Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wednesday's Woman Guest Post - Amy

Today, I'm excited to have Amy from A Nest in the Rocks sharing with us today.  She's a perfect fit for sharing about Wednesday's Woman.  I hope her story will inspire you to pray for a mentor too.

When I got married nearly 9 years ago, I had lived in North Carolina less than 2 years.  As a new teacher, I worked nearly 12 hours each workday and had made many new friends – all of them transplanted teachers like me.  While my husband and I dated, it wasn’t a problem to have separate friends – but things changed after we got married. 

The teachers I knew kept moving away, and soon I found myself pregnant, moving across town, and swamped with the work of preparing for maternity leave.  The differences in the way my husband and I were raised became more and more apparent as we prepared for parenthood, and I worried about how we would make important parenting decisions.  With too much work, a busy husband, and no close friends, I found myself feeling very lonely.

Suddenly I began hearing people mention their mentors, and as the word kept popping up, I began to pray for a one.  I prayed for someone with similar parenting philosophies and ideas, a strong Christian, someone who would understand how difficult it was to be away from family and raising a family in a new environment.

Enter Susan, my new neighbor-across-the-street.  She came to school one evening before teaching her Pilates class and introduced herself, but then life kept us apart for months.  Eventually we got together, she with her grandchildren and me with my daughter, and we began to talk while they played.

I’m not sure how it happened, but somehow a friendship developed, and soon it was something more.  Susan proved to be completely trustworthy, and I found that we could talk about anything.  From meal plans to marriage tips, we’ve talked about everything. 

When one of us has a chocolate craving, we bake something and run some across the street – we can indulge without the temptation of an entire cake or batch of cookies.  We shop from each other’s pantries when ingredients go missing and pick up random items from the store for the other when out.  We even share a job at the moment – we split an assistant position in a local preschool.

Our relationship goes beyond just being good friends, however.  Susan often understands where I’m coming from because she’s been there herself.  Like me, she’s raised her children while living in a new state, away from her family.  She’s had to make new friends, deal with career changes, manage a household budget, cook healthy meals for a family, and grow with her husband. 

When I met Susan, I was just beginning to do all of that.  Susan has nearly 30 years’ experience on me, however, and she has the wisdom to match.  When something comes up, I know that I can count on Susan to let me talk it through and to give me wise advice. 

I don’t know what I would do without Susan across the street – and in my life.  Having a sounding board has proved invaluable – and knowing that what I share stays confidential allows us both to be open and honest.  With Susan’s example and experience to guide me, I don’t feel so alone anymore.

If you don’t have a mentor whom you can ask for advice, pray for one today.  No matter your stage of life, you can always learn from those who have more experience than your own – and who couldn’t use a good friend?

Amy is married to Dave and Mommy to one pretty princess and one tiny construction worker.  A former teacher turned SAHM, she blogs about homemaking, teaching, and living life at

Monday, November 28, 2011

I've Considered a Field

"She evaluates a field and buys it; she plants a vineyard with her earnings."
-Proverbs 31:16

This may be shocking to some:  I'm soon to be employed outside the home.

It's only part-time and I will actually be working primarily from my home.  Beginning December 5, I will be a breastfeeding peer counselor for our local health department.

There's a long story about how it all came about, but it goes a little like this - 
I breastfed my four children to a year.  Each posed their own challenges and joys.  I thought, I could really enjoy being a lacatation consultant and I could work from home or set my own hours.  It costs money to take the classes I'd need, so I put it on the backburner.  I was contacted about the possibility of this job, and it sounded really nice as an extra source of income and the chance to "extend my hands to the needy" (Prov. 31:20).  This is my "considering a field" - praying, seeking God to make it clear to me if I can take this on with my husband's full blessing and support.  I wanted God to make it plain by having the folks who interviewed me call with a yes or no.  Either way would be fine by me.  They called with a yes. 

I'm excited about the chance to encourage new moms.  Aren't those first few days and weeks keeping a baby alive exhausting and sometimes overwhelming?  I'm nervous about changes to my routine with my family, but I feel certain this is where God is leading me for this season. Any other moms that work from home part-time, please feel free to lend me some advice! 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Just in case I don't get another opportunity to hop on the computer this week, I pray you and yours have a very happy Thanksgiving!  May you know you have much to praise God for this year! 

Already this week, we've been fortunate enough to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal with our church family and each one of us present shared just how God has blessed us.  Then, last night we enjoyed a second meal with my husband's home church family.  God is good, and I look forward to more feasts this week!  Now to go run a few miles so I won't feel bad about indulging a little...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wednesday's Woman Guest Post - Teri Lee

Teri Lee was a little girl I watched grow up at a distance.  She is the same age as my little brother, so I saw her at school programs, awards days (and she racked up quite a few!), and cross country competitions.  I'm happy to see the woman she's grown into and delighted to have her share with us today.

Thank you, Teri Lee, for sharing your Wednesday's Woman with us!

It’s more than just having people over for dinner, isn’t it?

My grandmother knows.  Her grown children and grandchildren (and now great grandchildren!) all live in different states.  She has been widowed for 12 years.  She has semi-retired and lives alone next door to the house in which she grew up.  It would be easy for a person in her position to sit at home and become lonely.  Grandma worked full time as a teacher and librarian, was a pastor’s wife who often led the music and/or played piano in her church, and raised three girls.  It would be fair for her to take these years to just rest and find things she enjoys to do.  But the Lord has work for Grandma to do.  So she gets up every morning and gives even more of herself to those around her…and in that act, brings life and love into her own home.

Grandma says that most recipes serve eight…so why would you just cook for yourself?  Instead of using this as an excuse not to cook, Grandma just fills her table regularly with (at least) eight people.  Her widowed neighbor across the street, single mothers and their children, and a constant stream of military families stationed far from home all come into “Grandma Shirley’s” house for a meal…and a taste of love that a real home brings.  She keeps a list of what she serves so she never serves the same thing twice (so if you love something, you better tell her you want it again…or you’ll never taste it twice!) and she always uses her prettiest plates.  No matter what is served, Grandma’s house is a place where the heavy-burdened can take a big breath, fill their stomachs, and refresh their hearts.

Matthew 9 talks about how Jesus ate with sinners because they were the ones who needed Him.  In a culture that is based on doing things to elevate and promote self, Grandma seems to specialize in calling people to her table that can offer her nothing but the joy of serving.  They are special guests to her…a chance to offer someone something they need in a hard time.  I know Grandma doesn’t see anyone as a “project” or a “charity case” but rather friends.  She has a gift of seeing them the way Jesus sees them…and loves them accordingly.

I’ve wondered before how Grandma meets all these people.  How does she always know people who need her table?  I think it has a lot to do with being obedient one time.  She meets a military couple who eventually asks to invite their neighbors over as well.  Those neighbors become her dear friends and eventually invite her over to their house where she meets their sister’s family who lives in the area.  Then, one of them moves and passes her name to the family who is being stationed in their place…and so on.  She stops at houses that she knows have been on the market when she sees the “For Sale” sign go down.  She tracks down every church visitor and notices the family shyly trying to get directions in town.  In other words?  She makes room.  Her life is busy (I’m talking about how hospitable she is…but she also sews nonstop for others, works part time at a college library in town, and is extraordinarily active in her church) but she is never too busy for people.  If you need her…there is always room.  She always has an extra card table, an extra hour, an extra ear for those around her.

Hospitality is more than opening your home.  Hospitality is opening up spaces in your life and heart for those who need the Jesus inside you the most. 

Teri Lee is a member of a little family that seeks after Jesus in all things.  She stays at home with her one year old son, Carter, and is wife to a wonderful man, Steven.  Teri Lee dabbles in all sorts of home hobbies with a great deal of enthusiasm and very little skill J.  She seeks to remember these moments that make up our lives at Castillo, Party of 4.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Not Offending Extended Family

If you're on board with the whole idea of not lying to your children about Santa Claus, be prepared to have thick skin.  You may be looked at as if you grew second and third heads on each of your shoulders when people find out you don't follow what has become a major cultural norm.  Our family is accustomed to this look since we also don't celebrate Halloween and have more than your average size family.  In fact, I'd say we get that look about 80% of the time we go out in public.  It really only spurs me on to have more children!

But let's say you're new to this.  Any Christian called out to not be of this world will face "being different" at some point or another.  If you don't face it, you may need to ask yourself if you're looking a little too much like the world. 
We never intentionally want to be a stumbling block to others, but the Gospel is offensive sometimes because it is convicting.  If our lives are shaped by what we believe, sometimes just being who we are will be offensive to others.

At Christmas, most folks are blessed with the opportunity to see extended family.  We want to celebrate Christ's birth with those we hold most dear.  Merging Christmas traditions can be difficult in the first few years of a marriage, but when you throw in children (grandchildren!), it can be even more complicated.  So then, what to do with Santa if the new grandparents played the game with their own children?

I'm going to speak from my own experience.  This is all I really can do, but I know for some of you, this may be more difficult.  Still, try to apply the principles to more trying family drama!...

First off, to leave is to cleave (Genesis 2:24).  When you begin your own family (on your wedding day, not your first child's birthday), you and your husband will make your own decisions as the Holy Spirit leads you.  You cannot make decisions that affect your own immediate family based on the feelings of those in your extended family.  

If possible, have your own family Christmas before going to see grandparents.  We've always lived far from family, and this is always the way we've done Christmas.  It's nice to have time to treasure, being able to watch the recipient of a gift open what you've given.  It's more intimate in smaller groups.  We also have the added benefit of not having to haul any large items with us to see the extended family.  At this time, we also read the Gospel account of Christ's birth before opening any gifts.  We try to this with extended family too, although we're not perfect.  We forgot at one of the extended family events last year!

My parents did Santa Claus with my brother and me.  They've never said anything to me about why I don't do it with my kids.  I have no idea if my brother plays Santa Claus with his daughter.  My kids have been taught to say to family members that play the game (and other kids too), when asked what Santa brought them, "We don't ask Santa to stop at our house",  which is the truth.  They don't sit in a man's lap at the mall and ask him for gifts.  We may still get strange looks, but this way, we aren't spoiling others' "fun".

We do MANY fun activities with our immediate family, church family, and extended family that don't involve Santa.  And, Santa's not banished from the house.  Some of the ornaments I collected as a child have his figure on them.  We are not legalistic.  There's no reason why I can't share the story of the real man who inspired the legend. 

I hope this is a help for those of you that want to keep your Christmas Christ focused!  If you have any further questions about this topic or anything else, just send me an e-mail at titus2moments(at)hotmail(dot)com.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Lies Kids Believe and the Truth that Sets Them Free

First, let me give credit where credit is due.  Nancy Leigh DeMoss wrote a book entitled Lies Women Believe that is incredible and terribly convicting that I highly recommend to all Christian women.  Ms. DeMoss is sound, not touchy feely, and that's the kind of stuff I need to be reading (after the Bible) to mold me more and more into the image of Christ. 

The title for my post today came to mind after reading a message on Facebook from someone asking me to write on today's topic, Santa Claus.  My friend said she had seen on Facebook where a woman wrote a letter to her daughter to break the news that Santa wasn't real.  Say all you want about St. Nick being a good man (which he was) and that it is a fun game we play with our kids, but the truth of the matter is that telling our kids that Santa Claus knows whether kids or good or bad, and that he rewards those who are good with Christmas presents is a LIE.  Let's not gloss over the truth. 

Santa isn't the only lie parents tell their kids now.  Another I've heard involves kids giving their pacifiers away for the babies that need them.  Who has ever said "I don't know" what happened to a particular toy that "went missing", when it actually got thrown in the trash or given away?  These are lies, and they keep our kids from growing up.

One may argue: "Grow up?  Let's let our kids be kids.  It only lasts a short while."

True.  The older my oldest gets, the more in awe I am that childhood is fleeting, but that doesn't mean I need to keep it from taking its natural course.  When parents intervene with the children's maturity, we end up with middle school kids that still don't help with chores around the house, teenage boys that expect parents to hand out date money as if it grows on trees, and adult kids that fail to launch out of the nest at the appropriate time.

And when it comes to spiritual matters, I hope to see my children grow from desiring milk alone to also feasting on meat.  That's hard to accomplish if I don't even give them the right milk to begin with.  Some of our basics of the Christian life are found in the Ten Commandments.  First, "Do not have other gods besides Me" (Exodus 20:3), then, "Do not make an idol for yourself, whether in the shape of anything in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters under the earth" (Exodus 20:4).

When we sing these words
He sees you when you're sleeping
He knows when you're awake
He knows if you've been bad or good,
so be good for goodness sake.
we are giving Santa Claus the attributes of God.  We make Santa a god.
Childlike faith and the magical wonder of the glitz and glamour we've made into Christmas causes a child to look at the jolly, bearded man in red as an idol.  All of this leads me to believe that if I play the game of Santa Claus with my kids I'm leading them into sin, and as for myself, I'm breaking commandment #9, "Do not give false testimony against your neighbor" (Exodus 20:16).

This is just one of the major reasons we don't fall into our cultural norm of playing Santa Claus.  The other is that Christmas is about the birth of the long-awaited Messiah, Jesus.  I want no other distractions but to celebrate God's amazing gift to the world and point my children to Him as He is the only Truth that will set them free.

Tomorrow, I'll get into the logistics of how our family celebrates a Santa Claus free Christmas.  Join me then! 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Choose Your Words Carefully - "Calling"

Whew!  This week was crazy busy for my family.  Revival services were held at our church this week, so my husband was with the evangelist for many hours of each day, and our evenings went past bedtime for the first half of the week.  My oldest daughter also caught a brief stomach bug first thing Monday morning.  I was so happy to have a guest blogger Wednesday because I didn't have time to write this week!

I'm happy to have the opportunity to write a little while now before getting some cupcakes into the oven for our church's Fall Festival this evening.

A major theme of this week has been about "calling".  Our Sunday School lesson this week was about God's calling to Moses using the burning bush, coming from Exodus 3:1-4:12.  Wednesday night, our evangelist shared about God first calling him into ministry and issued the opportunity for the youth to listen to God's call on their lives, possibly into full-time ministry.

I remember very well the summer I was fourteen.  God used that summer to call me into something, though I wasn't sure what.  That year, I took my first mission trip, began doing clowning, and had some great times of Bible study with my youth group.  During our VBS, my pastor gave an invitation that included the commitment to ministry.  I suppose he probably meant vocational minsitry, but all I knew was God was calling me to something.  Again, I wasn't sure what.  It might involve being a Sunday School teacher, but possibly might go so far as vocational overseas missions.  God didn't have to give me the full picture for me to feel as if He had some special purpose for my life.  I'm actually really thankful I didn't know it all at that time.  No wait.  I'm sure I still don't know it all as I'm only thirty now!

Flash forward three years later.  A young man in my church seemed to be called to preach.  On occasion, he would fill in for my pastor on Wednesday nights.  He was a good friend with more of a romantic interest on his end.  He was very persistent, with very thoughtful gifts and dates he planned out really well.  I knew God had a special call on my life, but not knowing what, and with this young man that might be called to preach or something along those lines really pursuing me, I thought maybe God wants me to be a preacher's wife! 

I had the preacher's wife part right, just the wrong young man!  It was also during that summer that I met my husband, and it wasn't long before God made it clear that the other man wasn't the one for me.  That fall, I stood in front of my second-grade teacher's classroom, and felt certain that teaching would also be part of my future, and I'd known for a long time where God would have me go for my college education. 

I did use that college degree to teach first-grade for two years, but God's calling on my life, as I came to discover, wasn't to be based on whatever feelings I was having during a particular season in my life.  It was to be measured against Scripture.  He does use events in our lives and other people's teaching to lead us to certain actions, vocations, and minstries, but ultimately he has some broad calling for all Christian women. 

  • "A woman should learn in silence with full submission.  I do not allow a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; instead, she is to be silent.  For Adam was created frst, then Eve.  And Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and transgressed.  But she will be saved through childbearing, if she continues in faith, love, and holiness, with good sense." -1 Timothy 2:11  God won't call us to a job that a man should be doing.
  • "Wives, be submissive to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord." -Colossians 3:18  Women are to go where their husbands go.  If his job moves you, you go.  We shouldn't attempt to live lives in two seperate places.  Nor should we worship in two seperate churches.  Go to church with your husband and join where you go so you can be in active service there.  If you're single, prepare your heart to submit to your husband as if to the Lord.  If you're not ready to do this, you're not ready to marry.
  • "Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to slander no one, to avoid fighting, and to be kind, always showing gentleness to all people." -Titus 3:1  'Nuff said.
  • "We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose.  For those He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers." -Romans 8:28-29  This is the reason I think we need to be careful with the word "calling".  We are called out from the world.  As we grow more and more into the image of Jesus, we will understand better what God would have us do with our lives.  Teens and young adults, be careful what you say God has called you to do.  He may make it more clear to you over time, or He may just want you to trust Him and go where He leads you on a day by day basis.
  • I look at Hannah in 1 Samuel and Psalm 127:3-5 and know being in the home is a place of great influence, especially in my children's most formative early years.  I have more power in the world while being in my home than anywhere else.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wednesday's Woman Guest Post by Mindy

Yay!  I'm very excited to have my friend, Mindy, sharing about her own Titus 2 mentor today.  Mindy and I went to college together, and she was spiritually mature even then.  She met and married her husband their freshman year, had a baby a couple of years later, and she still graduated on time with a great GPA!  I was always very impressed! 

Here's what Mindy shares with us today:

My friend Tonya is the biggest Titus 2 woman in my life right now.   About 5 years ago I decided to make her my mentor, and I am so thankful that God put her in my life.  One of the biggest things that I’ve learned from Tonya is how to show hospitality.  She has a way of making you feel completely at home and welcome.  She gets what it really means to be hospitable. It’s not about spending  the 5 hours before people arrive super cleaning your house and cooking a visual masterpiece of a meal so that people will be impressed.  Instead, it’s about showing the love of Jesus in your life. By having people in your home, you’re opening up your life to them in a more intimate way.  If you have Christ, what better way to share Him than by welcoming people into your life?  There’s something about sharing a meal around a person’s table that opens up doors, that lets people see who you really are.  Some of the most encouraging times we’ve had have been spent hanging out in Tonya’s living room talking through  whatever questions we have or whatever is going on in our lives.
                Tonya and her family are also a part of an organization called RYFO that cares for touring musicians by offering them a place to stay while they pass through the area, feed them, let them take showers…really just helping them with basic conveniences that we take for granted.  Most travelling bands don’t have the budget for a hotel room every night so they will sleep in their van, outside, or wherever they can find.  Through RYFO, bands that are passing through the area can stay at a host home. Tonya’s family has had the opportunity to share Jesus in a tangible way.  She and her husband are effective because they are not only telling these musicians about Christ, she is offering them a place to sleep, cooking meals for them at 1am when the band comes in from a show, and staying in contact with the bands they meet through facebook (it’s NOT just a time waster!).
                Earlier this year, we moved to a new city so I don’t get spend nearly as much time as I’d like with my friend, but I hope I’ve learned enough to make people feel as welcome in my home as I have been in hers.

Mindy is a homeschooling mom of three kids.  She and her husband serve as a CARES team in their community through Apartment Life.  You can find her blogging at Mindy's Non-Adventures, a total misnomer!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Femina Post

Not too long ago, I shared some thoughts I had about college debt in this post.  I read a great article talking about the need for women to get their education and prepare themselves to be their husbands' helpers.  That's a poor description, so just read it yourself and enjoy!  May it be an encouragement to married women and wise counsel for teens and college students.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

It's Baa-aaack! - And She's a Good One!

I promised the return of Wednesday's Woman in November, and I'm going to keep my promise!  I've got some great ladies lined up to share about their own Titus 2 women, but I'm going to start us back with one of my own.  I believe she can be a source of hope and encouragement for other women too!

Because we live in a fallen world, and previous generations didn't instill too strongly the importance of Christian women marrying only godly men, there are so many women married to lost men or men who aren't bearing their roles of spiritual leader too well.  2 Corinthians 6:14 says, "Do not be mismatched with unbelievers.  For what partnership is there between righteousness and lawlessness?  Or what fellowship does light have with darkness?" - and it goes on from there until the end of the chapter talking about our need to be separate from any unclean things or people.  We've got to train our daughters to only marry godly men, where to find them, and how to remain virtuous until the day God has appointed they find them.

I'm going to try not to run off onto a tangent that lasts too long here...But, I see single Christian women often flirting with the wrong kind of men while ignoring good catches altogether, and it drives me bonkers!  Bad boys do not bring lasting happiness!

So back to my Wednesday's Woman.  My husband's paternal grandmother, Louise, was a precious, godly woman in every way imaginable.  She was married to a lost man, Fred, for many, many years.  She bore him seven children.  She was a helper to him in their home.  Divorce was never a thought.  She only did what God commanded her, "Wives, in the same way, submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, even if some disobey the Christian message, they may be won over without a message by the way their wives live, when they observe your pure, reverent lives," 1 Peter 3:1-2 HCSB.

We don't see this often in today's culture.  Even Christian women may divorce their lost husbands because they don't want their children to grow up in a divided home.  Or, even more often, Christian women will live with their lost husbands but not bear submissive spirits and nag their lost husbands about what they should be doing (going to church, leading their families in Bible study, etc.).  This is why I share the example of Granny Louise. 

All those years that Fred was lost, Louise loved him, submitted to his leadership in every way that didn't lead her to sin, and didn't nag him about church.  She prayed for her husband, and she didn't beg him to read Scripture to the kids.  She did it herself, every morning at breakfast that she lovingly prepared.  Fred wasn't walking away from her biscuits, so he heard it too!

As for church attendance, she still got her children ready herself (no excuses that getting kids ready by yourself is too hard!).  Louise didn't have a driver's license, so Fred drove them.  Why not?  She was a good woman to him all the rest of the week, so he was willing to carry her there, even though that meant he had to sit in the car and wait on his family.  No air conditioning in the church meant the windows were open.  Fred heard the preaching of God's word! 

Those years of Louise loving and serving the Lord despite her husband's leadership bore fruit.  Fred accepted Jesus as his Savior in 1966.  Calculating from the time they were married (just prior to Fred's leaving to serve in WWII), I figure they were married about twenty-three years before Fred became the spiritual leader of his home.  And, he began serving in his church.  It wasn't a one-day deal.

Ladies, if your husband is lost, don't give up hope!  Don't stop doing the things you know to be right.  God's timing is perfect!

As for other fruit from this couple: Six of their seven children also came to know the Lord, and I personally know well four of the men were and are mighty men of God.  Three of their four grandsons are in ministry full time, and the fourth grandson is thirteen years old.  God gave Louise a great lineage of grace.  He can do it in your home too!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Preparation is Key, Part 3

It was at the end of a long day, and all I wanted to do was crash on the couch with my husband.  I said so, and my husband asked, "Well, why don't you?" to which I responded, "My next day always goes better when I begin it the night before".

I make it a priority to get that cuddle time for relaxing every evening my husband's home.  It is one of the chief reasons our kids go to bed at 8:00 every night.  But, if I delay it just for fifteen to twenty minutes, I can get the ball rolling so my next day is smoother. If my husband's not home or if we watch TV together, I can take commercial breaks to do even more.  I might even begin these preparations before the kids are in bed.  These are my weeknight jobs:

  • I either load or unload the dishwasher.
  • If I need to pack a lunch or lunches, I do so.
  • I make as much of breakfast as possible.  Sometimes, this is just getting the ingredients together, but other times I can have something completely mixed, wrapped, and sitting in the fridge ready to bake when we wake in the morning.  I might go ahead and bake muffins.
  • Get clothes out for whoever might be going somewhere the next day. 
  • Take a shower.  I used to only do this in the mornings unless I worked out in the evening, but it's nice to have this out of the way when possible.  Plus, freshly shaved legs is nice for romance! 
  • Relax!  Anything else is extra:
  • Get materials ready for projects I intend to do for "homeschool preschool".
  • Wash a load of clothes so I can get right to hanging a load on the line the next day.  Remember not to run a dryer at nighttime if you use one because it is extremely dangerous!
None of this is a requirement, but really a mainly enjoyable part of my routine so that the next day, people aren't seen as interruptions to my day, but as blessings to be enjoyed and blessed in return.  Anything to have that feeling flow more freely!

I'll be linking up to Raising Arrows.  Check out everyone else's ideas for large family organization!