Tuesday, December 30, 2008

What's coming up

Hello everyone! Things have been busy around here ,and I thought I would sit down and reflect on what my days have been absorbed with and let you know the fun things that are to come.I have been trying to get material around to get my aunts quilt going and started. It's getting closer to being put on the quilt rack and getting started. I'm anxious to get it on and going. I do enjoy quilting but have never done it for somebody else. I'm priviledged to think that my aunt would be happy with me doing it. On Thursday we are hosting a grandparent's Cowboy Cookout. Last year we studied bears and then had a Bear Picnic with the grandparents all coming to join in the fun. We ate foods that bears would like and the grandparents all brought a teddy bear that had special meaning to them. Anyways, this year we studied cowboys and are going to have a cookout. The children have been memorizing some poems and have picked out some books for Alegra to read to everyone and as a surprise to the children, their grandma Deborah even sewed them some cowboy/cowgirl outfits. I'm excited to see what they look like. We'll take lots of pictures with the children with their grandparents and the day will be enjoyed very much by us who are glad that our children can still spend special moments with their grandparents.
January 9th I am helping host a chocolate/spa party for the ladies at our church at a friend's house in Elkhart. I have been working on invitations and ideas for the evening, and I think it's going to be a super relaxing and wonderful time to fellowship and enjoy each other's company.

And after that party is over, I have to get on the ball with the next Celebration of Motherhood for my dear friend, Casie Brothers. The invitations are done and handed out which is good. We are having a polka dot tea party for this Celebration, so it should be a lot of fun. I'm so excited for hers! Then the girls are going on a date with their dad to the Century Center in Southbend for a Daddy Daughter Dance. I can't wait for that either! One other family from church is going...possibly two. It should be fun for all of them and I will definitely post pictures of them all fancied up and having fun with their papa. And I will be hanging out with Josiah at the other mom's house with her son. We are hoping to watch a movie and have ice cream sundaes. Yummy! Okay, so maybe I am just looking forward to the ice cream sundaes. Hehe. The three girls above are going to have great fun hanging with their papas and being princesses for a night.

That wraps it up for the formally planned events to come. There are always events happening that aren't planned though. Isn't that what makes life exciting. Wow, not long after all that, my Celebration will be happening. I am getting excited to have this little bundle, especially since this will be our first home birth. It's going to be wonderful! That's all from the Bovees for now....until the next surprise in a day or the next unexpected event.

Monday, December 22, 2008

check it out

Please check out our Christmas Challenge. I'm not sure when it posted but it is complete now and you'll want to check it out and be challenged. I believe it is posted after the post A Day In The Life. Comments are welcome.

Friday, December 19, 2008

A day in the life.....

Well, Jonathon told me that I should have taken pictures, but quite frankly, I was just trying to get through it all to bother with the camera. Here's the story:

To give you some pertinent background information. Diella hates it when the smoke alarms go off. We have told some of you the hilarious story that happened a week ago (actually the night we finished up the puzzle). We had been going over the fire escape plan with our children and figured out that they can pull their ladder up into their bunk bed and put it out the window beside their bunk and climb out the window safely. They have practiced it and have it down well at least while they are awake. Could be a different story if anything happened while in their sleep. Anyways, the other night Jonathon put the screen on the wood stove so we could enjoy the fire at its finest, but he forgot to open the back damper. So, needless to say, the house filled up with smoke. The alarms were all going off and poor Diella was running around the house crying and screaming with her hands over her ears saying, "May I please jump out a window, may I please jump out a window!" We laughed and laughed but felt bad that she was so scared and we couldn't calm her at all. After that she said that if the alarms every go off again, she is going out to the van until all is clear.

Well, today I was making pies to take to some friend's house tonight. The timer went off on the stove and I opened the door to check my deep dish, crumb top, apple pie (mmmmm!) to find that it had spit out juices all over the foil on the bottom of the stove causing a great smoke that poured out when I opened the door. Ahhhhh, here we go again! Alarms went off and Diella in her state of panic ran out the front door in her bare feet. I grabbed her and told her she couldn't go out with nothing on her feet in the snow. She'd freeze them. So, she slipped her dad's tennis shoes on that were right there and clomped out the door to climb in his car. Josiah shortly followed her.

Well, that's not the end of the story by any means. I got the alarms to stop after calling Jonathon to find out how to do it. He laughed at Diella running out and said if I needed anything else to call him. Ha! I needed a lot more help! I called the two children in to find that 3 minutes later the alarms went off again. This time the children were standing at the door with their dad's shoes on, with blankets wrapped around them, waiting just in case they needed to make a beline to his car. Out they went again. This happened 4 more times. My pie wasn't done when the timer went off, so I had to keep the oven on longer. Finally after 15 more minutes of this ridiculous routine of alarms going off, children running out, me standing on chairs to get the alarms to stop to no avail, keeping the windows open (good thing the woodstove is good and hot), and feeling completely hopeless of a peaceful day, the pie was done, oven turned off and I waited for everything to cool down. I called the children in just as the smoke seemed to finally be out of the house and the alarms were done with their chirping.

At that time for some unknown reason, Alegra decided that she was going to check the woodstove to see if the fire was going. The children are not allowed to mess with it unless we give them specific instruction to do so. Well, the back damper wasn't open, and she got a face full of smoke through the front damper. She was holding her eyes, children had started to come in, to only turn back around because, yes, the smoke alarms went off again. Those things sure do work well! I'm starting to feel quite hungry since I haven't even had time to get lunch around and my ears are ringing, and I'm getting cold from having every single window open along with a fan in the window trying to suck smoke out. I just wanted a good deep dish, crumb top, apple pie. I think it will taste especially good after all I had to go through to get it accomplished. I may question myself the next time I want to make one of those.

Now, all seems normal in the house. Time to clean up and then I think I might put my feet up and relax a bit before heading out the door to our friend's house...if something else unexpected doesn't happen. I can only hope! Sorry I don't have any great pictures of this chaotic moment in my day. They would have been priceless I'm sure. :)

A Christmas Challenge

I have been reading blogs and seeing all the commercialism and hearing all about what others are giving to each other, and wanted to do a post on what our family does or does not do at Christmas time and why. Some of you may know and others may not know what our family does, and we just want to challenge you to really ponder some things this Christmas.

First of all, we do not celebrate Christmas. What?!?! you might ask. Everybody celebrates Christmas! As most christians know, the birth of Christ did not take place on December 25th. So, why do we celebrate it on that day instead of during the time that it actually took place. Well, it is clear that the enemy plays a vital role in why it is celebrated on this day. Read the following information regarding Christmas and its origin:

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- No one knows what day Jesus Christ was born on. From the biblical description, most historians believe that his birth probably occurred in September, approximately six months after Passover. One thing they agree on is that it is very unlikely that Jesus was born in December, since the bible records shepherds tending their sheep in the fields on that night. This is quite unlikely to have happened during a cold Judean winter. So why do we celebrate Christ’s birthday as Christmas, on December the 25th?

The answer lies in the pagan origins of Christmas. In ancient Babylon, the feast of the Son of Isis (Goddess of Nature) was celebrated on December 25. Raucous partying, gluttonous eating and drinking, and gift-giving were traditions of this feast.

In Rome, the Winter Solstice was celebrated many years before the birth of Christ. The Romans called their winter holiday Saturnalia, honoring Saturn, the God of Agriculture. In January, they observed the Kalends of January, which represented the triumph of life over death. This whole season was called Dies Natalis Invicti Solis, the Birthday of the Unconquered Sun. The festival season was marked by much merrymaking. It is in ancient Rome that the tradition of the Mummers was born. The Mummers were groups of costumed singers and dancers who traveled from house to house entertaining their neighbors. From this, the Christmas tradition of caroling was born.

In northern Europe, many other traditions that we now consider part of Christian Worship
were begun long before the participants had ever heard of Christ. The pagans of northern Europe celebrated their own winter solstice, known as Yule. Yule was symbolic of the pagan Sun God, Mithras, being born, and was observed on the shortest day of the year. As the Sun God grew and matured, the days became longer and warmer. It was customary to light a candle to encourage Mithras, and the sun, to reappear next year.

Huge Yule logs were burned in honor of the sun. The word Yule itself means “wheel,” the wheel being a pagan symbol for the sun. Mistletoe was considered a sacred plant, and the custom of kissing under the mistletoe began as a fertility ritual. Hollyberries were thought to be a food of the gods.

The tree is the one symbol that unites almost all the northern European winter solstices. Live evergreen trees were often brought into homes during the harsh winters as a reminder to inhabitants that soon their crops would grow again. Evergreen boughs were sometimes carried as totems of good luck and were often present at weddings, representing fertility. The Druids used the tree as a religious symbol, holding their sacred ceremonies while surrounding and worshipping huge trees.

In 350, Pope Julius I declared that Christ’s birth would be celebrated on December 25. There is little doubt that he was trying to make it as painless as possible for pagan Romans (who remained a majority at that time) to convert to Christianity. The new religion went down a bit easier, knowing that their feasts would not be taken away from them.

Christmas (Christ-Mass) as we know it today, most historians agree, began in Germany, though Catholics and Lutherans still disagree about which church celebrated it first. The earliest record of an evergreen being decorated in a Christian celebration was in 1521 in the Alsace region of Germany. A prominent Lutheran minister of the day cried blasphemy: “Better that they should look to the true tree of life, Christ.”

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Now, that all being said, it originated with pagan celebrations and was slowly moved into christianity. Why did christians accept this pagan celebration and try to put Jesus in it when really Christ has never been in "Christmas" in the first place?

Take a look at some of the portions of scripture that are in oppostion to the traditions that are all a part of Christmas. Rev. 11:10 talks about, in a negative way, the giving of gifts to one another. This is the only portion of scripture that talks about gift giving in the way most do at Christmas time. It says, "And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth." I know it's always mentioned that we give gifts because the wise men brought gifts to Jesus. Jesus was certainly not a babe when the wise men appeared on the scene.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ First, there were shepherds at the manger (Luke 2:8-10), but not the wise men. We also have no idea as to how many wise men there are. It could be 2 or 20! The Bible says that the wise men brought three gifts, gold frankincense and myrrh. It is more likely that since these were common currency items of value that each wise man, regardless of the actual number, brought a little of all three. We are not saying that there weren't three, just that to say so is going beyond what is written.

Another glaring error in all the nativity scenes is that the wise men were certainly not at the manger of the inn the night Jesus was born. It says that the wise men came to Jesus' house! It seems clear that the wise men came just prior to the time Herod issued his decree to slaughter all the children under two years. The star first appeared to the wise men when Jesus was born, but it led the wise men to Jesus' house. (Matthew 2:11 "And they came into the house and saw the Child with Mary His mother")

The Bible doesn't say the star shone over the manger. This was a sign only the wise men could discern. The average person would miss it. The star appeared for the purpose of leading the wise men to Jesus home. The wise men started their journey when the star first appeared (at birth). Being from the "east" most likely Persian or Mesopotamia (Modern Iraq) , they completed a journey of at least 500 miles. We can get a general idea as to how old Jesus was when the wise men visited by approximating the time it would take to make such a trip at that time in history. To travel 500 miles, would take 25 days is about the earliest they could have arrived under perfect conditions.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Clearly, the gifts weren't brought because of his birth day, but to honor HIM. So, why do we give gifts to one another when they did it to honor HIM? Shouldn't we give our gifts to HIM in honor and adoration?

Another very, very traditional practice is the Christmas tree. We adorn it, set it in a place that is well noticed, and put our gifts to one another around its base. The scriptures give us another look at a similar picture to the Christmas tree. Jeremiah 10:1-5 says, "Hear the word which the Lord speaks to you, O house of Israel. Thus says the Lord: "Do not learn the way of the Gentiles; Do not be dismayed at the signs of heaven, for the Gentiles are dismayed at them. For the customs of the peoples are futile; For one cuts a tree from the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the ax. They decorate it with silver and gold; they fasten it with nails and hammers so that it will not topple. They are upright, like a palm tree, and they cannot speak; they must be carried, because they cannot go by themselves. Do not be afraid of them, for they cannot do evil, nor can they do any good". This completely looks like the scenario of cutting down a christmas tree bringing it in to the house, stabilizing it and decorating it with silver and gold. Really think about that and the pagan celebrations of worshipping around trees and what we do at christmas time. Are we bringing God glory by doing this?

We say that Jesus is the reason for the season, but the manger scene isn't even a true biblical perspective on what really happened. Why do we lead others astray in how the story took place? Do we do it because that is just what we have always done, and it is a nice little sweet story? There are plenty of things we do that are simply traditional and started by pagans, but because our culture accepts it as a "christian" thing, we go ahead and do it. What does the Bible say about traditions though....if it's in opposition to God's Word that it is never good. It's not how we look at things that matters. It's how God, the Creator of the universe, looks at things. Colossians 2:8 says, "Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ". That seems pretty clear that He knew we would be pulled away from HIM by traditions that weren't according to HIS Word.

What is according to HIS Word when it comes to Jesus' birth? Well, there are some things that we can go by as to when He was born.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The Bible does not specifically say the date of Jesus’ birth. We know it was not during the winter months because the sheep were in the pasture (Luke 2:8). A study of the time of the conception of John the Baptist reveals he was conceived about Sivan 30, the eleventh week.

When Zechariah was ministering in the temple, he received an announcement from God of a coming son. The eighth course of Abia, when Zekharya was ministering, was the week of Sivan 12 to 18 (Killian n.d.). Adding forty weeks for a normal pregnancy reveals that John the Baptist was born on or about Passover (Nisan 14). We know six months after John’s conception, Mary conceived Jesus (Luke 1:26-33). Therefore, Jesus would have been conceived six months later in the month of Kislev.

Counting through the nine months of Mary’s pregnancy, one arrives at the approximate time of the birth of Jesus at the Festival of Tabernacles (the early fall of the year).
During the Feast of Tabernacles, God required all male Jews to come to Jerusalem. The many pilgrims coming to Jerusalem for the festivals would spill over to the surrounding towns (Bethlehem is about five miles from Jerusalem). Joseph and Mary were unable to find a room at the inn because of the influx of so many pilgrims.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ These things add up and make sense. The enemy sure has been crafty in how he so swiftly carried christians away from the true time of Jesus' birth and persuaded them into celebrating pagan holidays and putting "Christ's" name on it to make it sound okay to us. It's not okay to God. He sees the deception and the wickedness of the enemy. So many people say they love celebrating Jesus' birth. Well why don't they do it when Jesus himself wanted us to celebrate it. The feasts of the Bible were His appointed times to celebrate His wonderful love for us. They convey all that traditional/pagan holidays (such as Valentine's day, Halloween, Christmas and even Easter) are thought to portray only they set our eyes truly on all that He is. Wouldn't He want that from us more than intermingling pagan ideas with what He accomplished for us? Matt. 23:1-3 says: “Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes, saying, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do.” So, Jesus was telling us to observe the things they said to observe, which would be Sabbath and the Feasts of the Bible that He already layed out for us. Also, the scribes and Pharisees had all the lingo down of how to sound perfect in the eyes of God, but they weren't practicing it truely with their hearts. How many of us have the lingo down and sound godly, but when it comes down to it, we aren't truely living every step completely for HIM because we have so much of the world and culture grounded into our lives that we believe that that is the right thing.

I just want to challenge you to truly take a look at it for how God might see it all. Does He glory in the fact that we are doing things that pagans began? Does He glory in the fact that we say it's all about HIM but truly we can't wait to open presents? Does He glory in the fact that people want His name "Christ" put back into Christmas when He was never there in the first place?

I can imagine some of you may think we have fallen off our rocker, but actually, we don't want to be like the scribes and pharisees who talk it but don't really live it in their hearts with the reflection in their lives of 100% serving and living for HIM, shunning all things that are in opposition to what He has said. So, there you have it. I challenge you to do the research on the origins of Easter also. There is a reason for that Easter bunny. He did lay out a celebration at Passover for us as being one of His Biblical Feasts. We just choose to celebrate the Holy days that He established for us. Not adding to His Word or taking away from it.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

It is finished!

Well, we aren't very far into the winter and we have our puzzle completed. I think the mom and dad did most of it, but the children sure were excited when we finished it. Here is the cute puzzle with Josiah surrounding it. He did help with probably 5 of the final pieces and had to have a high five for each one he put in.

So, now what do we do this winter. Well, my aunt brought me a quilt that she would like me to quilt for her. It was one that my great aunt Geneva German hand pieced together. It looks a little tricky, and I'm not sure how to finish it off, so it could be challenging, but will be such a great keepsake for my aunt when done. I hope my aunt is as excited when it is done as my children were when our puzzle was finished. :) So, watch in the future for a finished quilt. It may be awhile, but I told her I would get it done before the baby comes, so I better get on the ball. Anybody out there like to hand quilt?
I also like to sew a baby blanket for each child. I then like to hand quilt it. I suppose I will wait to do this baby's after it is born since we won't know what it is. I do have some material that my mom saved from my Grandma German's nightgowns. That will make it a little more special since my other children have embroidery work on theirs that Grandma did when she was still living. So, it looks like my hands are in for a real work out in the next 10 months. Anybody know a good massage therapist? Hehehe!

Monday, December 8, 2008

A Family Fun Night

We had a wonderful evening the other night going out to eat and then to a bowling party. We ate at TGI Fridays, used a coupon for a free appetizer, used a $25.00 gift card and ate for free including tip. The children shared two children's meals and Jonathon and I shared a sirloin which was quite tasty. Since we rarely go out to eat, it was a real treat for us all, especially being free. Here are a few pics. from our wonderful dinner. And a lady even stopped by our table before she left and commented on how our children must love their daddy. I would much rather people noticed such a thing as that than noticing him ignoring them or something of that sort. I am so blessed to have him as a wonderful papa to my children.
Onto bowling.......they had so much fun with this being their very first time bowling. They of course had bumpers, but they also used a handy little ramp that they would set their ball on, then give it a little push and it would go down the lane for them. Very nice. They had fun with all their friends and here are some great pics. of them and all of us big people too having a wonderful time fellowshipping.

Here are some of the ladies preparing for the big party.

And the children gearing up to bowl. All the colors were so much fun and notice Diella, our spacey girl who would rather watch the bowlers beside her than pay attention to what she is supposed to be doing.

Phil Brothers and Leah Brown. She's a super bowler. I guess you're not bad either, Phil.

Here is the birthday boy, Zeky Brothers and his victory dance. He had several of those crazy dances. Thanks for all the fun memories, Zeky!

This was Alegra's turn and they are watching to see how she did. All except Diella who is watching another lane of course.

Here is the big group of us... minus some bowlers at their posts.

This is a great picture of a lady who bowled better with baby in tow than without. Way to go, Lisa!

Elli Brothers and Leah Brown - Two cuties for sure!

Shalom Boomershine and Tina Sawyer- Two more cuties for sure!

Girls just having fun! Diella (probably watching the other lane), Josiah (oops, he's not a girl), Alegra, Lilly Brown, and Elli Brothers.

So, we had a great and cheap night out with our children and created some wonderful memories with them and with our friends. But I did learn something......a birthday party with a bunch of toddler thru 2nd graders is quite hectic....but a lot of fun! And we even could count it as school. You gotta get PE in there somewhere. :)