Well, I just feel like I'd like to write something about what I've been doing without really knowing what I want to write. This was a good weekend. Mariah was with us.
On Friday, the kids dressed up in costumes, we made chocolate chip pumpkin muffins, and Dad carved a pumpkin with the three older girls. I also learned on Friday, that October 31, is also Reformation Day. I told my kids so! They kept getting it confused and saying things like, "what was it called today, Mom, Reservation Day?" We didn't go to a party this year and we didn't go trick or treating. And, since we live out in the country, since we stayed home, we didn't have much to do with Halloween (no one comes to our door). I read on My God Given Mission Field about the origins of Halloween, and not that I didn't know most of what she writes anyhow, but she makes it clear, this is not some neutral holiday, it has some pretty icky origins.
It is my feeling that Halloween is kind of like the meat offered to idols thing. If it doesn't affect you, and you aren't participating in any of the worship or warding off of spirits, then it isn't sin to you. However, there are so many things that aren't good with Halloween. There are the death warmed over displays everwhere that freak our kids out. The lit Jack O Lanterns were originally to ward evil spirits away. The candy is just plain bad for kids (and for moms). And, my husband, even though he felt guilty like, "Hey, this is fun for kids, so we have to go do something," was ALWAYS so grumpy with going out on Halloween, with the meaning behind it and everything. So, I was much happier staying home and just doing our own fun that evening.
Birthday Party For Two
The next day, I went out with my seven year old to finish shopping. We went to Target pretty much, then Wilco (farm store), then Fred Meyer. Can I say how surprised I am how expensive Target is becoming? It doesn't seem cheaper on most things than Fred Meyer to me anymore at any rate. They do have a better selection on some things, however.
We came home and I set to making a cake and making dinner and wrapping presents. Yes, I don't get things done ahead of time. I figure I am doing very well to just get it all done. Mariah wanted Kung Pao Chicken and since the baby (the 2nd birthday girl) can't vote, Mariah got Kung Pao Chicken. Yumm. Yumm. My younger kids don't appreciate it. But, Mariah and my husband love it and says I make it better than anyone else ever could. I also made a carrot cake. The cake stuck to the pan - so it was a little lopsided. But it was good. Homemade cream cheese frosting too. I also tried to make ice cream with my automatic ice cream maker, but I got the canister out of the O degree freezer a little early and then the ice cream never froze properly.
It was fun. Nothing fancy. No big one year old birthday for Abigail. Just a combination one and ten year old birthday with the family. We had more practical presents than we have in the past. But the kids loved it. Favorite books for Mariah and a Breyer horse and some dolls clothes. Some clothes and books and a baby for the baby. So, once again Mariah said this is the "best Birthday ever". She is always so sweet and enthusiastic. And, the baby, Abigail, well, she loved Carrot Cake. Yumm. Yumm. She was laughing. She is really a joyful little thing.
Yes, the 5 and the 6 on the cake are there because I forgot to get a couple 1's and a 0. So, the girls are 1 and 10 respectively, which totals 11. Well, 5 plus 6 total 11, so there you go. Yes, these are the goofy things that happen at our house all the time!
Today we went to church, then we came home for lunch. We had Quesadillas. Rachel got them on corn tortillas since we are trying the gluten free thing with her. Then I made whole wheat bread for most of the family and gluten free bread for Rachel. No pics this time, but I'll put them up in the future.
My Thoughts About Prayer
Like most of you, I've been thinking a lot about our nation and actually the world. In church today, the flier they gave us was talking about European missions and the need for God to move on this generation. Oh, this stirs me. It stirs me that I need to learn to pray. Do you know in Europe today that it is estimated that less than 1% claims Jesus as their personal savior? The gospel started in Europe. Revivals happened in Europe. Additionally, Europe has negative growth (they have less than 2 kids per couple) and a large influx of Muslims. I don't remember the figure, but it was estimated that given the current trend, Europe would have a majority Muslim population in the not too distant future. And, I've also been reading on Kimmie's blog (Over The Moon With Joy) about how country after country are shutting themselves off from allowing adoptions (presumably to Americans, particularly to larger families). Then, of course, most of you are familiar with political threats we have today that nip at our personal freedoms as Christians, as parents, as homeschoolers, as Americans. But, maybe God is using this to draw a generation of Christians to their knees.