Spring is Here

Spring is here. I believe I can say that with confidence now. Yes, the calendar showed the first day being back in March, but wow, we had three Sundays in a row this month with SNOW! I’m all the more grateful for this amazing season after winter hung around longer than normal.

Saturday was a picture-perfect day. That vivid blue sky, sunshine which felt warm but not hot, trees bursting out with green, and the redbuds with their lush purple flowers made a beautiful spring package! We took advantage of the nice weather to enjoy some outside activities. Besides a run for some and a walk for others, we washed and vacuumed cars, and Mary and Dad tackled carpeting our entryway. Oh, and yard work too.

To end the day, what could be better than homemade pizza? We missed Anna, but she was traveling for the weekend.

Love,
Sarah

The beginning out of the project.

“And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business,
and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you.”
1 Thessalonians 4:11

A Family Work Project

Last Saturday, we embarked on our annual-help-GiGi-with-her-mulch project (see 2017 and 2016 if you wish). Anyone who can come is welcome to, and even though quite a few couldn’t make it, with 8 adults and some littles helping, we put down 100 bags of mulch in about an hour.

My grandma is a sweet widow, and it’s a blessing to be able to help her. She is greatly loved by all the littles and big ones alike. Gigi figured out we were only missing two decades in the lineup, 10 and 70. Otherwise, we had from 0-80 covered. Pretty awesome.

Love,
Sarah

Mary, Ruthie, and Anna Maxwell

My sisters are strong//those mulch bags weighed 40# each!

Mary kindly opened the bags and dumped them out.

While I worked on spreading.

Melanie was an all-around great help. Here she cleaned off the landscape bricks that were buried due to weeds and dirt and such.

Jesse was awesome!

The counting job became important so we could make sure we apportioned the right amount to sections.

If you observe this photo and then scroll down to Sunday’s post, you’ll see what I’m talking about.

GiGi watching all the activity while Benji kept her company.

Abby and Chelsy

John helped wheelbarrow mulch around.

A special thanks to Anna Marie who walked around and got pictures for me!

Mmmmm. Pizza. A tasty treat after hard work!

“And there ye shall eat before the LORD your God, and ye shall
rejoice in all that ye put your hand unto, ye and your households,
wherein the LORD thy God hath blessed thee.” (Deuteronomy 12:7)

Failing or a Failure?

Peter denied the Lord.
Paul persecuted the church.
Mary and Martha doubted. 

Failing is a part of life. The only way to not fail is to do nothing at all.

“I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” — Philippians 3:14

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” — Romans 8:1

Failing is not the same as being a failure. It’s only when we quit trying might it be true. 

Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” That means ALL things that our Lord calls us to do.

Climbing is a beautiful picture of pressing toward the mark!

Accountable2You, Internet Protection We Recommend

It’s easy to think it will never happen to your family. But if you were to ask the parents of a son who had an immoral internet addiction, they would likely call it a tragedy. We receive e-mails from families who are heartbroken over this.

One is never above temptation. Even David, a man after God’s own heart, stumbled and fell. As such, we choose to put safeguards in place. Having Internet protection is one such way. Although we’ve tried multiple over the years, our current favorite is an app called Accountable2You.

Last fall we began having problems with K9, the service we were using for Internet protection. It often locked up a computer so that it couldn’t access the Internet at all. We uninstalled and reinstalled K9, but then we discovered, it wasn’t working at all. We tried to get support, but there was no response.

So I asked my married sons, who work in the computer industry, what they were personally using. They both said Accountable2You. Accountable2You tracks Internet activity but doesn’t block. When we initially heard about Accountable2You, we weren’t interested because we wanted blocking. But when K9 wasn’t working for us, and we needed another solution, we realized that we weren’t aware of any of us stumbling onto a bad site that K9 protected us from. Often, though, K9 blocked us from good sites. As I talked to our “computer” sons about that, they said that because we use Google Safe Search, there isn’t as much possibility of accidentally stumbling onto a bad site.

Accountable2You has something called VPN that is part of their phone app that can track web-browsing on any browser, not just their browser. So we also use Accountable2You on our phones rather than Mobicip, our previous phone protection. With Accountable2You VPN, we now use Safari. Mobicip forced us to use their browser, which didn’t work nearly as well as Safari.

I receive a daily report for each device from Accountable2You. Steve gets my reports. It is a summary. I can go online for a detailed report. It is much easier to read and understand than K9 was. If there is questionable usage, I will get an immediate text or email.

We requested support help from Accountable2You a couple of times. Within an hour, they responded and solved my problemamazing! I did not receive replies to my support requests to K9 at all.

We pay $9.99 a month for up to 20 devices on their family plan. So far we are more than pleased with Accountable2You.

Great news. You can try out Accountable2You for a month completely free using the promo code Titus2. The link is Titus2’s affiliate link, which blesses the ministry with a 15% credit each month you’re using Accountable2You. Important note on the free month: the website will say 10 days, as that’s the standard trial, but when you get near the end of the checkout, it will say Promo Code: Titus2 (100% off once). So as long as you have the promo code in there, you’ll get a free month.

Questions? Ask below, and we’ll try to help or check out Accountable2You’s site.

Trusting in Jesus,
Teri

“Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.
The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.”
Mark 14:38

Happy Sunday!

I’m praising the Lord for His amazing love for me:: “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)” (Ephesians 2:4-5).

Would you share with us something you’re grateful for today?

Love,
Sarah

The very last verse in Psalms is extremely fitting. So if you have breath, praise the Lord! 🙂

“Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD.
Praise ye the LORD.”
Psalm 150:6

How to Make Taco Meat in Your Instant Pot

As homeschool moms, easy meals are one of your best friends. So if you have an Instant Pot, here’s just the recipe! Special thanks to Melanie as I shadowed her for this.

Easy Instant Pot Tacos

2 lbs. ground beef
Taco seasoning
Water

The night before, pull the beef from the freezer and put in the refrigerator to thaw. Late morning, put the ground beef into the Instant Pot and turn it on the “brown” setting (for browning meat: depending on what model you have, yours may be different) and cook for about 20 minutes. Take off the lid, and crumble the meat using a meat chopper or something similar (our favorite is the Chopstir from Amazon: we’ve had ours for five years, and it’s going strong:: the Amazon link is Titus2’s Affiliate link, see our disclosure here). Add taco seasoning and then enough water to not quite cover the meat. Cook on low temp for the rest of the afternoon.

That’s all there is to it!

With tacos, you can add so many tasty embellishments and even the shells are versatile (hard shell, soft shell, large or small or make it a taco salad!).

Enjoy!

Step #1: Put the meat into the Instant Pot. Then, choose the option for browning meat.

Step #2: Make your own taco seasoning or use purchased packets.

Step #3: When the meat is done, add the seasoning.

Step #4: Add water and stir.

Step #5: Cook on low temp the rest of the afternoon.

Step #6: Add yummy embellishments and enjoy several!

“And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that
meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God.”
1 Kings 19:8