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Welcome to the Raggedy Cottage and Garden. As an effort to promote home style creativity and genuine old-fashioned character, I have starte...

Friday, January 30, 2009

Preachers who don't preach the cross.....

Today we have MANY preachers who are seeking the approval of man and not of God. As a result the cross of Christ is not convicting people of their sin. If the preaching doesn't convict you of your sin.....it isn't spoken in truth.

Here is an excellent site that shows how much preaching the gospel is rejected. I personally do not believe it is always necessary to hold up signs to get the gospel out to lost people of this world.....but preaching from the word of God is what is really necessary.

Consuming Fire Fellowship

Monday, January 26, 2009

TV Free Ideas

101 TV-free alternatives

  • Design a poster.
  • Learn to play the guitar or other musical instrument.
  • Attend community concerts, listen to a local band.
  • Organize a community cleanup.
  • Visit the library. Borrow a book. Attend library activities.
  • Go ice skating or roller skating.
  • Listen to the radio.
  • Visit the zoo.
  • Paint a picture, a mural or a room.
  • Find out about your area's community center or park's activities.
  • Go swimming. Join a community swim team.
  • Read a book aloud to your younger sister/brother.
  • Plan a picnic or barbecue.
  • Go bird watching.
  • Volunteer for a community organization or charity.
  • Jump rope.
  • Make a friendship bracelet.
  • Write a letter to a friend or relative.
  • Bake cookies and bread. Make homemade jam.
  • Plant a flower, vegetable or herb garden.
  • Read magazines or newspapers.
  • Plan a slumber party.
  • Become a tutor at your school.
  • Go camping (even if it's just in the backyard!.
  • Join a choir.
  • Go through your closets and clothes. Donate surplus items to Goodwill, the Salvation Army or a local rummage sale.
  • Start a diary/journal.
  • Go to a museum.
  • Take a nature hike. Collect seeds and leaves. Make a collage with the materials you collected and post it on the refrigerator.
  • Play cards.
  • Start a community exercise group that walks, runs, or bikes.
  • Sing a favorite song.
  • Get out the family photo album. Research your family history.
  • Visit a local bookstore.
  • Make crafts to give as gifts.
  • Make up a story and write it down.
  • Learn to say simple phrases in a few different languages.
  • Ask an older family member to tell you a story about his or her childhood. Write about it.
  • Play hopscotch with friends.
  • Bake two batches of cookies; one for your family and one for a neighbor.
  • Watch the night sky through binoculars; identify the different constellations. Observe the moon.
  • Exercise.
  • Walk to work or school.
  • Start a bowling league.
  • Save money cancel cable TV!
  • Go fishing.
  • Organize a game of touch football.
  • Attend a religious service.
  • Run a relay or potato sack race. Have an egg toss.
  • Organize a neighborhood scavenger hunt.
  • Study the Bible. Memorize scriptures.
  • Play board games with your family or friends.
  • Cook dinner with friends or family.
  • Paint a flower pot.
  • Clean up your room/house.
  • Kick a soccer ball.
  • Make up a play at school or with friends. Take it to a nursing home.
  • Write a letter to your favorite author.
  • Play with your pet.
  • Do yardwork.
  • Construct a kite.
  • Go on a family trip/historical excursion.
  • Build a fort.
  • Play Frisbee.
  • In the snow, go sledding and make a snowman.
  • Make a collage out of pictures from old magazines.
  • Baby-sit for new parents.
  • Groom your pet.
  • Set up a lemonade stand on a hot day.
  • Shoot hoops with friends, play a round of HORSE.
  • Learn to play chess or bridge.
  • Draw pictures of members of your family.
  • Start a fiction book group. Start a public policy book group.
  • Swap magazines with your friends.
  • Go for a long walk.
  • Write a letter to the President or your Representative and/or Senator.
  • Tie-dye a shirt.
  • Make an ant farm.
  • Make cards for the holidays or birthdays.
  • Organize a game of capture the flag.
  • Play charades.
  • Plant a tree or flowers.
  • Have a garden tea party.
  • Do a rain dance.
  • Make a miniature boat and float it in the water.
  • Write a letter to your grandparents.
  • Play freeze-tag.
  • Learn how to use a compass.
  • Learn the metric system.
  • Create an obstacle course and invite your friends to try it.
  • Play a game of "Simon Says."
  • Have a conversation.
  • Play checkers.
  • Sew a pillow.
  • Visit the countryside.
  • Play broomball.
  • Learn some new riddles or jokes.
  • Go dancing.
  • Climb a tree.
  • Watch the sunset.
  • Have a big party to celebrate a TV-free Week!!
list taken from i-village

Ideas with your toddler

Not turning on the TV in the early hours of the day may feel next to impossible to the exhausted parent. Here are some suggestions for active pursuits, and while they do take parental energy, they result in more engaged parent/child interactions (and who knows, perhaps, your child will learn to sleep longer if the excitement of the tube is no longer available).

  1. Work on age-appropriate puzzles. If you can, you may want to purchase new puzzles for this week.
  2. Make a puzzle. Help your child make a puzzle by cutting an old photo, greeting card, or calendar picture into large pieces. Let him or her put the pieces back together on a sheet of paper.
  3. Read aloud. Get new books out of the library. Read familiar favorites. Help your child make an indoor fort using a sheet, blanket, or towel. "Build" it over chairs. Let your child read books with a flashlight inside the fort.
  4. Read a map. Take a look at any map, and, depending on the type of map, point out major roads, highways, exits, mountains, bridges, bodies of water.
  5. Organize photo albums. Put photos into albums. This depends on your child's age. (If your child is too young you may end up with scattered, chewed on photos -- so be careful.)
  6. Write letters. Compose letters to friends and family, detailing your week's past activities. Little children can be encouraged to write or use stickers to help spell out words.
  7. Dance to Music. Let your child draw a flag on a piece of paper. Attach a stick to one end, turn on the radio to lively music, and let your child march around the house carrying the flag.
  8. Organize closets. Have younger children help you sort and older children can be assigned a particular closet to do by themselves.
  9. Play trains, blocks, or arts and crafts. Challenge your imaginations. Here are two quick ideas:
    1. Make a bouquet of flowers out of opened-up cupcake liners. Write a message at the center of each flower for someone special. Glue or tape a straw or popsicle stick for a stem. Tie the flowers together with a ribbon.
    2. Make a collage by cutting out pictures of healthy foods from magazines and glueing them on construction paper. Then try to eat those healthy foods throughout the day.
  10. Plan the night before. Take a few minutes to discuss the routine with your child before bed the night before. For example, "In the morning, we aren't going to watch TV. When we wake up, we'll get washed and dressed, eat breakfast and then do x, y or z."

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Cleaning solution

Today I did the weekly cleaning routine. This time I did not use the typical cleaning supplies that are commonly bought from the local store. Instead I made my own solution. It is very easy to make and cheap too. Also if you are a fan of living organic and saving the environment, this is an excellent solution for you. Not only that, but it uses ingredients that are safe around small children.

Here is the recipe:
-1/2 cup vinegar
-1/4 cup lemon juice
-2 table spoons of dish washing detergent
** The first three ingredients can be combined together and multiplied several times to create a multipurpose cleaner which can be stored in an old multipurpose cleaning bottle or other container. Use about 3/4 solution with each use.
-A small amount of warm water (About 2-4 cups) to keep the solution strong enough yet, diluted enough to use safely.

Mix all ingredients together and use where ever a multipurpose cleaning solution may be used. Amounts may be varied to increase or decrease the strength of the solution. Use on sinks, stoves, tubs etc.... This solution can safely be used in place of bleach and ammonia in many cases.

Keep in mind that the strong acidity that is produced by the solution does have a tendency to burn small cuts and scrapes on your hands so you may want to use gloves while cleaning with this solution.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Books for kids: Part 1

Today it can be quite expensive to buy popular children s books. Costs for the average child's book can range from 5.00$ to 15.00$ and above. I found the books in the picture above at a local resale store for used items for a total cost around 1.00$. All of the books were a lucky find because many of them are and were quite popular in the day. You may also find many books for kids at the local library, on ebay where they sell entire lots of children's books, individually at half.com or you may find books past copyright date online. Beatrix potter books and mother goose books can be found at this site, which I absolutely love. However, you will need a nice printer and some careful time to create a well designed book of your own.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Family Bread

Here is an excellent recipe for bread. My husband loves this bread fresh out of the oven. Today I let the bread rise a little longer than usual.

The recipe can be found here. I split the recipe in half and used honey and oil. I also used rye and wheat flour for whole grain bread. Tastes great!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Potty Training

So far I have been able to assist my 1.5 year old to the potty about 3 times a day. I try to bring him to the toilet every 2 hours on the hour (10-12-2-4-6-8 etc) He has been dry on several nights that he sleeps through the night. He has actually been going to the toilet since he was about 4 months! However, he does have occasional leaks and misses that we have to clean up. When he was capable of sitting on the toilet we took him every 20 minutes. Before he was over 20 lbs we were able to hold him over a public restroom toilet and he would actually go! Now he is too heavy for us to lift over a toilet so we can only set him on the little potty at home and regretibly we have to let him go in his diaper until we return home or have a little potty available. That is one of the inconveniences of modern society.

You too can start potty training a youngster before the age of 1 and hopefully be done with leaks by the age of two! Check out this link for further information. Keep in mind it is a "green" website so it may seem kind of different to mainstream thinkers.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The problems in public education

I was "raised" by the public school system as a child. It seemed as if I was strategically lured by the counselors and teachers to further my education and succumb to mountains of college loans after I had graduated from the public school system. During my 13 years in the public school system it seemed as if I was some how lured to believe that my performances in school plays, music, sports and other events would actually amount to some "world-changing" event. It never really did. It only led to emotional frustration.

Although I was capable of receiving excellent grades in my classes, I felt the inclining feeling that something was not right about the educational system because it quite simply was too easy to grasp. In other words, the teachers were not focusing on teaching but rather were focusing on gearing students to achieve some sort of humanist goal. What ever that purpose was....I am glad that public schooling is behind me.

Here is an excellent article that gives specific details on the problems in the public education system.

What keeps a homemaker busy all day??

It seems that today's society believes that a stay at home wife or mother is a drain on society. That is a big misconception. I have made a list of things a homemaker may do on a typical day and the time it may take to complete each task....

Without children:
1. Reading the Bible: At least 15 minutes
2. Praying: At least 15 minutes in silence
3. Studying the bible very carefully: 30 minutes a day
3. Crafts of any kind : 1 hour or more
4. Gardening: 15 min or more weeding and harvesting
5. Sewing a garment for self or husband: 2 hours or more depending on difficulty
6. Washing the dishes by hand: 15 minutes a meal
7. Putting the dishes away: 5 minutes a sink load
8. Organizing the monthly finances: 1-2 hours a month
9. Doing the laundry with machine: 10 minutes putting in washer and dryer, 15-30 minutes folding and putting away
10. Ironing clothing: 15 minutes a load
11. Hanging clothes out to dry on a clothes line: 15 minutes a load to hang, 10 minutes to take down
12. Hand washing clothes: 40 minutes a full load, 10 minutes wringing the clothes (very difficult!)
13. Fine arts and crafts (ie. playing musical instruments, painting, pottery etc): 1 hour or more
14. Preparing food for daily meals: 15-45 minutes a meal
15. Reading a good book: 30 minutes or more
16. Harvesting fruits and vegetables: 15 minutes to one hour or more depending on type and location
17. Hand writing and creating a birthday card for someone special: 30 minutes
18. Cutting out coupons: 15 minutes or so
19. Sweeping the kitchen floor: at least 5 minutes
20. Making the bed: at least 5 minutes
21. Cleaning out the bathroom sink: 10 minutes a week
22. Cleaning the toilet: 5 minutes a week
23. Cleaning out the tub: 10 minutes a week depending on use of scrubbing bubbles ;)
24. Cleaning out the refrigerator: 15 minutes
25. Cleaning out the stove: 15 minutes of scrubbing
26. Dusting: 15 minutes or so depending on the number of rooms
27. Picking up after the day is done: 10 minutes or so
28. Washing windows and mirrors: 15 minutes depending on the number
29. Setting up an internet site to sell handy crafts or blog for thoughts: 30 minutes a day or so
30. Learning a new language: 30 minutes a day
31. Sewing quilts, clothing etc for charity: 30 minutes or more a day
32. Writing to a local politician about community, local or federal concerns: 15 minutes
33. Writing out a weekly menu: 1 hour or so a week
34. Making out a grocery list: 15 minutes a week
35. Mending worn clothing: 15 minutes or so per garment
36. Going for a walk: 30 minutes to 1 hour

With children under the age of four
1. All the above
2. Changing a baby/toddler's diaper: 5 minutes
3. Nursing: 30 minutes a day or more depending on age
4. Reading the baby or toddler a book: 10 minutes or more per day
5. Cleaning up after a toddler makes a mess: 10 minutes or more per day
6. Helping a baby or toddler get dressed: 10 minutes
7. Giving a baby or toddler a bath: 10 minutes
8. Singing to a baby or toddler: 5 minutes plus hearing momma hum
9. Taking baby/toddler for a walk: 30 minutes

With school age children

The sad condition of women in America.....

I recently posted a topic about alcohol consumption. I also posted following the poll whether or not these women considered them selves to be Christian. As many conservative Christians know....the bible does not contradict it self. However, many women on this post attempted to portray their "sin" as righteous before God. Give me a break..... They need more practice of judging their actions according to scripture and not against it. Personally, I would not turn to this website for any advice concerning birth and raising children. It is too mainstream and hypocritical.

Here are examples of verses where drinking is specifically linked with evil and sin:

Hab 2:15 Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness!
Hab 2:16 Thou art filled with shame for glory: drink thou also, and let thy foreskin be uncovered: the cup of the LORD'S right hand shall be turned unto thee, and shameful spewing shall be on thy glory.

Hos 4:18 Their drink is sour: they have committed whoredom continually: her rulers with shame do love, Give ye.

1Co 10:7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.

Rom 14:21 It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.

There are many more verses concerning this.

To sum up this thought here is an excellent article that explains how excessive permissiveness for women leads to moral decay.

Here is another article that helps us understand why it is not best for Christians to consume alcohol. Not that the alcohol itself is bad but that men are led to be extremely sinful when they consume the deadly poison.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Natures cure.....

In today's world we see much about the benefits of modern medicine. Advertisements stream across our television screens that attempt to portray the benefits of modern medicine. However, the only thing that seems to have actually improved the lives of people over the past 100 years or so is the improvement in cleanliness in care for people. Health care workers have the oportunity to glove themselves to prevent health-care worker - patient contamination. That is not enough to get past other illnesses and strains.

It is very apparent that any person who has a weak immune system should at all costs avoid entering any health care facility at the peak of the flu and cold season as the disease spreads so rapidly in enclosed spaces with multiple people present. Even with all the advanced medicines.....the simple disguise of the flu and cold virus can slip through the fingers of unsuspecting recipients. In any case, it seems that many of the modern medicines developed by big name industry are only designed to cover up symptoms rather than alleviate the fullness of the symptoms caused by an illness. At any rate, it would be far better for a person to seek healing from Christ first and then walk up to a doctor and receive prescription from a doctor of any source. After all Christ is the only one who didn't come with a corpse designed to decay in sin....a doctor of today is.

Further more, we can look back to the methods and ways that many mothers raised children in their house holds. About 100 years ago.....nearly every mother was breastfeeding her youngster....thus if the youngster became infected with a cold or flu, the antibodies present in the mothers milk would help ward off the symptoms. However, many infant and young toddler deaths can be attributed today to the rising baby food industry. It is simply to risky a call to wean a baby or toddler before he or she has encountered the woes of the flu symptoms. The baby or toddler could easily become dehydrated within days after not having a drink of anything nutritious nor proper antibody source.......

As the fad of modern medical science seems to be taking control on so many human lives, we who choose to study alternative health care methods, whether it be curing the common cold or flu for a dear son or daughter with out the need to enter a doctors office in desperation of the child's fluid intake or whether it be choosing to seek alternatives to a simple infection of the skin or home birth.....we can be thankful that we have chosen to use our brains to uncover the roots of the problems that so much of humanity faces that really are unnecessary and belligerently stupid....

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Biblical order: Jesus, Family, Church/Community, Country, World, Self.

In today's world it seems that people have forgotten the true order of headship according to the word of God. It seems that people have reversed the order and today we see the results of putting self above others and practically forgetting about Christ. In a humanistic mindset, we are led to believe that we can wade through all life's difficulties without divine intervention. This is simply not true. Human intelligence does not prevent us from going through suffering.

We all have problems because of sin. Christ is the only one who can help us wade through those problems. For the last couple of days my dear son has been sick with the flu. I, thankfully, have been well enough to care for him. At times I have felt the pressures of my body attempting to fight off insidious infection. The headaches and the nausea, kept me from performing my usual tasks. I feel that God gave me the strength to carry on through these times of my son's illness. It has been said that born again Christians who maintain the faith are actually capable of being surrounded by people with infectious illness but yet not catch the illness through the power of Christ's blood. They are able to do this with out ever receiving a worldly designed vaccine. That is amazing because the power of Christ rests in the true believer.

Because of my son's illness I have had to request that I not work at our local nursing home. Also, I have also had avoid going to church functions to prevent others from catching illness that I may carry or my son. During these times of illness, we are humbled so we may seek more of Christ and his love. Therefore in these times of illness, we really get to see Christs power at work. We have the opportunity to work in God's divine order........not the other way around.

Furthermore......I have been thinking about the role of Sunday School, Youth groups and the like in our church. I have been somewhat dismayed by the behavior of the kids that participate in such programs. The children act more like ungodly citizens rather than kids that are truly on fire for the gospel. Personally, I believe that the role of Sunday School and Youth gatherings should be left for those who come from families where the parents are unsaved........

Songs of Love and Hope