TEN THINGS We No Longer Value and What Has Replaced Them

I love LISTS and I love things being organized in box-type containers. A TEN THINGS list is like that!  I enjoy writing things in a structured, contained way. You will find links to all the TEN THINGS posts at the end of each. ENJOY!

I am humbled daily by God’s grace and mercy in my life. I am never good enough – and He is more than enough to cover my imperfections. His righteousness replaces my unrighteousness. For this I am so thankful. I am thankful that He has shown us what is truly important in life – what is frivolous, what is a vain pursuit – and what is of eternal value.

Here are some things that Hubby and I used to value rather too much – and what has replaced them in our lives. Please don’t take this as a judgement on you – the point is that we used to value these things and these things can waste your time and steal your life – from the blessing that God wants you to be to others.

1. MOVIES – we used to have a major collection of DVD’s (although we didn’t have a TV), we had about 50 DVD’s. We were convicted by God about only watching movies that glorify Him. We got rid of lots – the obvious ones containing immorality, violence (although we never owned movies with a rating higher than PG13). Then after that each time we watched a movie we realised we could no longer watch it with a clear conscience even though it seemed “good” at first. We thought about what movies we would be okay if our children were watching with us and then we got rid of even more. We thought about the values we wanted to have foremost in our lives and what we wanted to teach our children. (Can you teach your children one thing and then show them the opposite in a movie without it affecting them – I don’t think you can – they will notice the inconsistency and be confused by it.) Some examples of what we got rid of  West Wing Series, 7th Heaven Series, Hollywood “love” stories (supposedly harmless) e.g. You’ve Got Mail, Notting Hill. We realised that perhaps it was okay to watch a particular movie with our children to show them something, but if we owned it – we were endorsing it – and that was the problem. Most of them we have no desire to watch with or without our children. We now have about 5 DVDs left e.g. Homestead Blessings and Vision Forum Ministries Documentaries. We even gave away our “Christian” children’s DVDs as they were actually more entertainment than truth and many of them give the wrong picture of God and misrepresent the Bible.

Now hubby and I would much rather spend time talking, listening to Bible teaching and discussing stuff, being with our children and reading to them than watching movies. We have wonderful family times – meals, family fun nights, Bible time, lots of learning and adventuring together, and having guests over to be a blessing to them.

2. Travel (for the sake of travel) . In the past we have been blessed to be able to travel lots, but as I look back on the travelling much of it was empty. Now we will only travel if it has a greater purpose… family holidays, exploring creation with our children – getting away together to bond as a family or learning more about God’s providence in history and places that teach us about the History of Christianity and God’s work in the world

3. Toys galore – we gave lots of our toys away and we have finally realised how true it is that the best toys are a stick, some string, a ball and a cardboard box – or a big pile of mud!

4. Entertainment – Disney, theme parks, going to the movies, concerts, etc….   We used to do these lots – we have replaced these with family fun, trampolining, walks, exploring, working, reading and learning together. Our children love playing with each other and making up games. They picnic behind couches, inside boxes and on the trampoline, they play horsey or husky dog on sleds or many other wonderful inventions… – usulaly related to what we’re learning about in school!

5. Children’s bible story books – compared to the real thing – the BIBLE! No more watered down misleading pictures with inaccurate, incomplete stories. Our children love to hear Daddy read the Bible to them and explain as we go.

6. Technology – the latest in computer, camera and multimedia equipment! We used to have our own video projector (officially part of our business..) – but simple is better. These things all complicate your life. We no longer own a TV or video machine and we use our computer mainly for maths / science DVDs.

7. Big fancy house – we used to own one! Now we are so enjoying a smaller, easy to clean & maintain / just right for us house 🙂

8. Fashionable children’s activities, toddler classes, fun parks, etc – especially when they are an excuse for mother’s to sit and drink coffee while their children run wild! Now we’d much rather enjoy being with and teaching our children as we work and play alongside them. Outings for Mom and Dad with a babysitter is something we used to call a necessity. Now we love our at home date nights with candlelight dinners and our children sleeping down the passage nearby!

9. Shopping malls – we often used to go “hang out” after church on Sunday’s. They are convenient in that many shops are together but we avoid them as much as possible. Now we would much rather go for a walk outdoors or explore a new place together.

10. Stuff! We have always had way too much of it! We gave lots away and lots more; but we still have too much stuff. Its a work in progress.

We are learning to value the things that God’s Word says are of eternal value. Its a long road – we were very far in the wrong direction – but the Lord is calling us back and its a very exciting journey!

“Every word of God [is] pure: he [is] a shield unto them that put their trust in him.” Proverbs 30 v 5


TEN THINGS We Love About ‘Read-Aloud’ Lounge Time
TEN THINGS We No Longer Value and What Has Replaced Them
TEN THINGS about Family Fun Night
TEN THINGS “I Do Notice, Mommy”
TEN THINGS about Geography with Little Ones
TEN THINGS To Do with Edible Seeds
TEN THINGS to Help You in the Kitchen
TEN THINGS About My Days


Warm Winter, Homeschool and Large Family Logistics

Well, here I was happily coasting along, enjoying our warm winter days, feeling concerned about the lack of rain and thinking how it is much warmer than winters used to be in the Cape; then I hear about the snow in all the other provinces of the country! It’d be nice to have a bit of snow here although the weather has been wonderful for being outdoors – just a little hard on the garden as there has been just 1 day of rain in the past three weeks. I have been wonderfully busy with our four little ones and doing some bulk freezer cooking and also planning my sewing for some more winter and some summer clothes for the children. I haven’t thought much about blogging until now – but family life is so important – and blogging should never interfere with home life, responsibilities or time with our children – so I refuse to feel guilty 🙂

I have been very inspired by some articles I have read lately about mothering and homeschooling and would like to share some resources that have inspired me hugely and from which I have been implementing some ideas. The first is from one of my very favourite blogs Raising Olives (I read less than 10 blogs and this one is near the top!). Kimberley from Raising Olives has inspired me in many very practical ways through her blog. She has inspired us in our Bible Memorizing and more Bible Memorizing Ideas, Bible Reading, Bulk Cooking for the Freezer  (this post is epic – you’ve gotta read this! I have also been trying to cook an extra meal to give to friends in need every week or two and this has been such a practical help.), Hospitality, Homeschooling History, Homeschooling with little ones and Reading Hour (what we call lounge time). I’ll have to expand more on each of these in future posts.

I love the book Large Family Logistics and it has helped me so much in ordering and enjoying my home and family. Raising Olives and the other 4Moms have been talking to Kim Brenneman, the author of Large Family Logistics and its very inspiring. If you are struggling to keep up with housecleaning and organizing, homeschooling, young children and life in general this book will help hugely. Kim writes with such a lovely old-fashioned sounding, practical, elegant tone. From tea-party day to town day to laundry day – all her advice is so well thought out, practical and encouraging and will draw you and your children closer together and help to make your home a haven for your family.

Lastly, for a very inspiring and challenging article on motherhood have a look at “Motherhood is a Calling” by Rachel Jankovic. Many blessings to you and your family! love, Karyn

“A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.” Proverbs 15 v 13

TEN THINGS about Family Fun Night

I love LISTS and I love things being organized in box-type containers. A TEN THINGS list is like that!  I enjoy writing things in a structured, contained way. You will find links to all the TEN THINGS posts at the end of each. ENJOY!

Every Friday night is FAMILY FUN NIGHT. We first got this idea from the Moody Books written by Sarah Maxwell. Our little ones are now 7, 5, almost 3 and almost 2 – Family Fun Night is a highlight of our week together. Sometimes we’ll have a friend over to share the evening and they get to join in the fun.

1. What do we eat – PIZZA, of course! Homemade pizza with pineapple and feta, (sometimes spinach and olives) – thats about as adventurous as we get! I always make the dough by about 3pm and then later after Dad finishes work we all join in with rolling out the bases, (then we pre-cook them) and adding the toppings.

2. Paper Plates! No dishes to do on family fun night (well, hardly any) so Mom can be totally present and join in all the fun!

3. We have raw snacks in the lounge while Dad reads a story and Mom finishes off the pizza. I fill a bowl with chopped up apple, cucumber, carrot, pear, pineapple, etc. and everyone snacks while they listen to the story. This is a great way to get some raw starter in before the pizza – sometimes we make carrot juice. The little ones are really hungry by this time and they eat a lot more raw fruit and vegetables this way than if we pile their plates with it. This also keeps them happy while they wait.

4. I’m going to the Moon! … our favourite table game. We love to try to make the others guess the criteria for which they can come with us to the moon. “I’m going to the moon and I’m gonna bring a zebra.” “You can come…” Is it zoo animals or things starting with z? and so on. Sometimes we play “In Grandma’s chest I found:” – try to come up with bizarre things for each letter of the alphabet.

5. Lots of laughter, joking and smiles as we are all very relaxed and not at all worried about the time. We find FFN a great way to unwind after working hard all week and a great way to get ready for the weekend. I find myself relaxing as the evening approaches.

6. After dinner a quick clean up and sweep – we all help.

7. We gather in the lounge – often we will read aloud our favourite poetry from the week or funny stories and say our current memory verse and have Bible time. The children love to stand up and recite their verses – even the littlest (with some help!)

8. We watch all the home movies that we have recorded that week – quick little clips of all the children’s activities and funny moments. Its always great fun and there are comments like “Oh, I remember that…” or “Look what _____ did. Also a great time to show Daddy what we’ve all been up to.

9. We end the evening with a wonderful game of Hide and Seek. By this stage everyone is completely hyper and totally ready to roll into bed… – NOT! Well, its worth the fun and we wind down quickly with everyone in PJs in Mom and Dad’s bed with a story in the dark and some worship songs as the children drift off to sleep.

And no. 10. Not to be missed – the best song on the web! (according to my children) Tradition has it that we play this song every Friday evening and they sing along at the top of their little voices …

from twentydogs.com

“And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed [it], and brake, and gave to them.” Luke 24 v 30


TEN THINGS We Love About ‘Read-Aloud’ Lounge Time
TEN THINGS We No Longer Value and What Has Replaced Them
TEN THINGS about Family Fun Night
TEN THINGS “I Do Notice, Mommy”
TEN THINGS about Geography with Little Ones
TEN THINGS To Do with Edible Seeds
TEN THINGS to Help You in the Kitchen
TEN THINGS About My Days

The Prince

I love that Jesus is called the Prince of Life in Acts 3 v 15

Prince of Life

“.. and killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses. ” Acts 3 v 15 (KJV)

Prince of Peace

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9 v 6 (KJV)


“Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.” Acts 5 v 31 (KJV)

Prince of the kings of the earth

“And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,” Revelation 1 v 5

Organizing 10 – Bedroom Closets and More

Over the past two weeks I have had bouts of extreme organizing – but am now leveling off into balanced mode again – back to little by little!

I have to show you this…!

This part of our craft table is always rather messy and these poor toilet roll animals easily lose arms and legs.

I discovered this wonderful plastic things at a material shop for storing cotton reels.

Now the animals have a home 🙂

Our daughters’ closet needed to be fine-tuned…

so we added some stackable drawers…

… and a few of my favourite organizing things – CONTAINERS!

These went into the shelving side of the closet – which I forgot to take a photo of.

Then onto my closet which also acts as a linen cupboard and now also a sewing cupboard…

as I had to sort this mess of material, patterns and such.

A work in progress…

All done!

Way too exciting to resist, of course…

Oh, and I also found a great solution for hanging up my dirty cleaning cloths until I wash them – much better than them lying in a clump getting mouldy!

In answer to a couple of the Organizing Junkie‘s Questions:

1.  Do you try to get your kids involved?

YES! They love to help – and to play with all the wonderful things we discover along the way. My oldest girl often asks “Mommy, what can I sort for you?” She loves to make piles and make everything look orderly.

3.  Which step of the PROCESS do you find to be the hardest?

I find the organizing into piles is the hardest for me. I hate having to sort through stuff! So much easier to just throw it all away – but I know I that would be foolish. The process of taking out first then adding back into a system has helped me so much. Thanks Laura!

Have a blessed week!

“Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.” John 15 v 3,4

My Organizing Journey:

Part 1 – Organizing!

Part 2 – Recipes & Cluttered Surfaces

Part 3 – First Set of Drawers

Part 4 – Crafts and Art Folders

Part 5 – The Fireplace

Part 6 – Puzzles and Activity Boxes

Part 7 – Recipes into the File

Part 8 – Hubby’s Desk Drawers

Part 9 – The Whole Office!

Do You Ever Fall Into The “Tolerance” Trap?

It is easy to fall into the trap of tolerance. It is easy to fear what people will think or say if we stand up for what we believe or what the Bible says.

Hubby and I believe that the Bible is God’s inspired Word to us and that there is an absolute standard of right and wrong. We believe that truth is absolute and is found in the Word of God. If we do not believe this – if we believe that truth is relative, then we will fall into the trap of tolerance.

A few times we have been criticized for taking a stand about things we believe or values we hold because “its completely NORMAL to _________ and everyone else does it – so how can we not tolerate it… We have also been told “I grew up doing that and I turned out okay, so I’m not too worried about it.” People often make their choices and measure their decisions according to what others do and according to how they were raised rather than searching, trusting in and obeying the Word of God – the most controversial book in history – the BIBLE! We have never experienced intense persecution like many brave individuals we have read about.

Every person knows deep within their hearts that absolute truth exists even if they do not profess to believe that. The way we live often shows that when its convenient for us, we profess (by our responses) that truth is indeed absolute. When it is not convenient then we want to be free to choose what is okay and what is not – regardless of what the Bible says. How often are we brave enough to warn other people (being driven by God’s love in our own hearts) of their impending destruction – based on what the Word of God says. The message of the Bible is one of hope and of love – in the context of God’s absolute truth. It is not a message that says that we are better than anybody else – our sin puts us all in the same boat and we are all in need of a saviour.

“When the world changed on 11 September 2001, the global community denounced the events of that day as ‘evil personified’. The unanimity and strength of the outcry suggested that an absolute standard of right and wrong, good and evil, exists against which events – like that day of infamy – could be measured. Yet, research carried out earlier that year by the Barna Research Group (an independent marketing research company) found that only 22 percent of adults in the USA held that there are moral absolutes that are unchanging. 64 percent of Americans said that truth is always relative! Also, only 32 percent of ‘Christians’ accepted moral absolutes – 54 percent adopted relativism (the belief that truth is relative to the situation one finds oneself in). Having no absolute standards of right and wrong means that we will always go with what feels or works best for us in any given situation.

When seeing a ship heading for the rocks and certain destruction, we’d rather avoid getting involved in something we might not be able to impact and that does not directly affect our lives. It was, after all, the captain of the ship who went off course and is responsible for his dilemma. We are not on the ship anyway. We should not shout out to the ship, warning of the impending doom, as we need to be tolerant of the navigational peculiarities of the ship’s navigator. We dare not declare that he is wrong, as we might be labelled and persecuted. Everything is relative. After all, perhaps for the ship’s captain, the rocks do not actually exist. Perhaps he will find meaning through the experience of crashing into the rocks. Anyway, the ship is too large for us to physically stop. The wind is blowing it along and if the ship does plough into the rocks, it was bound to happen anyway. As the ship veers into the rocks and as it slowly disintegrates under the onslaught of the waves, we watch it for a moment and then remember ourselves and turn away.  ‘Whatever’ we say and carry on with our day.

The doors of our hearts remain shut, because if we had to face reality, we would not be able to hold back the floodgates of fear, anguish and loneliness that we have repressed for so long. It is much easier to put on a tough face, to shrug off the world and its problems and to snuggle deeper into our cocoon.” (Excerpts from “Whatever” by Dennis Neville, On Solid Rock, Autumn 2002)

Will you choose each day whether to be “tolerant” of others beliefs or to warn them (with God’s love in your heart) according to what God’s word – the Bible – says?

“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Matthew 28 v 18-20

You may also be interested in:

Born Out of Anguish

What’s Your Fruit?

Reflections On The Christ

TEN THINGS “I Do Notice, Mommy”

I love LISTS and I love things being organized in box-type containers. A TEN THINGS list is like that!  I enjoy writing things in a structured, contained way. You will find links to all the TEN THINGS posts at the end of each. ENJOY!

I do notice, Mommy, when you are too busy to stop and be with me. I miss you! I know that you have lots to do –  I can do it with you if you slow down and include me.

I do notice, Mommy, when you smile at me.

I do notice, Mommy, when you sing me a song and bounce me on your knee.

I do notice, Mommy, when you are grumpy and cross. It makes me sad.

I do notice, Mommy, when you stop what you are doing and read to me. I love it when you take me on your lap and we read a story together.

I do notice, Mommy, when you ask somebody else to take care of me because you have other things to do.

I do notice, Mommy, when you hug and kiss Daddy – I like it!

I do notice, Mommy, when you sit at the computer for a long time and can’t talk to me. I have so much I want to share with you.

I don’t notice when the house is not perfectly clean and tidy! My feelings of joy, peace or grumpiness come straight from your heart to mine.

I do notice, Mommy, when you stop what you are doing and look carefully at the picture that I have drawn or the flower that I have brought you. I love it when you treasure my gifts to you.

I do notice, Mommy, when you get down on my level – when you come sit behind the couch with me in my little “tent” and play house. Those are the special times I remember.

I need you, Mommy and I love you! Please don’t be too busy for me.

 “For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap [their] hands.” Isaiah 55 v 12


TEN THINGS We Love About ‘Read-Aloud’ Lounge Time
TEN THINGS We No Longer Value and What Has Replaced Them
TEN THINGS about Family Fun Night
TEN THINGS “I Do Notice, Mommy”
TEN THINGS about Geography with Little Ones
TEN THINGS To Do with Edible Seeds
TEN THINGS to Help You in the Kitchen
TEN THINGS About My Days