Making bread for the first time today!

Okay, I admit. While I feel that i’m a pretty good cook, I’m not much of a baker. In our house in fact, my husband is quite skilled with baked goods. He grew up with a mom who could dish out cookies, pies and breads like it was nothing. My mom’s definition of baking was opening a package of Wonderbread, so it just never came naturally to me.

Also, my affinity for not following directions gives me a sad lack of baking skill. HOWEVER, I am determined to change that in an attempt to prepare myself for my future role as a full-time homekeeper. Baking your own bread is not only more nutritious, but considerably more frugal. Let us not forget how TASTY home made bread is!

So I began my search for a very SIMPLE bread recipe. I found a basic one over at Just Another Hang Up.

http://justanotherhangup.blogspot.com/2010/02/artisan-bread.html Her bread looks super yummy, and the directions seemed simple enough.

I followed the directions, and as of right now i’ve got the dough rising in my kitchen! I know it sounds silly, but I actually prayed that the bread turns out okay. One of the things I envision for my family whenever we are able to let me become a stay-at-home-mother is to be a good cook! So i’ve got quite a bit of hope tied up in that darn dough. : p

I will keep you posted!

-Housewife at Work

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Entertaining a family cheaply: Volume 1

I know how hard it is to entertain a family on a budget, especially with so many of us looking for wholesome activities that can fit any age. I thought I might explore some options in my home town and post about them here. Hopefully everyone finds some useful information to help fund the family fun, and feel free to post some ideas of your own in the comment section!

So my husband and I took our youngest to the video store yesterday. It just occurred to us that we didn’t have an account with the local Family Video and wanted to check it out for prices and whatnot. We use Netflix, but only the online streaming. If we encounter inclement weather then our wireless internet tends to not work well, so we wanted the option of actually renting occasionally if necessary. We only get local channels on our television, no satellite or big cable packages for us so we rely heavily on other sources for television entertainment.

We encountered a few pros and cons about the Family Video chain. First con I noticed was the huge amount of candy and treats by the counter. Seriously over-priced candy and treats. Of course this will be hugely annoying when you bring kiddos up to pay for your movies. They will beg, and you will probably illicit pouting when you tell them “no”. Stick with it. This candy is WAY expensive.

Second con, I noticed a large “Adult” section in the store. Thankfully it’s walled off, but keep an eye on the little ones to make sure they don’t wander off on you into this section.

And third but last con, the new releases tend to be a little expensive. Especially if you are like me an typically need to plan on renting something for at least a couple of nights.

Now for the pros, which are numerous. First of all, they have a HUGE section of movies that are free to rent. I’d say 3/4th’s of this section are kids movies. The other are an assortment of educational videos, documentaries and exercise videos. You can rent as many of them as you like, and they usually give you a couple of days to return them. So awesome. We walked out with three movies and didn’t pay a dime.

Second of all, they have a couple of high-quality disk cleaners up at the counter. The woman working cleaned all of the disks before she sent them with us. Good idea too, kids movies at rentals tend to look like 5 miles of hard road and play about as well in my DVD player.

Third, public family restrooms. Seriously. Life-saver with a toddler who has to potty every five seconds.

Fourth, when you first register you are given tons of great information on specials (like you can rent a video game and get a free movie rental, older releases are rent one, get a free rental, etc). You are also given a sheet of coupons to use at the store (good ones too), and a survey to fill out for another free rental. Best yet, all rentals in the store are half-priced your first month of membership. Combine that with your coupons and other sales an you’ve got super cheap, if not free rentals.

Another cool pro? Your kids get coupons free rentals for every A on their report card each quarter. This is good all the way up through high school. So awesome. Now i’m not sure if this is just my Family Video location, but if you provide them with proof of “exemplary” performance in homeschool settings, they will give coupons for that too. Kind of nice, we have a lot of homeschooled kids in my area and i’m sure their parents are grateful to be included in this freebie.

Last, tons of selection. We could have spent an hour there easily were it not for the little one. Honestly, it’s not a bad deal if you are careful about when and what you rent. Also, keep track of how frequently you are renting. I know a lot of people who get carried away with the renting and easily rack up $50.00 a month renting videos or games. Which kinda defeats the purpose in my opinion.

Some of you may have other video chains in their area, since Family video is the only one here i’ve nothing to compare it to. Check out all the ones in your town and comparison shop before you commit to a membership at one. You never know what kind of deals you will come across!

-Housewife at Work

Concerning the wedding vows of a submissive wife.

I was taking a gander over at Her Noble Character today (as a side note, check out Olivia at hernoblecharacter.com ) and she had posted an entry about her wedding vows. This took me back a bit to my own wedding, and the words my husband and I said to one another.

It also reminded me of the time I was asked to reconsider my vows for something a little more politically-correct.

Let me just state that I love my family dearly, and I respect their opinions mightily. On the other hand, my family’s religious background isn’t quite as cohesive as my husband’s is. I have everything from Jews to Mormons to Wiccans to Atheists in my bloodline. This is a wonderful thing in one respect, because I grew up with a fondness for learning about world religions and has helped my evangelizing efforts tremendously. Trust me, it’s much easier to talk to people about Jesus when you understand what direction they are coming from in comparison to yours.

On the other hand, it can be quite lonely. Aside from my husband and his family, no one in my family shares my particular beliefs. Frequently I am misunderstood or misrepresented by my family members. So I suppose it should have been no surprise that many were offended by my wedding vows. Why? Because they focused on Christ and headship in a marriage unit.

I don’t honestly know what could be so offensive about the idea of a woman making a conscious choice to follow her husband. In today’s society however, it is not a common idea. This is not to say that I condone a husband using unrighteous dominion over his wife, but then why would you marry a person like that in the first place? I married my husband knowing very well that he always put my interest above his own. It’s much easier to submit when you know that your husband is looking out for you, and not himself.

My husband may not be perfect, but he honestly tries the best he can and that gives me every motivation in the world to follow him and lift him up as the head of my home. He is giving everything into loving me as Christ loves the church. With him trying so hard to hold up his end of the bargain, I don’t find it demeaning or sexist to follow him at all. He is a man of character and love.

I went ahead with the vows I wanted. It’s funny, many of the people who poked fun at our vows when we said them have since become Christians themselves, and now look to us as an example of marriage. I am glad I didn’t give in to the pressure to use different vows at our wedding.

Here is a portion of the ceremony. Our names are noted with stars to protect our privacy.

“The vows you have acknowledged are not to be taken lightly because your marriage will be an example to others of the relationship between Christ and his followers. One of the reasons God created marriage was to illustrate His love, His treatment, His relationship with His people.

Ephesians 5 says,

21 And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

22 For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23 For a husband is
the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the
church. 24
As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to yourhusbands in everything.

25 For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her 26 to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s
word. 27 He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault.

*******, you are to submit to *** because he is the head of your family just as Christ is
the head of His family. The way you love, honor, and serve Wil will be a testimony to
those around you. Your obedience to him will show others how Christians are to obey
Christ. A failure to fulfill your role faithfully will reflect poorly on Christ and His church.
But if you are faithful, others “may see your good deeds and praise your Father in
heaven.”

***, you probably have the tougher of the two jobs. Sure, we like to talk about how a
woman is meant to submit to and obey her husband, but you have to love her like Christ
loves His followers. You have to be Jesus to your wife and those who look at your
marriage. Those are some HUGE shoes to fill. Christ gave up absolutely everything for
the church. He held nothing back. Philippians tells us that He made Himself nothing, He
emptied Himself, and then, in humility, gave up His life on the cross for His people. Your
love for ******** must be nothing short of that. Her needs come before your comfort.
Her honor comes before your pride. Her life comes before your life.

Now I won’t profess to have this down perfectly, but the way you keep your commitment to
******** will speak volumes to others on how Christ loves His people. Your love will be
a testimony of Christ’s love. To fail is to dishonor the love Christ has given to everyone
of us. But if you succeed you will prove the words of 1 John 4:10, “10
This is real love—
not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away
our sins.”

From the very moment you decided to follow Jesus your lives have been testimonies of
His love, but from today on, you have a new responsibility. Your marriage–for good or
bad–will illustrate Christ’s love and relationship with His people.”

Hopefully the two of us are able to work together to fulfill the testimony presented at our wedding. I feel very blessed that we were given the opportunity to witness to our friends and family about the power of Biblical headship, even if it didn’t jive with all of them.

-Housewife at Work

Can I share some happy news with you?

Our God is an awesome God.

My husband and I took upon ourselves to spend this year really honing our evangelism skills. Neither of us have natural talent in this area, and we knew that it was something that we needed to work on. So with some help from the Lord we began slowly witnessing to our friends and family and praying for them daily.

I am happy and grateful to say, that for the last four months about 7 of our dear friends have been at church every Sunday and attending a Bible study at our house.

Even better, one of them is being Baptized this Sunday by my husband.

I could not be more proud of our friend. He has had a rough year, and given the circumstances most people would turn away from God in anger. Instead, he ran towards Him. He is going to be a great instrument to the kingdom and I feel so blessed to be given the chance to watch him grow and learn.

My husband and I have learned a lot as well, because witnessing is a new thing for us. We tried not to get our hopes up, because we didn’t want to be let down if our loved ones didn’t accept Christ. What a folly on our behalves, our God can do ANYTHING. Watching the transformations of our friends has been one of the richest experiences of our lives.

Thank you God, for all the blessings of this week.

Housewife at Work

The Dignity of Risk

I want to tell you a little about the work I do.

There is a non-profit organization known as Mosaic, it was started by members of the Lutheran church and is a Christian organization. The mission of this group is to provide adults with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to live independent lives. Many of my clients grew up in institutions where they were treated like chattel, never being allowed to mingle with “normal” people, never given a chance to try anything on their own, always treated like children.

Let me tell you something about some of the folks I work with. They can hold jobs. They can cook for themselves. They can volunteer at their churches. Some even can drive and get married, start a family.

But they will never find out unless someone gives them a chance to fail first. 

Sometimes in our efforts to help the disabled we tend to  infantilize them. We overly coddle them to try and make ourselves feel better, because disability makes us uncomfortable. In the end, all we do is unintentionally rob them of their dignity.

In the training I took prior to beginning this line of work we learned about something called “The Dignity of Risk”.  A lot of folks in my town didn’t like the idea of “retarded” people living independently in their communities. They were fearful of someone with Down’s Syndrome or Fragile X or Williams Syndrome living outside of an institution.

“What if they get lost in town?”

‘What if they get too loud during church services?”

“What if they wreck their cars?”

“What if they can’t pay their bills?”

A million of questions similar arose. People weren’t trying to be cruel, but they just didn’t understand that part of being a human being, with or without a disability, is the ability to take risks and learn from them. The non-disabled are given countless opportunities to make decisions, both good and bad. The disabled however, are denied these opportunities.

Below is a transcript written by a parent of a child who has a disability. It serves as the foundation of why I chose the work I chose, and a constant reminder that I am working with people who just happen to have a disability, not disableds who just happen to be people.

I’m not saying those with disabilities may not need our help sometimes, but lets stop “helping” them so much that we hurt them.

God bless,

Housewife at work.

THE DIGNITY OF RISK
(A parent whose son is in a supported work program in Richmond, VA)  
What if you never got to make a mistake?  
What if your money was always kept in an envelope where you couldn’t get it?  
What if you were never given a chance to do well at something?  
What if you were always treated like a child?  
What if your only chance to be with people different from you was with your own family?  
What if the job you did was not useful?  
What if you never got to make a decision?  
What if the only risky thing you could do was to act out?  
What if you couldn’t go outside because the last time you went it rained?  
What if you took the wrong bus once and now you can’t take another one?  
What if you got  into trouble and were sent away  and  you couldn’t come back because  they  always
remember your “trouble”?  
What if you worked and got paid $.46 an hour?  
What if you had to wear your winter coat when it rained because it was all you had?  
What if you had no privacy?  
What if you could do part of the grocery shopping but weren’t allowed to do any because you weren’t able to
do all of the shopping?  
What if you spent three hours every day just waiting?  
What if you grew old and never knew adulthood?  
What if you never got a chance?