Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Worship~ I See the Lord

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lofty; and the hem of his robe filled the temple. Seraphs were in attendance above him; each had six wings: with two they covered their faces, and with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. And one called to another and said:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;the whole earth is full of his glory.” ~Isaiah 6:1-3

Happy Resurrection Sunday!

Now because the lyrics are amazing and I have an eclectic choice in music please check out 116 Clique as well. Even if it isn't your preference you can be blessed.


I See The Lord lyrics

(feat. Sho)

[Verse One]
Cast down my crown to worship you in spirit and truth
As I see You on the throne, I see Your train fills the roof
I'm on bended knees, hands extended closed eyes
Holy, Holy, Holy is Lord the Most High
Woe is me, I'm a man with unclean lips
And I live amongst a people whose on the same trip
That when one Seraphim flew to me with coal in his hands
He touch me on my lips, said I was a brand new man
As the foundation shook He's asking, who shall He send
I said, "Send me Lord, I commit to faithful men"
Sometimes Lord, I feel like I don't give you enough
The kind of pure joy to persevere when times get tough
So I keep a concentrated relationship fixed on you
I keep my eyes to the hills so I can have a right view
I stand in awe of You
How You measured the earth with the palm of Your hand
and yet, and still you want to be friends with such an unclean man
So like John I fall prostrate on this island of life
I worship You, recognizing you are power and might
Glory and light, eternal in sight, blameless and right
Creator of life, thief in the night, Jesus the Christ

I see the Lord, seated on the throne, exalted
And the train of His robe, fills the temple with glory
And the whole earth is filled, and the whole earth is filled
And the whole earth is filled, with His glory

[Verse Two]
The sun suspends in the air
I can feel Your winds everywhere
You care to the grains of my hair
Divine works all around me
I can't get past the evidence
The fact that your invisible, to me, is irrelevant
I know your heaven sent, straight to the virgin birth

Gave me a second chance even after man's curse
A third, a fourth, a fifth, and a sixth
You wore my crown of thorns, you took my licks as they spit
In ya face, off the cross a sinner you embraced
Now I understand whats the meaning of grace
I war against the flesh, can't wait till the day that you come
Cause everday I'm rewriting Psalm 51
From the weak to the dumb
You make us shine like Pearls
Got a new engagement, broke up with that girl named world
The relationship was unfruitful, I was Satan's pupil
They told me you was an unfair God, I believed those lies
I know the truth now, cuz you've been fair since creation
Man fell, and then you gave man emancipation
I know the saying one sin can make man fall
But with one drop of blood, he can save us all
I'm a living sacrifice, I lay my life upon the altar
I pray to have faith that don't forsake you, like a martyr
I have a desire, thats to know you more
I have no choice to live holy cuz I see the Lord


[Isaiah 6]
For Whole earth is full of his glory
And the foundations of the threshold tremble
At the voice of him who called out
While the temple is filled with smoke
I said to myself Woe is me
For I am ruined
Because I'm a man with unclean lips
And I live amongst a people with unclean lips
For my eyes have seen the king, the Lord of Hosts
Then one seraphim flew to me
With burning coals in his hand
He touched me on my lips
Said my iniquity is taken away, and my sins forgiven
Then I heard the voice of the Lord say
Who shall I send?
Who will go for us
Then I said
Here I am, Send Me

Always Blessed,
Gretchen :)


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Tuesday's Gifts ~ Light

Here from the very Beginning of time.

For our benefit. So we can become time keepers.

Alpha and Omega

14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the dome of the sky to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. 16 God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 17 God set them in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth, 18 to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. ~Genesis 1:14-18

So we remember His Power.

His Protection. His Encompassing, Covering Love.

Trinity Lights

 16 Yours is the day, yours also the night;
    you established the luminaries and the sun. ~Psalm 74:16

Enduring forever. 

Sunrise, Sunset. 

Sunrise, Sunset.

Warm Embrace

 7 who made the great lights,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
the sun to rule over the day,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
the moon and stars to rule over the night,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;

~Psalm 136: 7-9

In the End, we will Be Again. 

We will then Shine like the sun.

El Fin
43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Let anyone with ears listen! ~Matthew 13:43
 And Our LORD will be all the Light we need.

23 And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb. ~Revelation 21:23
Always Blessed,
Gretchen :)

All pictures are courtesy of my sister Sara Rose Nissen. 
Check out her artwork over at  as seen through my eyes.  

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Monday, March 25, 2013

Camping Oatmeal Mix

Last June, my sister and I took all of our combined kids camping. It was an adventure of no small magnitude and included extreme amounts of planning and organizing. Planning for the feeding of a small basketball team in the primitive campground area with water a half mile away is..... shall we say, interesting.

So everything is made with the idea that it be simple, filling, and that it taste good. The cook in me wants things to be better than hot dogs on the grill or cold cereal in the morning. So we planned and made amazing yumminess for most of the meals.

The biggest food hit with the troops was the Camping Oatmeal Mix. While I was pinning camping recipes like a woman writing a book, I came across this site and was instantly sold on the oatmeal recipe. I wasn't even sure we would use it but with all the hiking and swimming kids get hungry. Really Hungry. All. The. Time. So I thought maybe it would make a great quick snack.

We broke it out after a morning hike that became THE HIKE THAT NEVER ENDED and needed to instantly feed the ornery boys who were literally wasting away from possible starvation and crying toddlers that had been in a child carrier backpack for the last 3 and 1/2 hours. Not to mention, that after 3 and 1/2 hours of carrying a 25 lb toddler on your back, you may never be able to bend over again so having an easy meal in a no microwave zone is a good thing.

Whilst they were wolfing down warm and filling cooked oatmeal decorated with their choice of toppings and a drizzle of maple syrup, I decided we should eat this at home. All year round. Even if we have a microwave.

Helping Mix.


My tweaked version:

Camping Oatmeal Mix
6-8 cups of quick cook oats
3 cups powdered milk *
6 Tablespoon brown sugar
Optional mix-ins
Place in a large seal-able container or ice cream pail with a lid. Place lid on top and shake it till it is thoroughly mixed.

Use 1 cup of oatmeal mix to 1/3 -1/2 cup of  boiling water.

We offer toppings separate because there are too many taste buds in my crew to contend with. 
Some topping ideas: Raisins, Coconut, Dried Cranberries, Sunflower Seeds, Walnuts, Chocolate Chips, Maple Syrup, etc.

If you are blessed with less fussy taste buds:) then here are some options for the mix-ins  :

Raisin mix
1 1/2 cups of raisins
1-2 Tablespoons of cinnamon 

Mixed Nuts mix
1 cup chopped mixed nuts

Brotherhood mix
1/2 cup peanuts chopped
1/2 cup yogurt covered raisins    
3/4 cup chocolate chips

Apple Pie mix
1 cup dried apple slices, chopped
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
(serve cooked Apple Pie mix with milk or cream)

Tropical Mix
1 cup dried tropical fruit mix
1/4 cup dried shaved coconut   
(serve cooked Tropical mix with a drizzle of coconut milk)   
Tell me how it goes!

Always Blessed,
Gretchen :)

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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Homeschool~ Aesop's Fables

The Fox and the Grapes

We love Aesop's Fables. These are short, quick little reads that teach morals and values through entertaining stories surrounding animals. Most of us have heard an Aesop's Fable at some point in our schooling but you may not have known it! The Town Mouse and The Country Mouse is an Aesop's Fable! So is The Lion and the Mouse, a story of a kindness that is repaid.

How about this famous lesson on laziness:


ONE bright day in late autumn a family of Ants were bustling about in the warm sunshine, drying out the grain they had stored up during the summer, when a starving Grasshopper, his fiddle under his arm, came up and humbly begged for a bite to eat.
"What!" cried the Ants in surprise, "haven't you stored anything away for the winter? What in the world were you doing all last summer?"
"I did n't have time to store up any food," whined the Grasshopper; "I was so busy making music that before I knew it the summer was gone.


The Ants shrugged their shoulders in disgust.
"Making music, were you?" they cried. "Very well; now dance!" And they turned their backs on the Grasshopper and went on with their work.
There's a time for work and a time for play. 
~Milo Winter The Aesop For Children  found at The Baldwin Project

We most often use the Milo Winter version of Aesop's Fables. I found it on The Baldwin Project site and printed it off. I did a simple Copy and Paste onto a Word document. 

The Crow and the Pitcher

The drawings are so very beautiful. They may be slightly printer ink heavy but I shrunk them a bit so I could use less ink. Then I three ring paper punched them and placed them in a binder.

These are an Ambleside Online Year 1 reading but our whole family enjoys getting in on the Aesop fun. I usually read them myself because I enjoy reading these bits of gold with lots of enthusiasm. I will on occasion have Prince Ray read aloud for practice. The Milo Winter version has slightly challenging vocabulary so it is great for reading practice. 

I have of course used audio versions sometimes simply because I don't have that extra set of hands or eyes I have wished for and there are times when school happens over supper or while I am doing dishes! Books Should Be Free is one of my go-tos for free audio readings of classic books. So we have listened to an Aesop's Fable while looking at the printed book artwork or even coloring a picture. It should be noted that these are not the Milo Winter versions of the fables.
The Boys and the Frogs

Here are some resources I have found in my internet wanderings that have helped or supplemented our Aesop's Fable readings.

The Lion and the Gnat
For fun sometimes we will watch a video after reading. I might later that week for a change of pace or even as a reward put on a Youtube video clip from this site. They are short, simple, and good renditions using very easy language. My kids like it when we watch the whole playlist. There are 23 videos to pick from.

If you are looking for a bit more this site has lesson plans and also audio versions available. They have over 600 fables to choose from! The Selected Fables section is easily copy and pasted and has a handy chart for 'suggested morals' you can build the study on.

The University of Massachusetts Amherst 1994 Art 271 class has a whole site dedicated to Aesop's Fables. Many of the Fables were rewritten by the students into modern English along with original computer artwork. The History section is good if you want to give your older kids (or yourself) a bit more information on this guy we all know the name of. He definitely had an interesting life.

Project Gutenberg has free downloads of the original Aesop's Fables.

Last year I copied the reading of the week from The Baldwin Project and then used to make copy sheets for Handwriting Practice.

Here are a few free coloring pages online from That Resource Site. I wish they had more. When we do color pictures from Aesop's it is usually from their own imaginations. :)

If you have a preschooler sitting in on most of your classes like I do you are probably already familiar with This is a good size selection of coloring sheets and ideas for your little people so they can join in. 

The Dogs and the Hides

The way we really like to finish our Aesop's reading every week? 

Sir Bean working on staging.
Act it out!
These are perfect for mini-drama sessions. 

The greedy dogs at the river trying to get to the hides....

They get the practice of sharing ideas, playing pretend, learning to delegate acting parts, and of course having fun being silly.

...and they drank too much water!

This is an excellent narration time as well. ;) In warning, because I have rambunctious kids, it is only fair to say that there have been a couple unprofessional acting moments in our past due to some of the more aggressive scenes. The actors were reprimanded and asked to be stage crew for the rest of the day. :)

How do you study Aesop's Fables?

Always Blessed,
Gretchen :)

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tuesday's Gift ~ Hope

Hope in the Lifting Up.

Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down;
For the Lord upholds him with His hand. ~Psalm 37:24


Hope in the Assurance of our God.
Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God;
For I shall yet praise Him,
The help of my countenance and my God. ~Psalm 42:11

Turn your face unto the LORD.

Hope in the LORD as my God and My Ultimate Help in all circumstances.
Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
    whose hope is in the Lord their God, ~ Psalm 146:5

Hope is a gift given by our LORD himself to encourage us on this journey called LIFE.

Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and through grace gave us eternal comfort and good hope, comfort your hearts and strengthen them in every good work and word. ~ 2 Thessalonians 2: 16-17
Every Good Work

We must only Seize Hope as we accept Christ as our Savior...
...we who have taken refuge might be strongly encouraged to seize the hope set before us. We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters the inner shrine behind the curtain, where Jesus, a forerunner on our behalf, has entered, having become a high priest forever... ~Hebrews 6: 18b-20a

Anchored Safely

I am Thankful for the Gift of Hope, an anchor for my soul to rest upon.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Ham n' Bean Soup *Recipe

Last week I wrote on how to make Ham Stock (Bone Broth)

Now let's make soup!

 Ham n' Bean Soup
4 to 5 qts of Ham Stock with meat from the bone
1 lb dry mixed (pinto, black, navy, kidney, even split peas or lentils) beans* ** (soaked, rinsed, and drained)
1 onion, chopped
1 -2 cloves of garlic,minced
2 stalks of celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 -2 small potatoes, chopped
1 sweet medium potato, chopped
paprika, pepper, dried parsley, rosemary sprigs, and ground cloves to taste

Stovetop: Mix Ham Stock and beans together and simmer gently on stove for 2 hours.  About a half hour before serving add veggies and spices. Cook until potatoes and carrots and done.

Crockpot: Place Ham Stock and beans in crockpot and cook all day 8 to 10 hours on low. About 2 hours before serving add veggies and spices and cook on high until potatoes and carrots are done.

My Bean Mix has Pintos, Navy Beans, Lentils, Split Peas, and Brown Rice.

* To soak beans rinse with water and place in a large bowl. Cover the beans with warm water and about a tablespoon or so of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. Leave it alone for about a day. (This is when I am cooking down my ham bone.) You could probably leave it for even longer. Some folks advise dumping the water after a day and adding new warm water and then continuing the soak for another day. I haven't done this. I usually cook them the next day. :) If there is a scum of bubbles that forms on top of the bowl, skim it off and discard. This will make the beans more "user and eater friendly". :) They should double in size. Before adding to your stock to cook, rinse and drain the beans.

** Canned or pre-cooked beans can be used. Lessen your overall cooking time.

If I happen to have some bean soup, I want to be able to locate, at pretty prompt intervals, some little objects that look to me like beans. I don’t want a bowl of it where the beans have just been driven through it at low tide. ~  Will Rogers July 17, 1927  

My sentiments exactly.

Always Blessed,

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