Saturday, December 20, 2008

Joy Of Every Longing Heart

Come, Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free
From our fears and sins release us
Let us find our rest in Thee
Israel's Strength and Consolation
Hope of all the earth Thou art
Dear Desire of every nation
Joy of every longing heart
Merry Christmas! We'll be back on the blog in a week or so!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Teddy is Two!

Teddy Dean is two years old today!

We spent the morning at ArtSparks, building ~

Painting ~
Drawing ~

and relaxing ~

In the evening, at home, came presents ~

including a much-longed-for Incredible Hulk toy ~

and Bibleman DVD's ~

And a Tow Mater brownie to top it all off ~

Happy Birthday, Teddy Dean! We love you!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

One Last Hurrah

To end our series of graduation posts on Cookbooks & Commentaries, we have pictures of Ken with some of his professors. It is, after all, because of the excellent faculty at Southern that Ken's degree is so valuable ~

Dr. Betts

Dr. Wellum

Our pastor, Dr. Cook

Dr. Vogel

Dr. Beougher

Dr. Moore
We are thankful for these men (and many more) who are faithfully serving the Lord by investing in the lives of future ministers of the Gospel. Thanks to all of you!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Daddy's Big Day

On the big day, the morning of Ken's graduation ceremony, he woke up the boys wearing his cap and gown ~

Calvin said he liked Daddy's "cape" ~


Monday, December 15, 2008

President's Reception

Saturday's blog post was only the beginning of reporting our graduation experience. After all, the description of Cookbooks & Commentaries is "The Schmidt Family's Seminary Adventure." So of course we're going to thoroughly include you on our culminating seminary experience!

Our graduation celebration started the day before the ceremony, at the President's Graduation Reception, where Dr. and Mrs. Mohler graciously greeted everyone individually ~

And after seven and a half years as a Southern student, Ken finally had his chance to see the famed personal library of Dr. Mohler ~

He just graduated, and he acts like he owns the place. I tell ya what ~

We're happy. Can you tell?


Study Bibles

Do you have a Study Bible? I received my first Study Bible when I was a new believer. I can still remember the helpfulness of my NIV Study Bible. Over the years, however, I became disenchanted with Study Bibles. Why? Because I noticed that when I was leading Bible studies, more people were referring to their notes rather than the text to answer questions.

I have mellowed in the last few years. A couple of weeks ago, I received an ESV Study Bible as a gift from a friend. It is a great tool. However, I keep reminding myself that the notes, articles and maps are just tools.

If you don't have a Study Bible, don't rush out and buy one. They are helpful, but not needed. If you do have a Study Bible, let me encourage you to read this commentary by Al Mohler.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

It's Official!

Yesterday was Ken's graduation ceremony. He now officially holds a Masters of Divinity from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary...

Way to go, Ken! You did it!!!!!!!!!!!

We had two full days of graduation activities. We have many more pictures and stories to share. But for now, I'll just say...
Hooray! Ken's finished!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Family Night: Homespun Christmas

Tonight we made popcorn garlands, sang Christmas carols, and had homemade hot cocoa.

Teddy and Calvin's contribution to the garland project? Eating popcorn and making a royal mess.

Teddy also put popcorn in his cocoa and told Ken it was marshmallows. Smart kid; he fooled his dad. Ken spooned it out and was about to eat it. "Hey!" Ken said, "That's not a marshmallow!" Teddy just giggled. How can a not-quite-two-year-old be such a trickster? Answer: He's Ken Schmidt's son.

The garlands are now adorned with Wraffia bows and hanging over the back doorway. They're pretty, in a Cabin Christmas sort of way. (Though I'm wondering how long I'll be able to stand the stale popcorn smell coming from that doorway. I have an overly sensitive sniffer.)

After advent readings tonight, we knelt together to pray. The boys have prayed for a teenage boy named Ben ever since they met him two months ago. Calvin prayed, "Dear God, thank you for Ben. Please anoint him." Okay. Prayer time then dissolved into giggles. Anoint him?? Hmmm....maybe that came from memorizing Psalm 23 as a family. I'm positive, though, that Calvin has no idea what "anoint" means!

The Christmas song that went along with tonight's reading was "We Three Kings." No sooner had Ken and I started singing, "We three kings of Orient are bearing gifts we traverse afar..." than the kids started galloping around the living room, down the hall, through the kitchen and back again.

Our family advent times this year lack a certain...shall we say...reverence. But we'll choose to savor these antic-filled Christmas moments while we still can.


Friday, December 5, 2008

Baking...With Children

We baked Christmas Cookie #1 today: Peanut Butter Blossoms.

The boys' little friend, Jonathan, came over (and his mom, my friend Becky!) and we took on this little endeavor as a group. Peanut Butter Blossoms are good cookies to make with little ones. They can roll the dough in sugar ~

And smash the Hershey's kiss into the cookie (keyword: smash) ~

Even with all the Hershey's kisses that disappeared into little hoppers, we ended up with four dozen lovely (and delicious!) cookies ~


Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Things They Say

Calvin is very into pretend play. Tonight, he announced that we should all play "Grinch."

Me: Okay. What should we do?
Calvin: I'll be the Grinch. You can be Cindy Lou Who. And Daddy will be the roast beast.

(The thought of Ken as the roast beast cracked me up, especially since all it does is get stolen, returned, and carved.)

Me: Do you really think Daddy wants to be the roast beast?
Calvin: Well, I guess he can be the reindeer.

We are teaching Teddy to obey "right away, all the way, with a happy heart." The conversation is something like this:

Me: Teddy, when Mom and Dad ask you to do something, what should you do?
Teddy: (silent grin)
Me: You should obey right away, all the way, with a...?
Teddy: Ha-hee-har!

Teddy came up with a new name for himself the other day:

Me: What's your name?
Teddy: Cute Baby!


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Christmas Craft


I said last year that I was going to use last year's Christmas cards to make crafts this season. I'm not much for crafts. But if they aren't too messy, don't take long, and involve little more than a scissors and a glue stick, I can do it!

So here are last year's cards, re-created:

This may not even qualify as a craft in your mind. It did, regardless, bring some Christmas cheer to our kitchen!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Deck The Halls

Christmas should not eclipse Thanksgiving.

You know, "Jingle Bells" playing in the supermarket when you're shopping for your turkey dinner?

Thanksgiving is worth celebrating, a time to pause and give thanks to the Lord. And in our household, we enjoy Thanksgiving Day tremendously.

But once the last Thanksgiving dish is washed, I don't waste any time heralding the Christmas season!

Today was Deck The Halls day at our home. The Christmas bins came out of storage. Garlands and lights went up everywhere. The boys got out all their holiday books and toys.

Traditionally, we have Christmas music playing all day, but I can't find any of our holiday CD's. One of the hazards of moving twice in 18 months, I think....

Ken and I snuggled on the couch this evening and looked through all of the Christmas cards and family photos we received last year.

We are looking forward to a meaningful advent season. I'd like to fill it up with old traditions, but also add a few new ones.

So, tell me, friends, what are your families' best Christmas traditions? And, especially, traditions that center your hearts and minds on Jesus Christ?


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Give Thanks!

Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name;
make known among the nations what he has done.
Sing to him, sing praise to him;
tell of all his wonderful acts.
Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who
seek the LORD rejoice.
Look to the LORD and his strength;
seek his face always.
Remember the wonders he has done,
his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced.
Psalm 105: 1-5

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

In Honor of My Husband

Ken's birthday was yesterday! He was very popular, with many phone calls and Facebook well-wishes. But then again, Ken is always popular.

He requested homemade buffalo chicken pizza and ice cream cake for dinner, and I joyfully obliged, though I had never made either. Anything for you, Babe!

His ice cream "torte" ~


Monday, November 24, 2008

A Perfect Gentleman

I went out on a date yesterday...with Calvin.

Saturday night, he asked, "Mama, would you like to go on a date with me tomorrow?"

How could I say no?

And he had thought it through, too. "We could go on our date after church when Teddy and Daddy take a nap," he said.

I like a man with a plan!

Before we headed out together on Sunday, Ken had a private little talk with Calvin. The talk resulted in Calvin opening the doors for me, and, get this...paying.

We had a wonderful time at Dairy Queen, enjoying small vanilla ice cream cones. Calvin made good conversation, too.

A perfect little gentleman. I hope he asks me out again.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Wrapping Things Up

Cookbooks & Commentaries has been silent for awhile, we realize. We've been busy wrapping up our time at Southern Seminary. That's right, folks, we've reached the end. Today is Ken's last day of class and he will graduate on December 12!

And speaking of wrapping up, I have also reached the end of my classes with the Seminary Wives Institute. When I saw in my inbox yesterday that spring registration will soon be open, I had a twinge of sadness, because tonight will be my final class.

I have a number of thoughts to share about SWI, so here comes one of my favorite things--a bulleted list!

  • The SWI Family Life Conference last weekend was excellent. Dr. and Mrs. York led the conference, sharing personally from their own marriage, giving us all a window into their godly, dynamic, fun and passionate marriage.

  • Tonight I will be finishing the Old Testament/New Testament Survey course.

  • Dr. Betts, teaching the Old Testament part of the course, really made me think about how God's heart for the nations shows so clearly in the Old Testament.

  • Dr. Doug Walker taught New Testament survey, and I particularly enjoyed his lecture on canonicity.

  • Early this fall, I took a class on the Southern Baptist Convention. Mrs. Mohler taught us about the agencies and institutions of the Cooperative Program. I learned that the scope of SBC-funded ministries is vast, and I have a lot more to learn about them!

  • In our nearly 18 months in Louisville, I have completed 12 units of SWI courses. I also attended one Seminar Saturday. (I didn't do the coursework for the Seminar Saturday, however, so no credit on that one!)

  • My courses were Discipleship I & II, Essentials for Ministry Wives I & II, Conflict Management, Public Speaking for Ministry Wives, Redeeming the Time, Ministry of Hospitality, Lessons in Prayer, SBC I & II, Old Testament/New Testament Survey, and Family Life Conference.

  • Southern Seminary wives reading this (I know you're out there!), don't miss this unique opportunity. SWI will equip you to serve better alongside your husband. Make the sacrifice and go for it!

  • SWI has blessed me immeasurably.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Autumn Pictures

The election is over--finally. So can we talk about something else already?

For example, how about these handsome boys playing in a beautiful mess of fall leaves ~


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Is the Gospel about Self-Esteem?

Robert Schuller has preached that the Gospel is about self-esteem for the last thirty years. He has consistently stated that a preacher should not preach about sin. Rather, preachers should remind people of their great possibility as human beings. He has espoused the "Gospel of Positive Thinking."

Robert Schuller has been and is a false shepherd who preaches a false gospel. There is an interesting story that Al Mohler has addressed in his blog concerning the Schuller family. Take a look at the story here.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The trend in conservative evangelicalism

I love conferences. Over the past eight years, I have attended numerous beneficial and stimulating conferences on subjects ranging from legal issues in the church to the Pastor's Conference at Bethlehem Baptist. But, I must confess that conservative evangelicalism has become obsessed with conferences.

If I wanted (and Kimberly would let me spend the big bucks associated with conferences) I could go to a really good conference each month. When I begin my next pastorate, I want to still attend conferences, but I need to be discerning. Which conference will best equip me and my staff to love the LORD and shepherd His people? Is this for the building up of the church or for my relaxation? Am I becoming a conference-junky?

Feel free to keep me accountable concerning conferences over the years.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Chill In The Air

Over the past few weeks, we've awoken to a crispness in the air. That chilly air is like a message each year: "It's time for all things Autumn."

Two weeks ago, we raked leaves as a family. Or, more accurately, as I'm sure you can imagine, Ken and I raked leaves, and the boys played in the piles. And what fun is raking, really, without watching a child dive in and disappear beneath the heap?

The boys' closets are reorganized now with all their warm sweaters handy. And little boys in sweaters are irresistibly cute!

And there's been plenty of fall baking already...

In the past few weeks, we've had a family over for pumpkin pie, other friends over for apple crisp, I've made whole wheat pumpkin bread and sent pumpkin pie squares to work with Ken. I look for lots of ways to share these goods, by the way, because I always have more I want to bake than my family should really eat!

Next on the list is apple dumplings, and still to come will be cranberry cake and sweet potato casserole (Ken will be less than thrilled about that last one, but the kids and I will relish it!).

And, just as of yesterday, a nice big, round pumpkin sits on our lawn chair, waiting to be carved. Ken is hoping it has lots of seeds for roasting. We'll see.

We're already anticipating Thanksgiving. Harvest and thanksgiving hymns have been added to our family worship times, and, each week, the boys and I are checking out more Thanksgiving books from the library, building the excitement towards that special holiday.

A beautiful season ~ Thanks be to God.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

These Boys Make Their Daddy Proud

Calvin is really catching on to the whole question-and-answer catechism conversation. He apparently wants to catechize his brother, though, in matters of football, not faith. On the way to the grocery store today, Calvin and Teddy had this sweet little conversation:

Calvin: Teddy, who does our family like, the Green Bay Packers or the Vikings?

Teddy: Gee Packa!

Calvin: What do the Packers do?

Teddy: Gee Packa take down Vikee.

Calvin: That's right, Teddy! The Green Bay Packers take down the Vikings.


Friday, October 17, 2008

My Little Bears

Calvin started Awana Cubbies this fall, and has barely taken off his club vest since. He has earned four patches, and is working on Bear Hug 10 this week.

My little Cubbie Bear ~

Proud Mama Bear can't resist adding a picture of my other little bear, my Teddy Bear, showing off his pockets ~

Thursday, October 16, 2008

My son, the theologian...maybe not

I was asking Calvin the catechism questions this evening and one question was, "Who wrote the Bible?" Calvin properly responded, "Holy men who were taught by the Holy Spirit."

Then he added, "And mommy said that it was also written by a man in St. Paul, MN."

Just for the record, Kimberly denies it.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Making Bird Feeders

The boys and I had a project on our minds this morning. We had been inspired by Calvin's Highlights magazine to make bird feeders.

I took the boys for a walk to hunt for pine cones. We found a gold mine under a tree on the next block.

Next came the peanut butter (An awful lot of it went directly into Teddy's mouth!) ~

A bit of bird seed ~

And some garden twine ~



Thursday, October 9, 2008

Tough crowd

I was out on a walk with Calvin today. Out of the blue, he asked me, "Dad, you got a job yet?" I said, no, not yet. "You need to get a job dad!"

No slacking for me in this family.

The Things They Say

Teddy has two favorite words these days, and both have to do with dirty diapers.

At the kitchen counter yesterday afternoon, the boys were going back and forth with this sort of talk:

Calvin: You're a poopy pants, Teddy.

Teddy: Poopy pants.

Calvin: No, you're a poopy pants, Teddy.

Teddy: Poopy pants.

At that point, Ken and I intervened:

Kim: Boys, that's enough. No calling eachother poopy names.

Ken: That's right boys. We don't need any more talk about poopy.

Brief silence.

Teddy, with a big grin: Pee pee.


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Have you hugged your pastor this month?

Do you know that October is pastor appreciation month? I want to encourage every reader to send their pastor a note of encouragement this month. You would be amazed at how much a note of appreciation out of the blue encourages a weary pastor's soul.

Any pastors reading this blog, THANK YOU and keep on persevering men!


We've reached a new milestone in the Schmidt family: Calvin can now ride his tricycle for family walks. I took him on such a walk this afternoon.

As we started out, he said, "I would like to have some conversation while we're on this walk." My, oh my. How could I say no to that?

I asked what he wanted to talk about.

Nemo and Marlin and Dory and Brucie.


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Calvin is the winner!

Ken has the week off from school. With no work today either, and being the most wonderful daddy in the world, he chose to have special one-on-one time with each of the boys.

This morning, Daddy and Calvin headed off to the "Semi-marry" (as Calvin says) to go swimming. They came back grinning. It must have been fun. Meanwhile, Teddy was Mommy's special helper at the grocery store.

This evening, Ken took Teddy out for a Krispie Kreme treat. Teddy came home still licking his lips. Ken made some great memories with the boys today, for sure.

While Teddy was having his special Daddy time, Calvin and I played games! Calvin crushed me, 3-0 in CandyLand, and 3-0 in cards. And it's all fair and square; I don't just let him win.

I'm crying like a little girl.

Calvin wanted to post his winnings on the blog; he chose the title for this entry as well.

One cute Calvinism of the day: He ran into the kitchen this afternoon and said, "Momma, I just learned a new word: cornucopia!"


Sunday, October 5, 2008

Sweet Sacrifices

I was blessed last week to attend once again a Pendergraph Women's Ministry event. Mrs. Jani Ortlund, author of Fearlessly Feminine and His Loving Law, Our Lasting Legacy, spoke to us about "Sweet Sacrifices: The Challenge of a Woman in Ministry."

Her message was challenging, encouraging, and packed with fresh insights from God's word and from Mrs. Ortlund's life experiences.

She talked about risking your reputation, refining your romance, and relishing your redemption.

After she spoke, we were all invited to Mrs. Mohler's home for dessert. I caught up with many friends while we all oohed and aahed over Dr. Mohler's library. Another special night filled with fun and great fellowship!


Saturday, October 4, 2008

Good Sportsmanship

I taught Calvin a card game a couple weeks ago. It's "Hit The Deck," minus the action cards. Essentially, it's matching colors and numbers and learning to take turns. Oh, and be a good sport and congratulate the winner.

Tonight, I won the first game and Calvin won the second. As we began the third round, Calvin said, "You have a chance to win now. And if I win," he said, a big grin spreading across his face, "you're gonna cry like a little girl."

Obviously, he's learned from his Daddy how to talk smack.


Friday, September 26, 2008

Food and Clothing

When we moved last December into our current home, I blogged some "thoughts on moving," and the disorganization and stress of it all. I commented on Carolyn Mahaney's advice to, in busy seasons, focus on food and clothing.

I have since wondered if that comment made sense to anyone but me. But it's simple, practical advice that I've found so helpful as a wife, mother, and homemaker, so I want to point you to the GirlTalk blog entry for today. The GirlTalkers explain this principle much better than I can, a principle that can really lift the burden you may feel when you face a busy season. Click here to read more.


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Fearlessly Feminine

Fearlessly Feminine: Boldly Living God's Plan for Womanhood, by Jani Ortlund is encouraging teaching for Christian women of all ages in all stages of life. Clearly and unashamedly complementarian, Jani Ortlund discusses several key scripture passages regarding biblical womanhood.

Here are some of my favorite parts of the book:

  • She gives this word to single women:

"I belive that marriage is good, something to be sought after and prized. I
believe that it is God-ordained and is for our benefit and pleasure. But
marriage is not the best thing in life ~ God Himself is."

  • Ortlund quotes some of my favorite writings on biblical womanhood, including Elisabeth Elliot's Let Me Be A Woman and an obscure little book by Brenda Hunter called Where Have All the Mother's Gone?

  • The appendix titled, "Sweet Sacrifices: A Word to Ministry Wives" was particularly encouraging to me as a ministry wife. She even addresses seminary wives specifically. That's pretty rare!

  • Before each chapter is a story of a real-life fearlessly feminine woman. These sketches include Fannie Crosby, Ruth Bell Graham, Susanna Wesley, Edith Schaeffer, Amy Carmichael, Sarah Edwards, and more. These are inspiring women!


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Family Reading

Some delicious peaches this summer inspired us to check out James and the Giant Peach from the library. I wasn't sure if Calvin would be able to follow the storyline in a chapter book with few pictures, but he can. So this has been a fun evening activity.

Any suggestions for more chapter books at a similar level that would make for more good family reading?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

We're Back On The Grid

Our power is back on! Or, as they are saying around here, we are "back on the grid."

Many in Louisville are still without power, though, including our church. We had our worship service outdoors this morning, which was very cool.

From conversations this morning, it is clear that this has been a long week for many, and, particularly for those still without electricity, nerves are frayed.

On a brighter note, I have a request to share some grilling recipes, created during our power outage:

Grilled Peaches

Cut fresh peaches in half and pull out the pit. Place peach halves, face down, directly onto hot grill. Cook until soft, about 15 minutes. Remove peaches from grill and place face up on serving plate. Drizzle with honey. As good as peach pie, but healthier!

Creole Tinfoil Packets

1 link smoked sausage, halved and sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
1/2 cup sliced onion
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
Olive oil
Garlic powder
Chili powder

Spray 4 sheets of tinfoil with cooking spray. Portion out sausage, peppers, onions, and beans on the tinfoil sheets. Drizzle each serving with just a bit of olive oil. Sprinkle with garlic powder, cumin, and chili powder. Wrap edges of foil up and around the food and seal like a package. Place tinfoil packets directly on grill and cook until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. About 4 servings.