Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Another grandchild on the way

Yup. We are going to have another grandchild.
TJ and Rachel are expecting their 4th child.
That will make 5 grandchildren. We are so blessed.
Just think of all the grandchildren, or should I say 'rewards' and 'crowns', we could be blessed with from our 8 children!
Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. Psalm 127:3
Children's children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers. Proverbs 17:6
For some recent pictures of TJ's kids, you can visit my daughter, Laurel's blog.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Tomato Sauce

I'm so happy our 200+ tomato plants are doing well this year! Last year we didn't properly amend our pitiful soil and the poor plants didn't do well at all.

We don't eat a lot of the tomatoes themselves, but we're kind of tomato sauce eating fiends.
We found this method of tomato sauce preparation via pinterest, and I think I'm in love. It cuts the cook time down to a fraction of what it was.

Basically, all you have to do is cut your tomatoes up, cook them, and drain them well. The juice that you drain off will have some solids in it so it will still be red. So of course, if you boiled all the juice down you'd get a slight bit more sauce than you would with this method.

We drained the tomatoes over a milk pail to save the juice
On the other hand, since we canned all the drained-off juice, there was no wastage like there is when you boil the juice down letting it evaporate off.

Look at these beautiful jars of tomato juice!
After draining the tomatoes as well as we could, we ran the pulp that was left in our colander through what is affectionately known around here as the "popper".

The popper hard at work ;)
If you do any tomato processing, jam making, apple sauce, or apple butter making, etc. you need one of these. I'm not kidding. My mom has had the Velox Tomato Press , as well as the Victorio strainer for at least fifteen years, and the "popper" far outshines the Victorio. The only drawback is that you have to have a smooth surface for the suction cup to stick to.
Anyhoo, back on the topic. The tomato pulp that came out of the strainer was almost thick enough that we didn't have to boil it down at all! in fact, my suggestion was to just let good enough be good enough.

Look how thick that is!
Mom decided to try letting the sauce evaporate a little in the crockpot over night though and this is what we got:
Not bad right?! We'll definitely be doing this again - probably many times over as we pick tomatoes ever-other day.
P.S. Please excuse the mess in the background - we're messy cooks! :-)

Thursday, July 19, 2012


Last Saturday, we went to a dance in celebration of our friend Alex's birthday. This was the first time any of our family has been to a dance, but we all had a lot of fun!
Before we went we decided to grab a couple pictures while we were all dresses up.

This is Levi being..............Levi.

Before the dance we had a lovely dinner of BBQ. It was very good.
Logan eating a brownie.

This was the Scottish Polka. Unfortunately, we didn't get any pictures of the other dances.

Olivia and Johanna

Rachel and I

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


I have struggled with the question, “When was I saved” for many years. I have studied the subject for many years. And have been given much light on the subject.

I believe the Word of God is clear regarding the matter of salvation. Jesus said:
“He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God”…36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not on the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him {John 3:18, 36}

This is simply telling us that there are two groups of people in the world today – those who believe on the Son and those who do not. It’s that simple. Those who believe are not condemned; they have everlasting life. Those who believe not on the Son are condemned already, and they shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on them.

If you will notice, the Word of God never says, “simply believe and be saved”; rather, it seeks always to identify the object of faith, which is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.

John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the word, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth In Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

It is not enough just to believe; a person must believe “in Him”.

The Philippian jailer asked, “Sir, what must I do to be saved?” The Apostle Paul answered, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” {Act 16:30, 31}

You see, it is not enough just to believe; a person must believe “in Him”.

If a person is trusting in baptism for salvation, he cannot be trusting “in Him”. Christ is not one way to salvation; He is the ONLY way salvation.

There is no promise in the Word of God to those who believe partially in Christ. In other words we cannot trust in the Lord Jesus 90% and in baptism 10%.

We must trust Christ and what He did at Calvary 100% and nothing else.

Just because you were baptized as a baby does not save you!

You must trust Christ alone.


All of this begs a question, “when is a person saved”? Let us look to the Scriptures.

Ephesians 1:4-5 “According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love:
Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will”.

So He chose us and before the foundation of the world and predestinated us unto the adoption of children, according to the good pleasure of His will. But we are not saved before the foundation of the word, so when were we saved?

How about  Ephesians 1:13 “In Whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation”:

What? When? “After that ye heard the word of truth”. Not before! Look at the last half of this verse.

Ephesians 1:13b “in Whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise”.

It seems very simple; ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, AFTER THAT YE BELIEVED!  Not before. And that’s the Baptism that counts; “now repent and be water baptized as a sign of that seal and obedience to a command for new believers.” “And you are a new believer”, “AFTER THAT YE BELIEVED!” 

Friday, July 13, 2012

A Look At How Democrats And Republicans Differ

By Chuck Baldwin

It is an absolute fact that no matter which of the two major parties in Washington, D.C., is in power, the freedoms and liberties of the American people continue to be eroded. However, this does NOT mean that there are not basic differences between the two parties. The two parties differ greatly on HOW government will take our liberties. Where they are similar is in the fact that neither of them has any interest in preserving liberty. Until the American people awaken to this reality, whatever freedoms we have left in this country are doomed.

Let me ask you a question: does it really matter whether a free man is enslaved by a socialist state or a fascist state? Are the prisons any more accommodating? Are the lashes from the whip any less painful? Is the agony of losing a loved one any less grievous? Is the persecution any less revolting? What difference does it make to a free man if his liberties are stolen by an Adolf Hitler or by a Joseph Stalin?

Do you want a quick reference to the difference between how the Democrats and Republicans in Washington, D.C., are stealing our liberties? When the Democrats control things, America gets more socialism; when the Republicans control things, America gets more corporatism, which is a polite word for fascism. Socialism requires government to own everything, while fascism requires government to control everything. And remember, too, fascists and socialists have always hated each other. Big deal! Fascists and socialists alike hate freedomists, which is why inside-the-beltway Repubs and Dems can’t stand people like Ron Paul, Bob Barr, and yours truly. (Remember the MIAC report identifying the three of us, and our supporters, as being potential “dangerous militia” members?) So who cares which of these two parties happens to be in power? Our freedoms continue to be under siege. That’s why the battle in Washington politics has nothing to do with preserving freedom, but everything to do with HOW government will take freedom. Will they take it by ownership or by control? And, unfortunately, what we have right now is the worst of both worlds: government is using a combination of both ownership and control to steal our liberties. Why? Because except for a very precious few elected civil magistrates (like Congressman Ron Paul), there is no one on Capitol Hill or the White House who remotely understands–or fights for–the principles of liberty.

Even worse is that when the Donkeys and the Elephants do agree, it almost always is in an effort to point the bayonets at the American citizenry. What does it matter whether government owns it or controls it? What does it matter whether it more resembles socialism of corporatism? What it doesn’t look anything like, is FREEDOM!
Take the Democrat/Republican debate over Obamacare. Even if Mitt Romney and the GOP prevail in the November elections, Obamacare will be replaced with Romneycare. And Romneycare will be 85% Obamacare, with a slight shift toward government control and a slight shift away from government ownership. Again, I say, BIG DEAL! What neither party is talking about is that the federal government has no business being in health care. Period! Just like the federal government has no business being in over 90% of everything it is involved in today. But who do you hear saying that in Washington, D.C., except Ron Paul?
Take the issue of the burgeoning surveillance society. What does it matter which major party is in power in Washington, D.C.? The TSA gets more and more obnoxiously tyrannical; abuses of civil liberties under the guise of fighting a “war on drugs” continues unabated; abuses of the Bill of Rights under the guise of fighting a “war on terror” continues unabated; the federal police state continues to grow exponentially; unconstitutional foreign entanglements continue to proliferate; ad infinitum, ad nauseam.

In a book that I have recommended numerous times, “Hitler’s Cross,” Erwin Lutzer writes on page 72, “Through surveillance, wiretaps, spying, and rewarding those who betrayed their friends, Hitler tried to control the citizens of Germany.” On page 73, Lutzer continues the thought saying, “But Hitler did not have the technology to bring every subject of his realm into line.” So, given the technology that is available today, what would Hitler do differently if he were running things in Washington, D.C.? I ask readers to think seriously about that question. What would Hitler do differently?

Today, the federal government monitors virtually every piece of electronic communication. The federal government monitors virtually every major banking transaction. It has spies infiltrated in even harmless organizations all over the country. It threatens people with the loss of their jobs or freedom (or both) to betray their friends. It spies on us with satellites; it spies on us with drones. On July 6, 2012, President Obama signed an Executive Order authorizing the federal government to take control of America’s entire communications industry. In 2006, under President George W. Bush, the US military began planning armed confrontation against the American citizenry. (I have the document in my possession.) And, of course, we must not overlook the Patriot Act which has been authorized and reauthorized under both Republicans and Democrats; the Military Commission Act which was signed by G.W. Bush; NDAA 2012 and 2013 which was signed by President Barack Obama, and which was passed by both Republicans and Democrats. And let’s not forget the federal attack against the Branch Davidians under Democrats Bill Clinton and Janet Reno, and the assault against the Randy Weaver household under Republican President George Herbert Walker Bush.

So, again, pick your poison. Both the socialist-leaning Democrats and the corporatist-leaning Republicans in Washington, D.C., meet together in pointing the bayonet against the American citizenry. And you really wonder why nothing significant changes in this country?

And in this regard, the platforms of the two major parties are completely meaningless! I dare say that Barack Obama has never read the Democrat platform and doesn’t care one iota what it says. I also guarantee you that Mitt Romney hasn’t read the Republican platform and doesn’t care one iota what it says either. Can anyone remember when Republican Presidential candidate, Bob Dole, in a rare moment of candor, publicly admitted that he had not read his party’s platform and didn’t care what it said? Party platforms are for the benefit of rank and file party members to make them feel like their ideas count for something to the party leadership. They don’t!

So, do the Democrats and Republicans in Washington, D.C., differ? Yes! They differ on how our freedoms will be taken from us. They differ on the degree of government ownership and control. They differ on the nuances of political tyranny. Where they are twins is in their lust and ambition for power, in their approval of stripping more and more freedoms from the American people, and in their absolute and total disregard for constitutional government.

Without some sort of “Great Awakening” both politically and spiritually, whatever is left of our liberties is doomed–and both major parties in Washington, D.C., are equally culpable.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Pro-life MS asks Planned Parenthood to help make clinic safe
A Mississippi pro-life group wants Planned Parenthood to stand with them in support of higher health standards for abortion clinics.                                                                     

My first thought when I saw this headline was, "Higher health standards! Isn't dismembering and destroying a pre-born baby pretty unhealthy?!!!"

Actually, The MS pro-life group is wanting a law requiring the abortion clinics to have admitting privileges to hospitals in case of botched abortions.
I realize pro-life groups are trying to make inroads to stop abortion and they have to make a difference where they can, but in my way of thinking it still doesn't make sense. 
I'm not being insensitive to the women having an abortion.
I believe most of the women aborting their pre-born babies are very ignorant and a product of our pro-death culture.
But a so called physician who performs abortions, seeing the pieces of a baby or holding most of a baby in his/her hands as they stab the child in the base of the skull (partial birth abortion), has got to be very hardened and cold.
Do you really think he cares about having admitting privileges to a hospital? Well, I guess that's why the pro-life group wants a law on the books to hopefully make the physician comply.

Dear Lord, Please change the hearts of men. AMEN.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Lesser of Two Evils


Common Sense: Voting Lesser of Two Evils? Obama Appreciates Your Support

By Bob Eschliman
It was one of the highlights of the Republican presidential nominating process. Mitt Romney’s chief opponent, Rick Santorum, went off on “Etcha-Sketch Romney,” billing him “the worst Republican to put up against Obama.
That Santorum took the financially and politically expedient course and later endorsed Romney doesn’t make what he had to say any less true.
And before you go off on the whole, “a vote for someone other than Romney is a vote for Obama,” or “Romney is far better than Obama, that’s why I’m voting for him,” just save your breath. As Tryon Edwards famously said, “Between two evils, choose neither; between two goods, choose both.”
But, if you’re going to vote the lesser of two evils, I’m sure Obama will appreciate your support.
Yes, you read that right. Obama is the lesser of two evils, if you’re going to look at this presidential election that way. Don’t believe me? I can certainly understand that, so I ask for just a small indulgence of your time to review the facts of Romney’s political career.
We’re going to start off with the low-hanging fruit first.
This one is easy… Romney is the architect of ObamaCare, and while he might like to tell folks it was the “right thing” for Massachusetts while simultaneously wrong for America, his staff members urged Washington to consider Commonwealth Care as a model solution for the U.S. healthcare system. And on the campaign trail, he likes to talk about how it didn’t affect “92 percent of residents of Massachusetts,” the facts seem to tell a different story: look herehere, and here for details.
This will be a primary area of weakness Obama WILL exploit in the General Election race. So, if you think Romney is going to do away with it… you would be very wrong.
Another easy one… while Obama has flirted with jacking up tax rates, particularly on the stereotypical liberal/socialist whipping boys: the rich and corporations, Romney has actually done it. Billing them as “closing loopholes,” he raised taxes by $309 million, mostly on job-creating corporations, in his four years in office. In fact, it would have been even more if the liberal Democrat-led Legislature hadn’t cut his tax hike proposal in half in his final year. This from a guy who bills himself as a pro-business, free-market kind of Republican.
This will likely be another area of weakness Obama will exploit in the General Election race. So, if you expect Romney to be the great tax cutter, if elected, well… you would be very wrong (again).
There is no single issue of greater concern to conservatives and Christians as the issue of life. Without it, there are no other rights, and all other political debate becomes moot. So, you would assume there would be a distinct difference in the two candidates on this issue.
If you were to make that judgment solely on the basis of the candidates’ rhetoric, you would be right. However, I can tell people I look like Mr. Universe until I’m bluer in the face than Papa Smurf, but that doesn’t necessarily make it true.
Actions speak louder than words.
Barack Obama is, arguably, the most pro-abortion President in our history. And, while federal funding for abortion is still outlawed by Congress, he has made it abundantly clear he would like to see that obstacle removed, so that young mothers don’t have to be “punished for their mistakes.”
So, where does Romney stand? Just a tad to the left, believe it or not.
His “ObamaCare only better,” Commonwealth Care, provides for taxpayer subsidized abortion, even in elective cases; copays are only $50. He placed members of the Planned Parenthood Board of Directors on the board the oversees the healthcare program, thereby guaranteeing it would remain a taxpayer subsidized “right.”
Commonwealth Care was instituted in 2006, roughly two years AFTER is supposed “pro-life conversion.” He praised the legislation, and went on to appoint the Planned Parenthood board members to the oversight committee, until it was politically expedient to deny he had anything to do with it.
OK, so that was more than six years ago, right? Ancient history in the world of politics, right?
So, let’s look at what he’s done for us lately, shall we? How about the $50,000-a-plate fundraiser held for his benefit in May at the Florida home of Phil Frost? For those of you who don’t know, that’s the CEO of Teva Pharmaceuticals, which happens to be the maker of the Plan-B “morning after pill.”
Family Values
Recently, President Obama was forced to admit what just about everyone already knew about him from the get-go: he’s all in favor of gay marriage. And, like the life issue, one would assume that putting an “R” behind Romney’s name means he’s on the other side of the political spectrum.
And, again, you would be very wrong. Once again, his record proves he’s to the left of the current President on the issue.
In 2004, the Massachusetts Supreme Court created a bit of a constitutional crisis by insisting the Legislature go back to the books and create a law that would allow gay marriage, noting that it did not have the power or authority to “make law.” The Legislature refused to take up the issue.
So, Romney took it upon himself to: 1) violate the Constitution of Massachusetts, thereby violating his Oath of Office, and 2) usher in a new “civil rights movement” by ordering gay marriage into effect. He directed new marriage licenses be created to eliminate words like “husband” and “wife,” replacing them with “Party A” and “Party B.” Then he abused his power as the state’s chief magistrate to coerce officials who didn’t comply with the “new law” he created.
Of course, he says the Supreme Court made him do it. But, the Supreme Court had already acknowledged it lacked the authority to do so. And, there was a strong precedent for a Chief Executive to tell a Supreme Court go take a flying leap.
It’s called the Dred Scott case, and Abraham Lincoln’s refusalto enforce it.
But, I’m sure you would point out that the gay marriage situation in Massachusetts is “stale news.” Perhaps Romney has seen the error of his ways, even though he has made no indication to that effect, so let’s look again at more recent “history.” So, let’s look at the folks he hangs out with, shall we?
Perhaps one of the most important people working on behalf of Romney’s campaign is uber-bundler Paul Singer. He’s a Big Money guy, right? Well, that may be true, but did you also know Paul Singer is one of the biggest fundraisers for the gay rights movement?
According to Fortune Magazine: “Since 2001, Singer has quietly given $8.6 million to nonprofits to support gay rights. He spent another $1 million bankrolling the successful effort to pass New York’s same-sex marriage law last year. One of his sons, Andrew, is a Massachusetts doctor who is gay and was married in that state.”
So, I guess supporting the guy who ushered in his son’s “right” to marry another man was kind of a no-brainer.
With all the other ills facing our nation the past four years, it’s probably been all too easy to forget that education reform has been another area of significant attention in the Obama Administration. But, it should be noted “reform” in Socialist-Marxist speak actually means “more government control.”
Given the GOP base’s nearly universal disdain for programs such as No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top, it would be easy to assume the presumptive Republican Party nominee probably shares that disdain. Sorry to sound like a broken record, but you would again be wrong.
Despite his rhetoric of “smaller classes are a non-reform reform,” Romney’s actual record on education is one of expanding bureaucracy a la NCLB. As Governor of Massachusetts, he created a new government department called the Early Education and Care Department. Its mission: provide government-managed preschool and childcare to youngsters.
So, who do you suppose he picked to help lead the new bureaucracy? None other than Linda Mason, co-founder of Bright Horizons Family Solutions, a preschool and childcare company that later was accused of child abuse (oh, and it was bankrolled by Bain Capital portfolio, too). But that’s not the important thing to remember about Bright Horizons.
Remember how Romney likes to talk about the importance of “traditional families” because, as he put it, “every child needs a Mom and Dad”? Well, not so much at Bright Horizons, which isproud of its 100-percent rating from the Human Rights Campaign (just like Bain Capital).
To earn a 100-percent rating from HRC, you must operate your business as a homosexual and transgender indoctrination center. That’s particularly terrifying when the business in question is supposed to be helping craft the minds of young children — so doing with storybooks like “Daddy’s Roommate,” “Heather Has Two Mommies,” and “My Princess Boy.”
Additionally, staff members who believe strongly in the importance of traditional families must be silenced. It’s another vital component of the HRC 100-percent rating.
Somehow, I think “school choice” probably means a lot morethan vouchers and charter schools.
Job Creation
For those of you who believe government not only has the capacity, but the responsibility, to create jobs, don’t expect a Romney Administration to fare any better than the current Obama Administration. In fact, it could be worse.
New jobs added” is truly the only apples-to-apples comparison you can make in the area of “job creation.” It doesn’t factor in “jobs lost” over the same period, but it also doesn’t factor in “jobs saved,” either. So, let’s look at it from that perspective.
During Romney’s four years as Governor of Massachusetts, there were 61,000 new jobs added, or roughly .009 new jobs per capita. In Obama’s first three years in Washington, there have been 4.1 million new jobs added, or roughly .013 new jobs per capita — almost half again as many in only three-fourths the time.
And, let’s face it, the economy is shedding jobs faster than Obama is “creating” them. Can we really afford something worse than that, from a guy who taxes the you-know-what out of real job creators?
Still not convinced? A hardcore Romney fan? Here are a few questions you might try answering: 1) Why is the Romney energy policy almost identical to Obama’s? 2) Why is Romney being supported by the Global Warming alarmist crowd? 3) Why does Romney support McAmnesty? 4) Why can’t we trust Romney to appoint strict constructionist judges to the federal and Supreme Court benches? 5) Why was the Massachusetts Republican Party in such bad shape after his four years in office?
No answer? Or, do you not like the answers you’re finding?
Either way, there you have it. Point by point, issue by issue, Romney is politically left of our current Commander-in-Chief. So, if your argument for voting for him is that he’s the lesser of two evils, well… play that record again, Sam.
If you’re reading this, thank a teacher. If you’re reading it in English, thank a soldier, sailor, airman, or Marine.
Eschliman is an Iowa journalist with nearly 14 years’ experience covering government and politics.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Independence Day

We celebrated Independence Day at the Smith's this year. We did a lot of fun stuff, like, play volley ball, play volley ball, and play volley ball. :)

  And some people just sat and watched us play volley ball.
  Later in the evening we sang hymns. We sang until most people couldn't see the pages. I could still see, but others couldn't.They did shoot off a few fireworks when it was dark. And they even shot a cannon.
We had a pretty good day. 
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