Archive for September, 2008

Today my pastor/husband preached out of Psalm 101 on the importance of godly companions. He especially emphasized this to the teenagers in our congregation. He and I are smack in the middle of this parenting gig, so by no means do we feel that we have it all figured out. (If anyone does, would they please give me a call??) The truth is, we are constantly looking to the Bible and prayer as we continue on this journey called “parenting.”

I Corinthians 15:33 says: “Bad company corrupts good morals.”

Just this one verse alone, if heeded, could save many a parent some heartache. How does it play out?

1. Homeschooling is an option– but even if you don’t homeschool, you can still make sure that you are “home socializing.” In other words, make sure that most of your kid’s social time is spent with YOUR FAMILY. In YOUR HOME. Plan family activities and make your home a fun place to be. I was recently talking to a friend and she said, “My son can’t stand being at home. He’s always looking for somewhere to go on the weekend.” My teenagers are normal kids and enjoy spending time with their friends, but every Friday they come from school and say “What are we (as in our family) going to do this weekend?” There’s hardly nothing my sixteen year old daughter would rather do than curl up on the couch in our living room and watch old movies with us.
2. Know what they’re up to– This means, not letting your kids have unlimited cell phones and/or texting. This also means keeping tabs on their Facebook or Myspace pages. I actually joined Facebook so I could be in the “know.” (And it’s been a lot of fun catching up with some of MY old friends in the process!) I am always shocked at what’s being said on some kid’s pages.  I KNOW these kids wouldn’t be talking like this if their parents were standing in the room.  But on Facebook, they feel unchecked.  I even have the passwords to all of my kid’s email accounts and check them periodically. My kids understand that all of these things are PRIVLEGES and not rights and that I can suspend any of it at anytime if I feel that God has been dishonored or their testimony is in jeopardy.
3. Make sleep overs the exception and not the rule. Really, why do kids need to spend the night with each other? Late night gatherings often end in snarky gossip, mischief and hurt feelings. Let your son or daughter stay late at their friend’s homes and then bring them home at 10 or 11 to sleep under your own roof. I’ll occasionally allow a sleepover in our home, but very rarely do our kids spend the night somewhere else.  We’ve actually let the kids sleepover at a friend’s house a couple of times over the past few years and we’ve gotten burned.   One of my children watched a movie that we would have NEVER normally allowed in our own home.

4.  Don’t let your kids date until they’re old enough to start thinking about marriage. I’ve talked about this before.  You can read the old post because I still stand behind every word of it.

Junk food is delicious, but you would die if you were on a steady diet of it. Some secular music can be great fun, but your soul would shrivel up without praise and worship. Silly times with friends can be swell, but your parenting will take a serious hit if you allow your kid’s to consistently hang with kids who don’t come from homes that share your views on authority and godliness.

This is all hard work, but no one ever promised that parenting would be easy did they?  Stay the course, friends and never stop praying.

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Galatians 6:9


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As my kids have gotten older and more involved in all things extra-curricular, the mom in me started trying to figure out ways to make sure we were still getting plenty of “together time.”  Even church activities, while so good and worthwhile, can crowd out the much needed “family/chill” time.

So, when we homeschooled, we were more of a “breakfast cereal family.”  I reasoned that I couldn’t be spending a chunk of time cooking and cleaning in the kitchen each morning, because we needed to be hitting the books bright and early.  But once we entered the public school system, I figured that a yummy hot breakfast was a great way to send everybody off on the right foot.

I came up with a weekly breakfast menu that has really worked for us.  It provides a little variety and everybody in this family of seven gets SOMETHING that they like SOMETIME during the week.  And I don’t ever have to think about what I’m going to cook–  I just do what the breakfast menu tells me to do.  For supper I plan a month’s worth of meals and the same concept applies.  I just cook what the menu tells me to do.

Mondays- waffles and fruit
Tuesdays- biscuits and sausage
Wednesdays- eggs and bacon
Thursdays- muffins and fruit
Fridays- cereal, and/or yogurt and/or granola bars
Saturday- THE WORKS (When we’re home- we eat a big brunch on Saturdays).  Eggs (scrambled or fried- your request), homemade biscuits/gravy, bacon)
Sunday- donuts at church (No, we don’t sit together for this one.  This is a grab and go to class kind of breakfast that I don’t have to fix!!!!)

So- somehow in between music lessons and youth group activities, the Rays are managing to all sit around the dinner table twice a day.  Sometimes supper has to be served REALLY EARLY to pull that off.   But I love to eat with my whole family whenever possible; so making the extra effort to ensure two meals around the table everyday really WORKS FOR ME!

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Sermon Rumination

Of course I thought that THIS was a good idea!  And I’m going to encourage all of you to do it to.

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Monday’s Menu

Well, I can’t get her graphic to upload, so just know that I’m participating in I’m an Organizing Junkie’s Monday Menu Plan.   I’ve actually already planned all of September, but the entire month’s menu is probably more information than you ever wanted to know…  So here’s this week.  Nothing special, but it’s all stuff the Ray family likes for a week on the go.  🙂

Sunday, September 7, 2008
Lunch: Go out to eat with guest speaker
Supper: Frozen Calzones

Monday, September 8
School out @ 1:00pm
Titus Ortho @ 2:00pm
Mexican Cornbread—already in Freezer
Crescent Rolls

Tuesday, September 9
Hair Cut @ 1:00
Youth 5:30-7:30
Piano–  Anna 7, Titus 7:30, Abbey 8

Tuna Sandwiches
Homemade Pico de Gallo/Chips

Wednesday, September 10
AWANA 6:00
Eat at Church

Thursday, September 11
Flute Lessons 3:45pm
Lia Sophia @ McFall

Barbque Chicken Legs–  already in Freezer
Mac & Cheese

Friday, September12
Abbey works @ 5:30

Saturday, September 13
Abbey works @ 5:30
Hunt Brother Pizza

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Do Me a Favor?

This ole blog of mine has been around for while–  with a couple of sabbaticals.  I’ve been with Blogger, Typepad, and most recently–  WordPress.  I used to have some 80 subscribers, but I’ve moved around so much, I think I’ve lost a lot of faithful readers along the way.  Bloglines says I have 7 Subscribers, and Sitemeter says about 35 people stop by each day.  But I have no idea who you are.

Soooo…  I was wondering…

Would those of you are still around would you comment and let me know it.  Just to satisfy my incurable curiosity to KNOW.  Just say “Hi there!  This is Melissa and I still stop by your blog once a week.  Thanks for filling us in on all of the super mundane details of your life.”  Something like that.

And–  if you’ve never subscribed to Bloglines before, I highly recommend it as being a super easy way to keep track of which blogs you’ve read for the day and which you haven’t.  Bloglines will even alert you if one of your favorite blogs has posted something new.   So GO TO BLOGLINES AND SUBSCRIBE TO ME!!   (And all of your other fav-o-rite blogs.)

And thanks for reading and commenting and even reading and not commenting.  It makes blogging so much more fun.

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Blog Spotlight

I don’t have much time to post anything today. Our family is headed to the big bad Wal-Mart to do our monthly grocery shop and I’ve been spending all morning coming up with September’s menu and the corresponding grocery list. But I’ve run across several new blogs lately (new to me, that is) that I’ve enjoyed reading and I thought I’d share.

Grace Dove— This one isn’t a blog, but Grace is a writer for Brio magazine and I loved the articles posted at her website. I especially liked Eight Secrets About Guys that Shouldn’t be Secret. Good reading for our girls– and it’s all packaged in a fun, “teen-age friendly” way.

C’est La Belle Vie— Written by my cousin, Katie. Her blog is so pretty, you have to go there just to check out her gorgeous design and layout (and photos.) Katie’s a stay-at-home-mom of four and helps with the women’s ministry at her church in my hometown.

Triablogue— A Reformed-Baptist blogger who often posts thought-provoking stuff.  I’ve really been enjoying his blog lately with all the political talk flying across the internet.

Femina— I’ve been reading Nancy Wilson’s articles for years in her husband’s magazine Credenda Agenda. The Wilsons are PCA and Doug (Nancy Wilson’s husband) pastors the Christ Church in Moscow, Idaho. She’s been blogging (along with her 2 daughters and 1 daughter-in-law, sort of in Girl Talk style) since April of 2008, but I just discovered her blog this past summer.

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Sarah’s Speech

Sarah Palin has to be one of the most likable political figures in recent history. Didn’t her speech last night just light you up??  She has it right on fuel…on the war…on taxes…on Life…on so many things.  And she’s such a straight shooter.  I love the way she just says it.

I also love what my friend, Linda (who also just happens to be my choir director!) said in response to my recent post about Palin:

I agree:  she is not the Titus 2 woman as far as we can see.  There may be a lot there we can’t see.  But maybe she is here at such a time as this to draw the votes to save this country from the moral pigsty it would become if Obama wins the presidency. What a contrast Palin is to Obama’s voting against the Born Alive Infant law in Illinois to provide medical care for babies who survive abortions! Anyone that cold just must be voted against!

Our God raises up “kings” (and vice-“kings”!) and tears them down, too.  May He be honored and glorified

Yes and Amen.

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