To Everything There Is A Season

A Time For Every Purpose Under Heaven

A blog about raising a young family and keeping Christ at the center of it.

The Cyrs

The Cyrs
Photo Credit: Rachel Dewhurst

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Time to See God at Work!

Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed
 thy commandments ~Psalm 119:66

I doubt any parent who has a child in Kindergarten and 1st grade worries when report cards come home! Of course we hope that our kids are doing well academically mainly because we want them to enjoy school and not have it be a struggle for them if at all possible. Our main concern though is that they are respectful toward their teachers, kind toward their peers and daily learning to make good choices.
 This quarters report cards exceeds any expectations we had for them. Anyone who knows Noah sees a kind and thoughtful little boy. Any teacher he's had has always told us this. While he is doing great academically, reading and writing in particular, it's this one sentence his teacher wrote that made me cry..."Noah continues to be a caring friend to his classmates, he is a role-model in our class." I'm glad that my boys are doing well in school but if they are A students or not I don't care. What I care about is their character. That in whatever they are doing they would be doing it to the best of their ability and in a way that would make God happy. So the fact that Noah is a role model in his class makes me so thankful. I am sure he is not the only one but I am glad he is one of them. 
Many of you know the struggle we had in making the decision to have Owen start school this year. With a pretty severe speech delay we were worried that it would hinder his ability to keep up with the curriculum. After much prayer we had a peace about starting him and we are so glad we did. He was beyond ready and the progress he has made so far just amazes us. He is still meeting with a speech therapist 3 times a week and she is so happy with his progress. He's a very hard worker. For a child with speech delays you can imagine how difficult reading and writing might be to them and the discouragement that might come with that. I'm beyond amazed at his progress. Not only is he writing words but he's also reading a little too. Here's what his teacher said that is making us praise God for the work he is doing in Owen, "He comes in with a smile every day, ready to go. He is growing into a very independent writer and is willing to take risk without adult help." Having a smile on your face when you know that you are going to have to work harder then most to do the work and excel at the work is such a testament to how God is helping Owen in school everyday. I'm just so thankful!

Monday, March 14, 2011

A Time to Sing in Church

O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful 
noise to the rock of our salvation. ~Psalm 95:1

This past Sunday we had a special ceremony at our church for our Pastor and his wife. They have been ministering at the North Lebanon Second Baptist Church for 25 years and we felt that was cause for celebration!  Ben and I were busy, along with many others, planning out the details and working very hard to keep this a surprise.One thing we thought would be nice was for the kids to sing a song to Pastor and Mrs. German. For several Saturdays the kids would meet here at our house to practice. Ben played the piano and our good friends Bill & Kathy taught the kids a couple songs. There was no age limit so we had teens down to our little Will singing. It was so fun and come to find out we have a little performer in our family! Those of you who know Gabe will not be surprised by this at all. The child was born with a personality and it has just kept on growing right along with him. The whole thing was great and we were so thrilled with all the kids and the joy they had as they sang. Enjoy the video a friend of mine took. The "soloist" is our offspring! 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Time for Deer

As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, 
O God ~Psalm 42:1

I had a nice surprise as I looked out the front door this morning...two deer eating in the front yard. They were so close that they were almost on our front porch. They stayed there for a long time so we took some video and pictures of them. The boys had the perfect view from Noah and Owen's bedroom window. Some people ask us how we can stand to live in the woods like we do. It's days like this that explain it best. There's absolutely nothing better than being surrounded by trees, wildlife, the tranquility of Gods amazing creation and a few wonderful neighbors!

Watching the deer reminded me of the chorus, "As the Deer". It's one of the first songs I learned as a new believer and I have always loved it.

As the deer panteth for the water, so my soul longeth after thee
You alone are my hearts desire and I long to worship thee.
You alone are my strength my shield, to you alone may my spirit yield. You alone are my hearts desire and I long to worship thee.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Time for Curry Chicken

David also said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the LORD is finished. ~I Chron. 28:20

I had many requests for the Curry Chicken recipe I was making tonight for dinner. I have been looking forward to making this recipe since I found it a few weeks ago. It really bugs me when a recipe you've been dying to try turns out to not be that great at all. Ben and I were in agreement that while yes, this is a quick and easy recipe, it's not exactly bursting with flavor. I will keep it on hand because in a pinch it really is a good recipe to have on hand but it's not one I'll rave about. It was an appropriate way to end the day I had though! It seemed everything I tried today turned out to be less than successful.

Am I the only one who gets really disappointed by days like this. Things that you really desire to do or really look forward to happening just not going the way you thought they would leaving you very discouraged in the end. I have had on my heart to help out with our church cleaning schedule. It's something that needs to get done but realistically our family just can't during this "season" of our lives commit to being on the schedule. I did feel that I could commit to cleaning just the nursery twice a month. I expected that my 3 younger ones would play and be merry and that Jena would sleep in her pack n play...ha! That so did not happen. If I go into what did happen it turns to complaining almost so I'll spare you the details. It's just how it is when you have young kids I guess but it's so frustrating to have something you really desire to do end up being so hard that you are almost discouraged from doing it. The verse above really spoke to my heart, "be strong, and courageous and DO THE WORK..." It's such a powerful reminder to all of us isn't it? It's so important that we remain busy doing God's work but it's not always easy. Just because something is hard doesn't mean we shouldn't do it it just means we need to rely even more on God's strength and have FAITH that he'll help us do what He's asking us to do. 

Curried Chicken with Ginger and Yougurt (from the March 2011 edition of Real Simple magazine)
1/3 cup tomato paste
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbs. curry powder
1 tbs. grated, fresh ginger
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 medium onion, chopped
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 10)
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
1/2 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
2 scallions, thinly sliced

1. In a slow cooker, whisk together the tomato paste, garlic, curry powder, ginger, cumin, and 3/4 cup water. Add the onion and stir to combine. Place the chicken on top and season with 1 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper.
2. Cover and cook until the chicken is tender, on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours.
3. Twenty minutes before serving, cook the rice according to the package directions.
4. Just before serving, add the yogurt and 1/2 tsp. salt to the chicken and stir to combine. Serve with the rice and sprinkle with the scallions.