Lisa's Homemaking Corner

Lisa's Homemaking Corner

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Renewed Goals: Wifely Habits

Yes, I realize it has taken me forever to get to this post.  I had a post all written up, but I was suffering from writer's block and it seemed so vague and ramble-y (if that wasn't already a word, it is now!).  So, I decided to think and pray on it a bit more and start fresh when I've been away from it for a few days.

Hmmm...wifely habits.  I'm not sure why I have such a hard time writing about this subject.  I can spend all day talking about it with a woman who is honestly seeking out my advice on the topic.  But when it comes to writing about it without any prompts, I'm never sure which direction to take.  Maybe it's because even though the Lord has given me a passion for biblical marriage, I just don't feel worthy to be actually instructing on it, you know?  While the Lord has shown me many things and has done many miracles over the last few years, I am certainly no expert.  But then again, that could be a good thing.  :)  Not to mention, the purpose of this post is not necessarily instruct, per se. But rather, to think "out loud" about goals for my part in how I want to improve my behavior in my marriage this year.  And hopefully, they will inspire anyone reading this to do the same.

While I have come a long way since the day I got married (believe me, I was a young and immature bride!), there is still so much for me to learn and so much more room for improvement!  I kept writing, deleting, and re-writing different goals I had wanted to focus on, but as I think and pray on this, I simply come to the model of the Proverbs 31 woman.  I certainly won't bore you with starting the study over from the beginning, but my goal this year is to shore up those character traits that I've already covered here on this blog, and then continue with the study to the finish.  I know I can never perfectly BE the Proverbs 31 wife.  But, I want to memorize that section, have it written on my heart and meditate on it, and use it as a springboard for my goals.

10Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
 11The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
 12She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
 13She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
 14She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
 15She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
 16She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
 17She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
 18She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.
 19She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
 20She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
 21She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
 22She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.
 23Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
 24She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
 25Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
 26She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
 27She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
 28Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
 29Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
 30Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.
 31Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.  ~Proverbs 31:10-31
I can sit here and write goals all day, but in the end, I know that God knows best, and it's in His word that I find exactly what I need.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Product Review: Oster 6-Slice Brushed Stainless Steel Toaster/Convection Oven

This was my birthday gift last week, and I have to say, I LOVE it!  I had been hinting to my hubby that I wanted one now that we're trying to go completely gluten-free, as our regular toaster was 10 years old and seriously contaminated with gluten.  :)  So, if I had to get a new toaster, I wanted something that would serve multiple purposes, and this toaster oven does it!

I use this toaster oven practically daily.  It comes with 5 functions:  toast (of course!), bake, convection bake, broil, and warm.  In addition, it has a temperature knob that goes up to 450 degrees, and a timer knob that goes up to 60 minutes.  It also comes with an adjustable wire rack, a broiler/roaster pan with rack, and a pull-out bottom in the front for easy cleaning.

Just yesterday, I used it to make toast as a base for make-it-yourself individual pizzas for my family.  The toast function does take a little longer than a regular toaster, but I think it's definitely worth it, as you have more control as to how it turns out.  We pulled the toast out, added sauce, toppings, and cheese and put them back in under the broiler for a few minutes.  They came out perfect!  This was a huge hit and very fun for my little ones.

Other things I have made so far with this is baked chicken breasts, candied sweet potatoes (both with the convection mode), and cornbread (with the traditional bake mode).  All turned out perfect, and the chicken came out really moist.  The convection method didn't really save a whole lot of time, but it DID cut the time down some, and I imagine it would cut the time down significantly if you baked something like a whole chicken, which traditionally takes longer.

I love that I can fit a normal sized casserole dish in this oven, which not only frees up space in my regular oven if I need it, but also saves energy from having to turn on the big oven if I'm just baking one thing (like a few baked potatoes for lunch, or banana bread or a cake for dessert).

The only drawback I have observed so far is that it does get hot, especially on the top.  I learned this the hard way when I was making toast right on the rack for the pizzas, then grabbed the pan which I set on top of the oven to put the pizzas on.  It wasn't by any means scalding hot, but it did take me by surprise.  So, you definitely need to keep things off the top of it and give it a little clearance on the sides when it's in use.  And of course, keep little hands away!

All in all, I would enthusiastically recommend this oven to any of my family and friends who are in the market for either a toaster OR a convection oven.  In case I forgot to mention, I LOVE this appliance!  :)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Renewed Goals: Godly and Bible Habits

This first goal really needs to be dealt with by getting my heart, mind, and body aligned to the right priorities.  The very first thing I need to do each day to make sure things go right (and to make sure I'm truly ready when things go wrong), is to make sure that line of communication is open between me and God.  Of course, on His end, He is ALWAYS ready, but there are days when *I* forget to turn to Him, especially before I react.  And, those are the days when I didn't get up early or just plain "didn't have time" to just start out spending time alone with Him...talking with Him...and most important of all, LISTENING to Him.  And my excuse for those days?  I couldn't concentrate because the kids were distracting me.

But, let's get to the real heart of the issue here.  WHY were the kids distracting me?  Because that's what kids do, especially when they first get up in the morning and there is so much activity.  Did I know about this?  Yes.  Do I do anything about it?  I try, and I've had some good stretches in the past.  But, let's face it.  With all the sickness we've had in our household over the last couple of months, and then all the holiday chaos taking over after that (complete with some time off from homeschooling), trying to sleep in has become the norm lately.  And it has been showing, not only in where my heart is a lot of the time, but also in the behavior of my kids.  So, it's time to re-purpose to work on my morning wake-up time.

Now, in a way, this is going to go against my wanting to NOT go into things full-hilt.  But, there are just some things that are not an option.  I always say I'm "working on it," which leaves room for the option of just plain not doing it because I don't feel like it.  So, this is one of those things that I need not say "I will work on it," but rather, "I'm going to DO it."  From past experience, I know getting up in the morning with sufficient time before the kids get up is not something that I can "work towards."  Don't get me wrong, there ARE times where I need this option...this just isn't one of those times.

So, 6:00 AM.  That's it!  It's not a "goal," where I'm going to set my alarm clock 15 minutes earlier until I reach it, that's just when I am going to get up from now on.  Some people need to work toward it gradually, but I have learned that I can't do that because I will never get there!  ;)  Now, once I'm at it for awhile, I can always change it to an earlier time if I feel like I need to (for instance, if I'm barely making noise but the kids are still getting up 10 minutes after me...ask me how I got that idea...wait, don't).  And, of course, I WILL be going from a very simple morning routine at the start to adding things as I get used to it.  But, 6:00 is my desired wake up time, so that's when I'm going to wake up at the get-go.  No, I will NOT like it at first, and it WILL be tough, but as long as I'm sticking to it, my bed time will automatically adjust and before I know it, it will become second nature.  :)

Okay, ALL that build up, and then, here comes my teeny, tiny morning routine to start out with:
Wake up
Get dressed (because I know from experience, reading in bed usually ends with me waking up later using the book as a pillow LOL!)
Daily bible reading for about 30-60 minutes
Get the kids up and started on their chores
Breakfast

Tomorrow is not going to be pretty, but hopefully by the end of the week, I'll be used to it and ready to tackle the next things.  :)