Sunday, September 27, 2009

Muse With Me... Sept. 28 2009

Elements of Style Are you a recovering government school student? Look no further, there is hope.

The Prologue
Anne Bradstreet
To sing of wars, of captains, and of kings,
Of cities founded, commonwealth begun,
For my mean pen are too superior things:
Or how they all, or each their dates have run
Let poets and historians set these forth,
My obscure lines shall not so dim their worth.
Ten Swine Flu Lies Told by the Mainstream Media
It's just the flu. Nothing else. No big deal. We have had several friends that have had it and used natural remedies to recover. Let us know if you would like a copy of the organic/ natural regiment.

Am I wasting my life?
Another problem is how we perceive our responsibility relating to time. Some live as though time is to be passed. The more diligent live as though time is to be filled. But Christians should know that time must be redeemed...The great Puritan compliment was to speak of a man as a redeemer of time, one who used time wisely. Charles Chauncey told Ezra Stiles that Cotton Mather was such a man: ‘He was the greatest redeemer of time I ever knew.’

How one family eliminated $106,000 of debt
God blessed their faithfulness and determination to get out of debt the right way. An excellent read.

Woman dies at 99, leaves behind 1,400 descendants!

The Nits: People Who Cannot Afford to Spare a Piece of Their Minds, But Who Give Authors Selective Chunks

Christian Private School vs. Christian Home Education by Israel Wayne
Personally, I don’t think there is a more vicious pack of carnivorous beasts on the planet than a group of junior high students. There are many adults who still carry around the wounds and scars of their adolescence. Many young people during this transformational age are scared and uncertain about themselves and their place in the world. They feel vulnerable and don’t want to show their fears, so they look for weakness in others and lunge at any opportunity to exploit it...

Miscellaneous

Salvaging Civilization
Anxious, ambitious, and voluntary "Deborahism" will not save our country.

500 Years of Liberty Birthed by the Reformation. Doug Phillips

State Controlled Consciousness John Taylor Gatto

John Taylor Gatto: Schooling is not Education (5 part series)

9/12 Tea Party march on Washington...HIGHLY Inspirational!

How to successfully defeat an abusive social worker The anti spanking movement in this country has become very very dangerous. The laws in this country that pertain child abuse are changing very very rapidly. Child Protective Services, friend of foe? Det. Robert Surgenor's lecture had Andrea and I nearly standing on our chairs waving towels above our heads cheering. That would translate into a 5 out of 5 stars. ;) Excellent stories. (CD 16)

"Twenty years ago I would have never believed I would be standing here today, from a lowly policeman to a person who if fighting our culture, the anti-god, anti-parent culture that we live in today. I give all the glory to God because He has sent me in this direction, and if nothing else, we're starting to show christian families how they can protect themselves from this destructive culture."

Covenantal Approach to Jurisdictions Offers an overview and gives understanding of the jurisdictions of family, church and state. Excellent. Was glad it was in my library so I was able to review it again recently for a friend. Definitely a resource to keep on hand. (Volume 1 DVD 2)

Toxic: Seven Poisons that Threaten the Health of the Homeschool Movement - and Their Antidotes

Friday, September 25, 2009

Bosch Univeral Meat Grinder Review

Turn this...

Into this...
With this.

We just purchased the Bosch Meat Grinder attachment for our Bosch Universal Kitchen Machine
and we are really, really, really, impressed. We're finding that it is waaaaaaaaaaaay better than the KitchenAid Meat Grinder Attachment that went on our KitchenAid stand mixer that burned up while grinding grain with the grain grinder attachment. Bosch is so very wonderful in our experience. We've been using the Kitchen Machine for about 7 years now to make breads and such. We bought it because of it had the chutzpah we were looking for. It has a 700 watt motor for exceptional performance. Together they are more powerful and less expensive than the stand-alone meat grinders in it's class. Another reason that we gravitated toward this attachment is we can, if we need to, buy each individual piece of the attachment separately if one goes missing and needs to be replaced. Easy to assemble. Easy to disassemble. Easy to wash. Grinds raw or cooked meat, poultry, fish and grates vegetables and cheese. Just thought we'd let you know! Return again later for a review of the Bosch Sausage Stuffer!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Visiting Our Short Friends

Andrea snuggling Charity Idelette Gunn

Becoming chaste, sober, a lover of children and able helper.

Charity's middle name Idelette honors John Calvin's wife and casts a vision of a godly wife.
"Although the death of my wife has been exceedingly painful to me yet I subdue my grieve as well as I can. Had not a powerful self control been promised and given me I could not have born up so long. I have be bereaved of my best companion of my life. Of one whom had it been so ordered would not only have been the willing sharer of my exile and poverty, but even of my death. During my life she was the faithful helper of my ministry." ~Penned by John Calvin about his wife, Idelette, a few days after her death.
Already diligent and purposeful, Molly sticks right by you and stays the course.

Aspiring to follow in his father's footsteps, Noah can't wait until he gets to work with his Dad, already figuring out and developing his computer skills.

A friend to her brothers and sisters, Mercy willingly shares her birthday joy and gifts.





Gracie is excellent with attention to detail and that makes her a great help to her mother & father.

Rain drops

A smokin' ATV...adventure is just around the corner!

Guess who loves the camera?




Knox checks in to see how we're doing, teaching his sister how to make a "match".

A snawol!


Getting ready for a sister's birthday, Gracie blesses her sister with her cooking skills.

Sprinkles too!

The cake is not complete until Dad arrives with his lighter. Let the party begin!


Knoxy is a cuddle bug.

Behind the Seams - Knit A Baby Dress

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Brainial Dominionism for Sept. 20, 2009

The Law - Fredrick Bastiat
"Tomorrow I’ll lecture at the Liberty Weekend Dedicated to Frédéric Bastiat, sponsored by the Polish-American Foundation for Economic Research and Education (PAFERE) in Warsaw. Preparing for my visit, I reread Bastiat’s great book The Law (online in PDF format here and for sale here.). Oh do we need Bastiat today! The Law is the kind of book you can read a couple of times a year to great advantage. It’s amazing how much Bastiat packed into that little book. Each time I read it, I come across some point that is particularly relevant to our time and find myself thinking, 'I didn’t remember that!'" Sheldon Richman

Modesty and the Christian Woman

Be like David...Not like Mike

End The Fed, Save The Dollar

Miscellaneous

What Every Christian Should Know About the Babylonian Empire

Peter Schiff for Senate in Connecticut

Greg Bahnsen- The Myth of Neutrality (Part 5)

How Young Men & Ladies Should Treat Each Other In The Church

Collision Movie Preview

Friday, September 18, 2009

Encourage Him, Give Them Hope

Our Dad has set a standard that governs the family vision. Part of the standard he's given us contains a particular rule that I absolutely love putting into practice. It's my favorite thing to do. In short, "Give them hope." Our Dad continually seeks out people to befriend and help. We've learned a lot from interacting with the assorted acquaintances and friends over the years. They've many needs, many concerns, varying ambitions and circumstances. But they all need hope. They all need to know that there's an answer particularly crafted for them. And so you can see why we esteem the following words by Charles Spurgeon from his daily devotional Morning and Evening.

"Encourage him."-Deuteronomy 1:38


God employs His people to encourage one another. He did not say to an angel,

"Gabriel, my servant Joshua is about to lead my people into Canaan-go, encourage him."

God never works needless miracles; if His purposes can be accomplished by ordinary means, He will not use miraculous agency. Gabriel would not have been half so well fitted for the work as Moses.

A brother's sympathy is more precious than an angel's embassy. The angel, swift of wing, had better known the Master's bidding than the people's temper. An angel had never experienced the hardness of the road, nor seen the fiery serpents, nor had he led the stiff-necked multitude in the wilderness as Moses had done. We should be glad that God usually works for man by man. It forms a bond of brotherhood, and being mutually dependent on one another, we are fused more completely into one family.

Brethren, take the text as God's message to you.

Labour to help others, and especially strive to encourage them. Talk cheerily to the young and anxious enquirer, lovingly try to remove stumbling blocks out of his way. When you find a spark of grace in the heart, kneel down and blow it into a flame. Leave the young believer to discover the roughness of the road by degrees, but tell him of the strength which dwells in God, of the sureness of the promise, and of the charms of communion with Christ. Aim to comfort the sorrowful, and to animate the desponding. Speak a word in season to him that is weary, and encourage those who are fearful to go on their way with gladness.

God encourages you by His promises; Christ encourages you as He points to the heaven He has won for you, and the spirit encourages you as He works in you to will and to do of His own will and pleasure. Imitate divine wisdom, and encourage others, according to the word of this evening.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Some Recent Reading... Sept. 13, 2009

"You will be 5 years from now where you are today except for the books you read, the audios you listen to and the people you associate with."
We've heard this for years and we took the counsel seriously. Over 14 years ago it wasn't amazing to us that those within our association did little musing and much amusing. Now, we're hearing that within the home school realm the same plague is needing remedy. So, I thought I would start a weekly post of some of the edifying reading we've done during the week to give some easily acquired resources to those that understand the value in investing in themselves. Enjoy!

The Sovereignty of God

Why God named the race "adam"...

The very best church in America

Family Reformation

How Do You View Children?

The Road To Serfdom

Don't Protest the Presidents School Speech if...

The Battle That Saved Our Common Law (The Battle of Teutoburg Forest)

The Institutes of Biblical Law

A True Picture of Emigration

Marriage Killer #1: Unrealistic Expectations

Mary Adams Maverick: A Texas Pioneer


Miscellaneous
MacArthur on The Purpose Driven Life

The Providence and Perseverance of George Washington

Jamestown's Legacy of Christ, Liberty and Common Law

The Global Influence of John Calvin

The Life of Captain John Smith

Thursday, September 10, 2009

As Promised, An Interview with the Long Family


It's a rare thing these days to see a husband and wife stick together. Even more rare that they're kids hang around, But to go so far as to see them all working together, liking it and having success at the same time? When Andrea and I observe the Long family, we see more than a cottage industry. We see a vision for marriage, for family, for entrepreneurship as ordered in scripture. So, now you know why we are so intrigued. We had to ask, "what is it like to be a part of a family vision like Marie~Madeline Studios. Here are their answers. Enjoy!

1.
How was the Marie Madeline Studios born? What inspired it?
We've always loved to sew and make all kinds of things! Back in 2006, we bought a book from Amazon and decided to try our hand at making bags. We loved the concept of carrying bags we'd made for ourselves, and when we were out in town other ladies would ask about them. Soon after, we started drafting our own bag patterns, using a lot of details we found in old movies. It was actually Dad who suggested we start selling our designs. From there we branched out into making aprons and some clothes for sweet little girls we knew (thus our girls' clothing). It was actually another Christian quilt store owner in Texas that encouraged us to experiment with pattern making and producing. Just recently we came out with our first design for ladies (street fair skirts).
2. The name is your grandmother's? Is that right?
"Marie" is the middle name of our paternal grandmother. "Madeline" is the middle name of our maternal great-grandmother.
3. Where does the streak of creativity come from for your designs?
The Lord has blessed us tremendously by filling our heads with an overflow of ideas! As we mentioned earlier, we enjoy looking at vintage details and incorporating them into our designs.
4. How did you learn the sewing craft?
From our mom and maternal grandmother, Nanny, most of all. But both our maternal great-grandmothers sewed and quilted. We girls have been surrounded by sewing supplies and fabric for as long as we can remember!
5. What business background did y'all have when you started Marie-Madeline Studios?
Actually, we've had no former business experience at all! The closest is what our Dad saw while working as a young man at his grandfather's western wear store in Austin, TX, in the 1980s.
6. What resources do you reference, if any, for making business decisions, whether it be other sites and the example they model, or preferred business books, or people etc.?
Mainly, we ask God for wisdom. Crystal Paine and her business course for Christian young ladies was very helpful to us.
7. What sort of decisions have you had to make that were outside your comfort zone? What encouraged you to make that step?
Honestly, starting a business was out of our comfort zone! Dad was our main encourager, telling us that there was really a market for the things we make.
8. Do you all work on different aspects of your home industry? Are you finding different niches and ways to invest your different giftings? (i.e. accounting, sales, marketing, production, innovation, field research, etc.)
We absolutely LOVE working together! On any given day you might find the four of us girls and Mom around a 4'x9' countertop that's covered with fabric, pins, rulers, patterns, etc. When it's time for work without talk, you will usually find Apphia drafting patterns and writing/illustrating instructions. (Apphia's actually the only one that The Lord has blessed with drawing abilities.) She also test sews the patterns and makes a lot of samples. When it comes to cutting fabrics into fat quarters and yard cuts, Achaia is the one. She also sews custom orders and spends a lot of time working with customers through our Etsy shop. Abigail does a whole lot of the sewing! She is a very creative member of our design team. Abigail and Abiah came up with our new happy scrappy quilt! Abiah, as the youngest, doesn't sew quite as much, but she helps wherever we need her (packaging orders or writing invoices). Abiah also takes most of the pictures while the older girls "model". As the oldest, Apphia and Achaia do the majority of the blogging, website updating, and other computer work. Mom does the accounting (and is teaching us all how to do that, too), some sewing, and the daily planning and organizing of jobs. She also spends time checking into new fabrics and ideas. And, naturally, when we're in a serious time bind, we all just pitch in and work together until the job's done!
9. How important is it to y'all to talk together about the direction & vision of Marie-Madeline Studios? Who is in on that vision talk (if there is one)?
It's pretty important for us to think about where we want and need to go with marie-madeline studio! We discuss business six days a week (especially Mom, Apphia, and Achaia). For little decisions or bouncing around ideas (should we list more on Etsy, what colors should we use for our pattern fronts, etc.) we ladies do the discussing and "deciding". For any major direction (should we start making and selling quilts, do we want to branch out in other ways, etc.) we come to Dad with a list and all talk about it together.
10. How does running a cottage industry benefit your father's vision for his family?
From Dad: "By encouraging unity and productivity, while providing opportunity to bless others in the name of The Lord, within the Biblical framework of being keepers at home."

Be sure to visit their wonderful blog to stay in tune with the goings ons, and for tutorials and instructions as well. And consider signing up for their newsletter too! Thank you Long family! It's been a pleasure getting to know y'all!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Last Day to Save 78% On Audio Library!

The 2009 Vision Forum “Kit and Kaboodle” CD Library features some of our most popular messages, providing biblical answers to many of the most-asked questions from parents who long for a victorious family vision. And, as a special perk, we are including our brand-new Jonathan Park audio adventure album in this year’s collection!

In order to make these inspirational, family-building CDs available to as many families as possible, for a limited time we are offering the “Kit and Kaboodle” CD Library at a 78% savings — pay only $1.98 per CD! We hope this special $99 price will enable you to substantially increase your family’s audio library, and perhaps purchase additional sets to encourage your extended family and friends as well.

Some of Ah the life's favorites?

How to Think Like a Christian (CD)

Victories! Moments, Large and Small, Which Define Christian Parenthood (CD)

Suffer the Children: The Blessing of 'Imperfect' Children (CD)

Seven Bible Truths Violated by Christian Dating (CD)

What the Bible Says about Scorn and Mockery (CD)

How to Evaluate a Suitor (2 CDs)

The Wise Woman's Guide to Blessing Her Husband's Vision (2 CDs)

Manly Friendships (2 CDs)

The Blessed Marriage (CD)

What Hollywood Teaches About Manhood (CD)

What's a Girl to Do? (CD)

The Centrality of the Home in Evangelism and Discipleship (CD)

Okay, never mind. I'm just going to end up putting them all on the favorites list. We've heard all of them except "George Washington: America's Joshua" (go listen to the clip, Wasn't that good?!?!) and undoubtedly it's will be just as inspiring, informative, and helpful as the rest. We have always found what we needed, in every Vision Forum CD we've listened to. At $1.98 a piece, the same as a coffee a day, the value in the content of the messages and what they will produce in your family life, business life, church life, is worth far more than the investment.

Visit www.visionforum.com today!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Surprise! Surprise! From Marie-Madeline Studios!

Andrea and I received a lovely email the other day from none other than Achaia Long at Marie~Madeline Studios!

We were invited to stop in and visit their online store and peruse the wide selection of cheery fabrics so that they could make us our very own custom order Chic Sister Aprons!

They've many fabric choices to offer and it was not difficult at all to mix and match. Settling on one combination was though!

The packages arrived adorned with an extra special Marie~Madeline touch, (Aren't they lovely?) and just in time for us to wear them as we hosted yesterday's gathering.

We are so impressed with the professional craftsmanship. Every seam is perfect. The custom design is very flattering. The fabric quality is excellent. They are a real delight to wear and added an extra bit of cheer to our hospitality.

Andrea and I have for sometime been fascinated with the mother-daughter team of Proverbs 31 entrepreneurs behind the vision of Marie~Madeline Studios. We want to know what makes them tick! :) And what inspires and attributes to the success of their cottage industry. So we decided to ask them! Stay tuned for an interview with the Long ladies.

And be sure to stop in and visit them and their beautiful collection of Marie~Madeline apparel and accessories!

Monday, September 07, 2009

How Christian Entrepreneurs Spend Labor Day

It's Labor Day. A day birthed from Marxist ideals in order to preserve animosity and unjust dominance of a people as it memorializes class warfare and division in the economic realm.

Today our family and fellow entrepreneurs are gathering to celebrate the fundamental ideals of Freedom and Free Enterprise, to promote a vision for economic opportunity by encouraging the pursuit of financial stability and freedom. I thought I'd share a couple of our fundamental ideals and some suggestions on how you might spend your day.

Being free even when we are not free

One of our fundamental convictions is that to become a free people and remain a free people it's our responsibility to cultivate the ability to see in men what they can become. This stems from our understanding that God in His sovereign wisdom lovingly afforded us the means to affect greatness in us His creation by not allowing all to be born into equal financial positions and status. He does however gift and uses divinely appointed circumstances to sanctify us, to cause maturity and to promote the responsible handling of that which He has entrusted to us. As His workmanship God has a vision of greatness for us and seeks to shape us into a people of Christian virtue which will affect reformation in the economic sector.

"And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship," Exodus 31:3

Another of our foundational convictions that we stand on for the preservation of freedom and free enterprise is a staunch opposition to the promotion of societal warfare, be it by class, status or color. This stems from our Lord's vision for us when He said,

"Blessed [are] the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God." Matthew 5:9,
and "But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house [divided] against a house falleth." Luke 11:17
Finally, for today, one just as dear to us as the rest because of it's cultural relevance and providentially aided preservation, the formation and solidity of a well ordered godly home. This has proven to be one of our greatest assets.

My sister and I are stay-at-home daughters. My father has been laid-off more than once simply because that is the nature of the job scene. We understand that employees are a resource and little else. Job security is an illusion.

We've not gone to work during these times however. We have cut back, reorganized, and worked together. We have launched home-based businesses wherein we worked together under our father's headship, applying our talents and sharing in and utilizing christian fellowship that is edifying to one another.

This has been the most rewarding and profitable application of our energies and gifting so far. We also have the self fulfillment, many seek, from being responsible for and investing ourselves in an aspect of our father's enterprise (or the transaction of trust Prov 31:11). We are seeing our applied creativity and work ethic affect successful monetary outcomes and also have seen family reformation with a vision for entrepreneurship multiplied outside our home producing further income and economic maturity. In our experience this is a woman's best use of her time and talent. Essentially it effects an economic reformation not only in our home but in the homes of others.

Recommended Resources for Your celebration of Freedom and Free Enterprise!

Watch Meet John Doe See how a christian ethic in the hearts of the a people can not be quenched and serves to cross and mend the divisions created and animosities stirred up by a Marxist agenda; revitalizing a people and the economy.

Read One Blood The bible teaches there is one race. Understand God's perspective and wisdom on the colors He created.

Visit Mr. Voddie Baucham's excellent blog and Ministry

Research the violent histories that were part of the creation of Labor Day.

Watch The Monstrus Regiment of Women. Feminism hurts women. From a consistently Christian perspective, The Gunn Brothers show how feminism has had a devastating impact on the church, state, and family.

Memorize a Quote
"A quote in honor of Labor Day: "There is no fatigue so wearisome as that which comes from lack of work" ~Charles Spurgeon

Go meet someone you don't know and share the fundamentals of freedom and free Enterprise with them.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Looking for a Great Business Idea? Stay Home - Starting a home franchise - Entrepreneur.com


Looking for a Great Business Idea? Stay Home - Starting a home franchise - Entrepreneur.com

A tour of the typical home reveals numerous opportunities to start a home services franchise.

They say that almost every business imaginable can be franchised--and probably already has been. The franchise industry is spreading into all facets of life because the dependable products, systems and services that form the foundation of franchising are exactly what value-conscious consumers are looking for in today's tough marketplace.

As just one example of how ubiquitous franchises have become, let's take a look around a typical home to see what types of opportunities await people interested in starting a home services franchise.

The Lawn
Before we even enter a home, we form our opinions based on the exterior appearance of the house. There are several franchises that specialize in the year-round maintenance of the lawn, including mowing, fertilizing and pest control. Or, if a homeowner prefers to avoid the need for such maintenance, there are franchises that install artificial turf products instead.

The Exterior Appearance

In addition to the lawn, the quality and maintenance of the paint job of a home is critical to its outward appearance. There are numerous franchises that specialize in exterior (and interior) painting and maintenance of the home; in fact, there are even franchises that paint the black sealer on driveways. Don't forget the all-important gutters; installing and maintaining gutters is another specialty area of franchising.

The Garage

Most homeowners enter their house through the garage, and there are a number of franchises that focus on that important space. Some offer products and services designed to help organize the garage with cabinets and shelves, and others provide special floor coatings to protect the concrete surface.

The Kitchen

From the garage, many homeowners soon find themselves in the kitchen, so naturally there are many franchises designed to offer benefits in this area of the house. They range from franchises that renew the appearance of counters and cabinets to franchises that remodel the entire kitchen.

Floors

One decision every homeowner faces is what type of flooring to have and how to care for it. Whether they're thinking of carpet, hardwood, tile or vinyl, there is a franchise business that will provide the product and install it for them. There are also numerous specialty franchises that maintain and clean all types of flooring.

Windows

Let's not forget one of the most important features of any home--the windows. There are myriad window coverings available--and a number of franchises that will come to homeowners with all the options. And when the windows get dirty, there are even window-washing franchises to come to the rescue.

Closets

No home ever seems to have enough closet space. Thankfully, there are a number of franchises that exist to help organize closets for maximum efficiency. They help customers design closet layouts and then sell and install the products needed to make these the most efficient rooms in the house.

Bathrooms

Over the years, bathroom styles have transitioned from a fairly sterile and functional design approach to one that is often closer to a work of art. There are franchises offering everything from fast and inexpensive cosmetic "makeovers" to complete remodeling services to make this once-dull room a focal point of the home

Maid Services

Homes are lived in and they get dirty. In this day and age of two-income families, it is often a necessity to hire outside help to keep the house clean. Luckily, there are numerous franchises that offer home-cleaning services. In addition to maid-service franchises that focus on bathrooms and horizontal surfaces, there are also franchises that focus on vents and other areas not so obvious to the average homeowner.

Interior Decorating

It's also easy to find franchises meant to help homeowners with everything from simple accessorizing tips to a complete interior renovation. Many of these franchises have computer graphics packages that allow the homeowner to see what the proposed results will look like before making final decisions.

Outside Features

As we head back outside the home, there are a few other franchise options to consider. There are franchises that focus on swimming pools and hot tubs. Others specialize in creating decks and patios, providing shade with awnings, and even building sunrooms. Finally, and most importantly to some, there are even franchises that will clean up after the dog does his business.

Franchises are available for almost every product and service you can imagine. After this short tour around a typical home, you can get a sense of just how many different offerings there are. If you've got the entrepreneurial itch, and a love for helping people improve their homes, you might just become the next new home-related franchise operator.

Jeff Elgin is the "Buying a Franchise" coach at Entrepreneur.com and has 25 years of experience in franchising, both as a franchisee and a senior franchise company executive. He's currently the CEO of FranChoice Inc., a company that provides free consulting to consumers looking for a franchise that best matches their needs.


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