The season of advent is upon us. This is a great time to refocus your heart and your family on the wonder of His love, in the face of all the materialism and commercial hype that comes with Christmas in America. Here are some great free resources for advent:
Born A Child Yet A King (Christ the King Church) – Once a week devotional
For Yonder Breaks A New and Glorious Morn (Christ the King Church) – Daily devotional
Jesse Tree Advent Book (AHolyExperience.com) – 25 daily devotionals with activities
Reasons for The Season (WomenLivingWell.org) – 24 family devotions
Jesse Tree Printables (TiredNeedSleep.blogspot.com) – Free printable Jesse Tree ornaments
While I generally try to stay away from political issues in this forum, there is something that needs our attention. The new UN Convention Treaty before our Senate proposes new rules that would allow the UN to make determinations about parental rights in the United States. This treaty will specifically affect the rights of home schooling families. Please educate yourself on this issue and take action to keep the UN out of our parenting decisions!
HSLDA information on UN Treaty (Home School Legal Defense Association)
Patriot Voices video information on UN Treaty
ParentalRights.org information on UN Treaty
We are once again in the middle of a move, so I thought I’d share a few quick moving tips this week.
When labeling bins & boxes, label top, side, and end (short side). This way no matter how something is being carried you can see what it is.
Also, each box should get two classifications 1. The room it is going to in the new house. 2. What the box contains. This system will make unpacking much easier.
It has been a while since I added a chapter to the story of me. As we approach our 1 year anniversary back in the US, this seems like a good time to post an update.
In January of 2012 we were well settled into life in Jacksonville. We found a church we love and were eagerly anticipating the arrival of summer weather and days at the beach. Then, in one week I had three separate women seek out my advice on organization and domestic topics. Each woman asked if I had considered starting a blog. I ignored the suggestion from the first woman, laughed off the suggestion of the second woman, but when the third woman suggested I start a blog I began to consider the idea. I spent several days praying on the idea, asking God to give me clear direction. In one prayer session the name of the blog was born, but I was still unsure. I wrote “The Organized Wife” on a notecard and continued to pray. The next day God brought the Proverbs 31:10 scripture to my heart. During prayer times ideas for posts began to form in my heart. I knew God was telling me to move forward and on January 9, 2012 The Organized Wife began.
This blog has blessed me in amazing ways over the last 10 months and I am truly humbled that so many people want to read what I have to say about organization and home management. Please know that I regularly pray for all of you who have joined me on this journey to an organized home.
The Saturday before Thanksgiving is bust around our house. On this day we do the shopping, make any items needed for centerpieces and table, and gather all the supplies we will need in one place (I use a dish bin and keep everything in one place). Here are some projects and a collection of Thanksgiving recipes to keep you busy today and in the days leading up to Thanksgiving:
- Wash any special occasion dishes that you will want to use on Thanksgiving. China, crystal, special servicing plates etc. don’t get used regularly and often need a good washing before you use them.
- Gather all supplies needed for each dish you will prepare and keep then all in one place. Make a list of anything you are missing so you can go to the store.
- Make centerpieces and decorations.
- Gather any supplies you will need for Thank You notes or hostess gifts. Add anything you need to your shopping list.
- Go to the store and get anything you need.
Don’t forget the basic etiquette rules! Following these simple rules will help make this Thanksgiving and other special occasions even better!
Today it seems that many of the basic etiquette rules that I was raised with (and I am not that old!) are just missing from our society. It isn’t just that people aren’t doing these things anymore, but that no one is teaching them and now we have a generation of adults who don’t follow some of the basic rules, not because they are choosing to ignore them, but because they just don’t know. So here are some basic rules of etiquette and entertaining that will serve you well.
- RSVP means the hostess wants a response. This doesn’t just mean call if you are coming. They want to know either way, by the date specified. Do the hostess a favor and just let her know if you are coming or not.
- When you go to someone’s home, never arrive empty-handed. Bring a dessert or salad or bread for dinner, a bottle of wine or other drink, a house plant, a picture frame, but never arrive without a gift for your hosts. If they have invited you over for dinner or a party, giving them this small gift lets your hosts know you appreciate their work to entertain you.
- Write a Thank You Note! Seriously, when someone does something for you (has you over for dinner or provides a service) or gives you something, take 5 minutes to hand-write (no emails!) a Thank You note. It doesn’t take much time and people appreciate the sentiment. Teach your kids to do the same to family and friends for gifts and to parents of friends who host them.
- Whenever possible, reciprocate. When a family has yours over for dinner, a few weeks later, return the gesture and host them at your house. When someone offers you a service (raking your lawn, watching your kids…whatever), as long as it isn’t something you are paying for, return the gesture and do something nice for them (watch their kids on a different night etc.)
- Introduce new adults to children as Mr. or Mrs./Ms. & their last. It is up to the adult if they want to allow your child to call them by their first name (or Miss First Name). Just teaching your kids this simple courtesy will help them in relationships with adults and help your child understand that adults are to be respected.
These simple etiquette rules will make a huge difference in your family’s interactions with others. They take little or no time and money, but the payoff can be amazing.
In my childhood home, cranberry sauce meant the jelly out of a can. You know the stuff. It comes out in the shape of a can and has to be sliced. I have never cared much for cranberry sauce, and I totally blame this jelly! While living in Taiwan my family still wanted cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving so I was forced to learn how to make an actual sauce. But of course getting fresh cranberries was difficult in a small Taiwanese town. However we found Craisins at every store. So I decided to make my own cranberry chutney. (Chutneys usually have vinegar in them, but that really is the best word to describe the sauce, even without the vinegar). This turned out to be a favorite dish (one child guest took a bowl of the stuff and ate it all day).
Here is the easy recipe
1 cup of Craisins or dried cranberries
1/2 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon orange zest
2 teaspoons sugar
In a small pot put the orange juice. If it is tart, add sugar to taste. Add orange zest and Craisins. Heat on med-high to boiling, which will allow the dried cranberries to be rehydrated by the orange juice, causing them to plump. Stir regularly to keep things from sticking. Once the cranberries are plumped and soft, remove from heat. As the chutney cools it will thicken and gel, creating a yummy orange cranberry chutney.
In keeping with this week’s theme of Thanksgiving decorations, here is a great way to make a fall candle centerpiece
for your Thanksgiving table.
Get 2 small pumpkins. Collect some great shaped leaves from outside. Trace the shape of your leaves onto you pumpkins. Hollow out the pumpkins and carve the leaf shapes into them. Add a pumpkin with holes for taper candles to make a great centerpiece.
TIP: If you want to get really creative you can add a turkey head to your taper candle pumpkin and create a candle turkey out of you pumpkin.