Archive for March, 2011


more thoughts on crockpot cooking

   Posted by: liz    in family, food

i just finished putting together a chicken and rice meal in the crockpot (using NO cream-of-soup from a can), and i have to run some errands this morning.

when i was putting the meal together, and it was too late to change my dinner plans, i suddenly realized that there will be a time this morning that i will not be in the house as my crockpot is PLUGGED IN and COOKING away.


so i sent an email to my mom (who lives across the street from me):

“mom, i’m headed out to the shops. i have dinner in the crockpot so will you, from time to time, look out your window to make sure the house isn’t on fire? thanks!  ~liz”

and yes, i’m serious.


food for (science and faith) thought

   Posted by: liz    in faith

Lately, I’ve seen versions of the following phrases used over and over to describe a particular Christian scholar who has written a bible curriculum for homeschoolers and/or sunday schools:

“twisting scripture to fit a worldview” and
“doesn’t believe the Word of God is inerrant” and

I’m sure that Dr. Peter Enns, author of “Telling God’s Story” didn’t know that he would soon become a household name among the large contingent of Christian homeschoolers in the world, who homeschool using texts from Answers in Genesis or Ken Ham.

I thought it might be interesting to note that Dr. Enns isn’t the first Christian who writes about his belief in an old earth (millions of years old, not thousands of years old), Theistic Evolution and the Big Bang:

Billy Graham, Personal Thoughts of a Public Man, 1997.  p. 72-74:

“I don’t think that there’s any conflict at all between science today and the Scriptures. I think that we have misinterpreted the Scriptures many times and we’ve tried to make the Scriptures say things they weren’t meant to say, I think that we have made a mistake by thinking the Bible is a scientific book. The Bible is not a book of science. The Bible is a book of Redemption, and of course I accept the Creation story. I believe that God did create the universe. I believe that God created man, and whether it came by an evolutionary process and at a certain point He took this person or being and made him a living soul or not, does not change the fact that God did create man. … whichever way God did it makes no difference as to what man is and man’s relationship to God.”


Chuck Colson, The Big Bang, According to Atheist Sir Fred Hoyle

“Today, advocates of the Big Bang think that their theory is a substitute for God. But it’s just the opposite. Hoyle rejected the Big Bang in spite of the evidence because he knew that the Big Bang pointed irresistibly to the existence of God…

As we read the obituaries about Sir Fred Hoyle, the man who named the Big Bang, we might ask our skeptical neighbors: If there was a Big Bang, isn’t it reasonable to recognize what Hoyle did-that there behind it [is] a Big Brain. And might that not be the God of the Bible and of all creation?”


Hank Hannegraff (Bible Answer Man): “The Creation Story: How Old is the Earth?”

The question of whether the earth is 4.5 billion years old (as modern geology affirms) or roughly 10,000 years old (as some evangelical scientists and theologians are now maintaining) hinges largely on whether the “days” of Genesis chapter one are to be taken as indicating literal 24-hour days or as poetic references to indefinite periods of time. An analysis of the biblical material reveals that the answer to this is not eminently clear, and that some justification can be found for both positions.


Francis Schaeffer, Genesis in Space and Time p. 59:

What does day mean in the days of creation?

The answer must be held with some openness. In Genesis 5:2 we read: “Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.” As it is clear that Adam and Eve were not created simultaneously, day in Genesis 5:2 does not mean a period of twenty-four hours.

In other places in the Old Testament the Hebrew word day refers to an era, just as it often does in English. See, for example, Isaiah 2:11,12 and 17 for such a usage.

The simple fact is that day in Hebrew (just as in English) is used in three separate senses: to mean (1) twenty-four hours, (2) the period of light during the twenty-four hours, and (3) an indeterminate period of time. Therefore, we must leave open the exact length of time indicated by day in Genesis.


Lenten Cooking

   Posted by: liz    in faith, family, food

i swear i haven’t given up blogging for lent! i’ve been busy reading and studying and reading some more, that when i sit down to put my thoughts on paper, i’m at a loss for words. i once learned that the more you read, the better your writing becomes. well, i’ve proven that wrong! i’ve been reading blogs, books, and articles by the dozens these past few weeks, and my writing has become non-existent! i have many thoughts running through my head, and i’m so glad for the time i have put aside to wade through these thoughts, read great minds who have thought these thoughts before.

so today, our third Lenten Feast Day, i will share with you three recipes i’ve made during Lent (when we weren’t cycling through the stomach virus in our house this week!) based around a whole-food diet (real foods, not processed, boxed or packaged ingredients) during Lent. two of them are from The Enchanted Broccoli Forest, and the others are from cooking blogs where i find a lot of my current favorite whole-wheat recipes.

Corn Chowder with tossed salad, and Whole Wheat Bread (dinner!)

Banana-Chocolate Chip (protein) Bread (snacking!) with homemade chocolate chips!

Whole Wheat Pasta with vegetable marinara, salad.

in the “keeping it real” department, the whole wheat bread didn’t turn out this time, and it was completely my fault. i’ve been successful scores of times in the past with this recipe, so don’t let that keep you from trying it (you CAN bake with yeast!). i pulled the bread out of the oven too soon (i didn’t set a timer) and it was practically raw in the middle. once toasted, it was slightly palatable to hungry boys, but not enough for me to enjoy it. but i will do it again this week, as i continue to bake our daily bread.

these pictures are from a walk we took three weeks ago, on a warm sunday afternoon. it didn’t look warm because of the snow on the ground, but it was a lot warmer than it is today (sunny, no snow!) at 38 degrees for a high! i will not look at the forecast again until we are assured no more freezing temperatures, and now more snow or freezing rain.


Let Evening Come ~Jane Kenyon

   Posted by: liz    in faith

Let the light of late afternoon
shine through chinks in the barn, moving
up the bales as the sun moves down.

Let the cricket take up chafing
as a woman takes up her needles
and her yarn. Let evening come.

Let dew collect on the hoe abandoned
in long grass. Let the stars appear
and the moon disclose her silver horn.

Let the fox go back to its sandy den.
Let the wind die down. Let the shed
go black inside. Let evening come.

To the bottle in the ditch, to the scoop
in the oats, to air in the lung
let evening come.

Let it come, as it will, and don't
be afraid. God does not leave us
comfortless, so let evening come. 

a Lenten feast of suffering

   Posted by: liz    in faith

i have no words for you today. it’s a FEAST day, and yet i’m word-less as i ponder the suffering of Christ in these 40 days before Easter.

~ survivor guilt, perhaps for japan. humans suffering, dying, at the hands of a mighty wave of movement and water.

~ a moving account from our friend and pastor this morning about church planting in cuba that has me feeling guilty at our material wealth and freedom to worship. on our drive home from church, i asked kenny, “what would suffering for Christ look like in our life? how on earth could we possibly SUFFER for Christ in this free country, with the means we’ve been given?”

we are blessed in ways we don’t even realize and we are a country of lazy believers, too spoiled to recognize that worshiping freely is a gift.


lent ~ from/to dust…

   Posted by: liz    in faith, family

i hope your fat tuesdays/mardi gras celebrations were fun and fat! first of all, this is for my friend heather:

here are some posts that other, more-together bloggers have put together regarding practicing Lent in your home:

~~ kerry at A Ten O’Clock Scholar always has great ideas….

~~ as does jessica at Homemaking Through the Church Year…she is also hosting a read-together of Purgatorio during Lent.

~~ rachel held evans has a list of 40 ideas for Lent if you’re still searching for ideas on how to observe and celebrate the days before Easter.

as for our family, we are adding to AND refraining from/fasting in ways that we can together. i remember last year reading an ecouragement to really fast from food, as did the early disciples. to paraphrase something i read at Ten O’Clock Scholar: “the early christians and followers of jesus didn’t fast from scroll-reading, they fasted from FOOD…a necessity in their daily life.” shame on all of us if facebook and television has become a necessity in our lives from which we need to fast!

my focus will be on feeding my family whole foods, all the time. taking time each day to lay out a menu that reflects our stewardship of the earth, our budget, and adds to our health. i hope to find some amazing new recipes to share. perhaps eating well doesn’t “mesh” with Lenten fasting. i look at it as such: if the majority of the world rarely eats meat, refined sugar, and water is a prized possession, we have become so used to eating like royalty and not realized OR appreciated it.

may you have a blessed Lent…allowing your soul to make room for the realization of the need of Christ.


never alone

   Posted by: liz    in family, homeschooling

we took this past week off for “spring break.” we haven’t had a few days off of school since christmas and we were all feeling the need for a break.

unfortunately, a relaxed week of formal lessons found me fretting over school this weekend. “i’m not doing enough! i need to add more literature! the boys should be reading faster than that by now! why can he spell ‘enough’ yet? when will we be able to read aloud a shakespeare play???” it took a few days away from the house, on break, to find my focus and realize that comparing our homeschool to anyone else’s is just silly.

a reminder of the WHY we homeschool and i’m back to the place of content and joy in learning again. of “living books” and finding math in so many places; of listening to my 6-year-old read to me, stumbling over words, but being there to help him gain confidence in getting through those words; of “special time” with my 4-year-old and hearing him connect lessons learned in his play time with his brothers; in hearing all of them recite history facts and timeline events from ancient egypt.

we have just two more months of “formal” school to go and we will break for the summer and frolic in the hot sun and whatever water we can find to swim in. and in these next two months we will bask in the joy of learning about God’s world, His creation, His numbers and scientific laws. we will learn together, and spend time together.

this morning, i came across this encouraging blog post. we are not alone in this journey!  thank goodness for the encouragement of other moms who have gone through times of discouragement (and can encourage with humor!).

it’s a new week, a new morning (with a lovely sunrise!), and i am renewed and encouraged.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”  ~john 14:27


the ever-moving circle of the Year

   Posted by: liz    in faith, family

i’ve taken a bit of a blog break unintentionally. this time of year finds me really eager for it to be over. the cold, snow, slush, large gas bills…i’m trying so hard this year to not let it get me down, but february isn’t a very friendly month here.

next week is the beginning of Lent. it didn’t sneak up on us like it has in years past. since Easter is later this year, Lent is also later, so we’ve had a while to get comfortable in Epiphany and welcome Lent, like an awaited guest, into our homes.

i’m not sure how to blog about Lent, since it’s such a personal journey towards Easter morning. but one thing i might try to do is write about how we will include the boys in our Lent this year. last year, we buried the alleluias banner and they actually remembered to un-bury it on easter morning (reminding me, who forgot all about it)!  but this year, we wanted to be more active during Lent in observing it together, as well as personally.

i will sporadically blog about our journey. i hope you’ll join me in doing the same with your family, and share with me how you will meditate and spiritually renew yourselves during Lent.

from dust….
as i mentioned in a previous post, the boys have been watching a science show on Netflix called “Beakman” and there is a part in the program when Beakman answers questions he gets in the mail from his viewers. the other night, I heard the boys talking about what they wanted to “ask Beakman” and two of the questions were: “How did God make us from dust?” and “How can we hear God?”

do we have budding scientists among us, or future theologians?  stay tuned!