner this week:

Monday - ham, baked potatoes, garlic bread, peas

Tuesday - chicken noodle soup, carrots, pickles (too bad we don't have any of Grandma's!)

Wednesday - hamburger pizza, breadsticks, lettuce salad (I have my pizza dough recipe perfected, but not the breadsticks. I'm still working on that!)

Thursday - baked pizza mac, lettuce salad, banana muffin

Friday - taco salad bowls

Saturday - leftovers

Sunday - whatever is left in the fridge from this week! :)

Check out OrgJunkie for more great recipe ideas!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A fantastic Sunday afternoon

After lunch I settled down on the couch with a blanket, pillow and computer with background noise of football on tv. It would rain for a while, then slow down to only sprinkles and then start really raining again.

Dad watched football with me as well!

Our driveway and front yard became almost a lake at one point. There's a low spot there and whenever it rains fairly hard in a short period of time (rarely does that happen!), that's the first little spot to fill up with water. It's rather nice to sit indoors, all safe and secure and hear the rain falling on the roof.

rain, rain!

and more and more rain!

The moment I woke up this morning and sensed the rainy, cloudy day, I knew today would be an excellent day for baking. Actually any day is a perfect day for baking in my mind; I love to bake! But there are days that are better than others; like cool, cloudy days. Make sense?? Yep, does to me!

A computer is now considered a common kitchen gadget! :)

We really didn't need any cookies, but I couldn't resist. Oatmeal cookies are my favorite, especially the cookie dough. I admit there are delicious baked as well, but nothing can beat fresh oatmeal cookie dough. The dough is so light, white and fluffy (shortening is the key ingredient for the white and fluffiness)!

Part of the reason I crave oatmeal cookie dough is because of the texture. I'm not quite sure why, but I have always had a weakness for white, fluffy baked goodies! I can remember telling Mom that I wanted my birthday cake to be white with white frosting, lots of white, fluffy frosting. Nothing else, just white. To Mom, that sounded rather tasteless. But to me....yum-wonderful!

That's not to say that chocolate is not at all an option, because that's second on the list! But if I go somewhere and there is a choice of white or chocolate cake, usually I will choose the white, fluffy one. Sounds strange, unusual, not normal, I know. But then whoever said I was normal?!?! Wait, don't answer that! :)

Let's add a few rice crispies...

looks very good!

tastes very good too!

I ended up baking one pan full of oatmeal cookies and then freezing the remainder of the dough for future snacking or cookies. Just remember, our freezer also contains frozen cookie dough! :) And while those were baking, I typed up our menu for the week.

Overall it was a relaxing, peaceful Sunday afternoon!

menu planning for the week...

Skittles is never too far away...:)

Just WHAT did I do this week?

Have you ever been busy and then look back over the last few days and wonder what in the world you were so busy with? That was this week. I has a list of things to do on Tuesday and by the time Friday night appeared, I had Tuesday's to-do list crossed off. So much for the rest of my week's plans!

answer email
email newsletter
blog posts
edit and print church photos
finish Kid's Club
fold and stuff mailers

Tuesday morning started out as usual. I was able to get my newsletter written, sent out, blog posts written and scheduled and email answered. I was making wonderful progress and felt great for having all of that done by noon and keeping right to my schedule!

Then I became aware of the fact that my header was missing from my online store. I shoved all my other activities to the side and that became my main priority. I ended up spending the entire afternoon fixing that. I diagnosed the problem in about 15 minutes, but finding the correct html file to edit turned out to be quite a chore. But thankfully it's done and all in working order. And I learned that much more about website coding! :)

Because of that issue, I didn't get photos edited for church until late that evening (I had to have those ready Wednesday morning) and therefore did not get my lesson finished for Kid's club until Wednesday afternoon. And Wednesday morning I was in Dodge for a couple of appointments.

Suddenly it was Thursday morning and as I began my morning checking email, I discovered that my desktop had no connection to the Internet. That's been happening every so often and I have been getting a slower-than-normal connection downstairs. I bought a new and faster router and wireless network card a month or so ago and just hadn't had a chance to install it yet.

I could have just fixed the connection in a few minutes to get back online, but decided that I should go ahead and install the new router and get the network card put in. What should have taken an hour at the most, ended up taking all morning and part of the afternoon. But the good part is that my connection is about twice what it was before! And that is sooooo wonderful!!!

Friday morning appears and after my morning is spent doing laundry, cleaning the kitchen, baking banana muffins, answering email and shipping orders, I finally brought out my mailing fliers. When I fill my orders, I usually include different kind of product fliers. And ahead of time I will fold, sort and pack them into plastic bags so all I have to do is grab a bag and stick it in the package.

As I started sorting which fliers I wanted to include for this last quarter of the year, I realized I did not have everything I wanted to include. So I moved that to next week's list, ordered the fliers I needed and moved on to stitching my aprons I started on Monday.

And after spending Friday afternoon stitching those (which I almost have completed and will post pics soon!) and talking on the phone for I don't know how long to a very dear friend (which was needed!), my week is over!

And my plans for working on my new quilt, starting my Christmas table set and designing some marketing mailers has now been moved to next week. And hopefully next week I will have some tangible items that I was able to accomplish! Maybe....:)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Fall is official now at our house!

Last weekend I put up our fall decorations. The fall decorations we have are some of my favorites to put up around the house. I love the blend of red, orange and brown together; it just seems so warm and inviting.

As I was bringing the boxes of fall stuff up from downstairs, I started planning where to put everything. It usually changes from year to year, partly because we like variety and partly because we usually can't recall exactly where we put everything.

I knew for sure that I had to move the little wagon and harvest vegetables from last year's spot because of Skittles. Not only did she knock everything down, but she carried those pumpkins, pears and squash everywhere. Over this past year, I have found numerous little vegetables all over the house.

I thought I had the Skittles-dragging-fall-decorations-everything problem taken care of. Wrong! Every single morning since I put up things on Saturday, she has brought leaves, acorns and pumpkins down to my room and onto my bed.

I started locking her downstairs for the night, but I know the exact moment Dad gets up in the morning. At 5:30 the other morning, she jumped onto the bed, into my face with a strand of leaves. This year leaf carrying must be popular!

Dad says as soon as he opens the door she makes a beeline for the corner of the fireplace with the leaves and fall decorations. And then comes right downstairs with it! Silly cat!

The little wagon and pumpkins are on a high bookcase shelf.

I love this wagon and scarecrow!

This is where Skittles picks out all the leaves and
pumpkins she drags all over the place.

Who knows what she's up to there????

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Fruit of the Spirit: Peace

Memory Verse: Psalm 34:14
Depart from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.

Bible Lesson:
Fruit of Peace - Apple

What does it mean?
Peace has two meanings in the Bible; an inner peace and outward showing of peace. Only Jesus Christ can give true peace. In the Fruit of the Spirit, the peace that Paul is talking about it an inward peace, knowing that we are secure in our salvation in Jesus Christ. Jesus can give us peace in any situation, keeping our focus on Him.

I had one of the kids come up and we dressed as a soldier leading an army into battle. Instead of the tradtitional armor, we had a flyswatter for a sword, balloon for a spear, gray fabric for armor, a rubber lid for a shield, a cap for a helmet, flip flops and rubber gloves.

I asked the kids if they were wearing this armor, would they feel prepared to go into battle against swords, steel armor and guns? Would they have a peace of mind that they would be ok? Would they feel secure in their armor? No, they would be worried, concerned! Those things wouldn't give them peace, only Jesus Christ can give true peace.

How does Jesus show us an example?
John 14:27, "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." Jesus tells us that He is the only true source of peace. If we believe in Him, we can trust Him in any situation.

Matthew 5:39, "But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also." Jesus gives us the example of showing peace to others. Not to cause conflict and disagree, but to be in peace with each other. Even when you want to get angry and upset with what others have done to you, you can show them the peace you have...the peace Jesus can only give.

Isaiah 26:3, "You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You." If we keep our minds and focus on Jesus, he will bring us true peace and security.

How can we show peace to others?
What are some ways you can show peace this week? If you have a really hard test and you have studied as hard as you can and you still don't feel prepared, pray that Jesus will give you peace about that test. You will do the best you can!

What about if someone does something to do that just drives you crazy or makes you angry? Are you going to do the same thing to them or not?

I had each of the kids write down one thing they could do this week to show peace on two dye cut apples. Then they hung them one up in the tree on my sketch pad and the other one they took home to remind them to do it. Next week we will pick the apples from the tree and see if they produced the fruit of peace the previous week. (see first photo for apple tree)

Here's a few pics from our night on peace:

Christina and Abby during the Bible lesson

Looking up Bible verses

Fruit of the Spirit: Joy

Memory Verse: John 15:11
These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.

Bible Lesson:
Fruit of Joy - Cherry

What does it mean?
To be bright and cheerful, exceedingly glad. True joy only comes from the Lord. joy is not based on our circumstances, but in our security and salvation in Jesus Christ. If we are joyful on the inside, it will show in our attitudes and actions. Philippians 4:4, "Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice."
J - Jesus first
O - others second
Y - you last
If we put Jesus and others above ourselves and our desires, we will be joyful!

I asked for two volunteers and gave each one a beautifully wrapped gift. (Getting someone to volunteer is NOT hard to do; usually the whole group has their hands up!) I gave each one a gift and told them to open it. Unknown to them one had a $100 bill in it and the other had nothing but rocks in it.

I told the rest of the group to watch their faces as the two boys opened the gifts. We talked about how you could see the joy on Clayton's face as he saw $100 and the disappointment on Zach's face as he discovered only rocks inside his package. True joy is not controlled by circumstances.

Who is our example?
Paul is a man in the New Testament who suffered many trials and sufferings. he was beaten, put in jail, shipwrecked, put on trial and left for dead. But he didn't stop. He continued on knowing his joy was in the Lord and his salvation. Paul learned to be content in all circumstances. Philippians 4:11, "...for I have learned, in whatever state I am, to be content."

How can we show love to others?
What are some ways you can show joy this week? What about when Mom asks you to clean your room or make your bed? Do you complain or argue about doing it or do you do it the first time she tells you? Or do you do it without Mom even having to ask you?

When your teacher gives you a ton of homework, do you complain or rejoice for all the information you are learning? Do you complain about a really hard subject in school or a test you are to take tomorrow? Can you be joyful in the things you have?

I had each of the kids write down one thing they could do this week to show joy on two dye cut cherries. Then they hung them one up in the tree on my sketch pad and the other one they took home to remind them to do it. Next week we will pick the cherries from the tree and see if they produced the fruit of joy the previous week. (see first photo for cherry tree)

Here's a few pics from our night on joy:

Jena reviewing the memory verse.
She wrote the words for the verse on balloons
and taped them to the bulletin board.

The kids would try throwing darts to pop the
balloons in between saying the verse.

Writing down joyful things to do this week on our cherries!