Friday, December 21, 2007

A funny thing happened on the way home from Wal-Mart today mom....

She was not hurt, thank God.
The car was. She wasn't. Although she did go in to the doctor yesterday and the chiropractor today just to be sure the back pain she has is not associated with this.
Both air bags deployed. The air bags cracked the windshield, and the front end has some damage. So, given the value of the car currently, it's totalled.
We recently switched insurance companies, so we'll have to see how this one handles it.

It's frightening when your 18 year old calls and says "mom, I went in the ditch".

Pictures to follow. stay tuned.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

my house

I was going to participate in the Christmas Tour of Homes that Boomama had... but I am a day late. Wow...that's a surprise.



So, here are some Christmas photos for ya anyway.


This is the tree in our living room.





















This is the fireplace in the living room. Please notice the huge stockings we have to fill each year. Shawn's mom made those when the girls were born. They are quite big. A few years ago, we added the stockings for him and me. His is a camo one and mine is red with leopard cuff. I think they look like something you would see Peg and Al Bundy use.










This year I changed the decor on the basement tree. I was in kind of a funky blue mood, so I did this tree all in blues. I had a little help from two of the kids and we added a fun silver freaky thing at the top! :)















Christmas Letters - yay or nay?







I'm trying to make a very big decision this week. Christmas letter - yay or nay? It might be nay by default because I may think about it so much that I won't even get my cards out! But, it's fun to think on isn't it?

I have a friend who gets a letter every. single. year. from a little old woman she used to rent a room from in college. I honestly don't think that the woman is that lonely and sad... she just only knows how to tell about the sad things in her life. Each year when she gets the letter, she calls me and reads the letter over the phone. I alway begin the conversation by saying "Please tell me it's good news this year!".

I searched google to help me make my decision. It showed some pretty bad Christmas letters...
check out these excerpts...

My family actually received a Christmas letter about how they accidentally ran over their new puppy with the mini van and now the puppy has three legs.

We receive a Christmas letter from a childless, senior couple. It reads like a to-do list. Last year's entries included Bernard changing the blades on the lawn mower and Alice attending a secretaries conference in Detroit.

We have put on a 1,000 square foot addition on the back of the house this past summer. (See enclosed digital photos.) This was Doug's dream. He and the boys love playing on the $5,000 pool table. Personally, I think it was just a little too expensive for a pool table, but if my boys are happy, I'm even happier! Yes, I am. This addition, along with the new kitchen last year, has definitely made this a home for the ages.

What do you think? Should I write one or not? Should I just send a lovely card instead? What do you do? Come to think of it, really... WHY? do we do this at all?

menu plan monday

Okay, I know it's not monday.

But here's the joke.

there's no menu plan either.

aaaaaaaaaahhhhahhahahaha!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Home for Christmas




Saturday was one of those days. Emily was getting ready for a dance recital and it was busy here... but I was anxiously anticipating the arrival of the two older girls who are at college. They were both travelling home and on the road and planning to be here for weeks during the Christmas season.


There is just something about those words "coming home". I could hear it in the girls' voices as they told me when they would be arriving. A longing to be with family... to just be home. I completely understood as well. There is nothing like having all your family close at Christmas time.


This morning, at church, Jane sung a solo... "I'll be home for Christmas..." and my eyes stung with tears. Partly because my girls were all together, home for Christmas, and partly because the fact that they are away reminds me that God is moving and doing incredible miraculous things in their lives.


I am thrilled that they are growing and learning from God the things I can't teach them. And I'm ecstatic... because at least for a few weeks, they are home.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

sickies







We've had every type of sickness known to man in this house the last month. So, it's no wonder I haven't been posting. If someone isn't sick, I'm sterilizing the house!


So far, we have had the stomach flu, ear infections, sinus issues, headaches, and now pink eye!

Yes, you heard it right. Now it's pink eye. Actually, it's pink eyeS. Two of them.


Only one of us has pink eyes, and it's the youngest. So, that's good. That means that the 14 people we have coming over for dinner tonight won't be affected because she will be quarantined to her room or the basement. AND I have officially sprayed disinfectant all over the bathrooms and the door handles in the entire house, just to make myself feel better.


I guess the good thing about this is that by the time January hits, we ought to have the resistance of a lab rat so we should be good and healthy, able to survive a long winter!


A little pink eye information for you pink eye rookies: The last time we had pink eye in our house, I called the doctor and he gave me some drops. After a week of drops nothing happened, so I thought it was something entirely different. So, I went to the eye doctor to get Em's eyes checked. He said that the virus that causes pink eye is usually unaffected by the eye drops you get from the doc. He said to use soap and water and wash your eyes several times a day, drink plenty of fluids, take a decongestant, and wash your hands frequently, and it should clear up in a couple of days. That worked!





Another little tip I learned is to use camomile tea bags as a compress on your eyes several times a day. I haven't tried that one... yet.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

popcorn


A lady from my Bible Study dropped off some popcorn-on-the-cob.
Emily: Cool! What do you do? Stick the whole thing in a bag and put it in the microwave and cook it?
Needless to say, we had to have a short lesson on how we had to pop corn in the "OLDEN" days!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

snow

For posterity's sake, let it be known that today is officially the first snow of the year. I don't know how long it will last. But, it is white. and it is here.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

my music

I realized today that I have peculiar taste in music. I was listening to my computer as I was working and put it on "random". Random is pretty much right. One minute I was listening to the Go-Go's, which I am sure Nate and Bill will LOVE to hear me say. They absolutely love that I like the Go-Go's and know all the words to the Beauty and the Beat CD. I was immediately transported into 1981 with my girlfriends listening to the album at my birthday party and beginning to memorize those songs...writing down all the words so we don't forget them. Did they not print the lyrics back then?

The next minute, it was Lashell Griffin belting out "YOU MAKE ME FEEL SO FREE..." She. is. awesome. by the way. I begin to imagine I am in a meadow twirling around amazed at God's presence.

Then, suddenly, it changes to Mozart's Serenade No. 13 in G major "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik", and swiftly I am a star in the movie Pride and Prejudice.

Glancing at my list, I see Louis Armstrong's "Cool Yule"... my favorite Christmas song of all time...Ella Fitzgerald's "A Sunday Kind of Love", Billie Holiday's "I loves you Porgy", and John Coltrane and his tenor sax. Along with that, it's Chicago, REO Speedwagon, and "Purple Rain".

I am an odd one.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

my husband

I was encouraged by His Girl's blog yesterday. So, I thought I'd share a prayer that I pray for my man....it's printed on a 3x7 card and I got it when we went to a family life conference one time.

Lord, I lift Shawn up to You today and pray, according to Your Word that:

You give him strength to lead (Josh 1:7), time to know his family(John 10:14), and a passion to manage his home(1Tim. 3:4).

You bless his work and show him daily how to honor You in his attitude and spirit; confirm the work of his hands unto Your purpose (Psalm 90:16-17; Daniel 6).

He will be a wise steward of our finances and all we possess, remembering that all things are Yours and entrusted to us for Your purposes (Matt. 6:19-21)

He will love You with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength and hate evil (Mark 12:30, Psalm 97:10)

He will be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger (James 1:19)

You protect him physically, mentally, and spiritually (Psalm 28:7-9; Psalm 41; John 17:15)

You give him the desire to teach and model a godly lifestyle for his children (Deut. 6; Psalm 78:5-7)

You will instruct him and teach him in the way he should go (Psalm 32:8); give him peace in the circumstances, and integrity in decisions he must face today (1 Corin. 14:33; Prov. 11:3)

He would meditate day and night on Your Word, pray without ceasing (Psalm 1:1-3; Psalm 119:18,73; 1 Thess 5:17), and stay faithful to Christ to the end (Hebrews 12:1-2)

He would develop strong relationships with other godly men (Eph 4:24-25; Heb. 10:24)

Make me my husbands helpmate, companion, champion, friend, and support. Help me to create a peaceful, restful, safe place for him to come home to. Teach me how to take care of myself and stay attractive to him. Grow me into a creative and confident woman who is rich in mind, soul, and spirit. Make me the kind of woman he can be proud to say is his wife. I lay all my expecations at Your cross. I release my husband from the burden of fulfilling me in areas where I should be looking to You. Help me to accept him the way he is and not try to change him... I leave any changing that needs to be done in Your hands, fully accepting that neither of us is perfect and never will be. Only You, Lord, are perfect and I look to You to perfect us.
Teach me how to pray for my husband and make my prayers a true language of love.



PS Thank you for your prayers... I feel better!!!! :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

sick day

It's funny how being sick as an adult always takes you by surprise.
For the past couple of months I have had fluid in my right ear. I thought it was from water that got in there and didn't drain. I have been taking constant decongestants and antihistimines to try to get it to dry out. It never really bothered me much.

About a week ago, that ear just started hurting. and hurting and hurting. I found myself feeling like a 18 month old child, pulling on it constantly. I always wondered why the doctor asked if your kids were pulling on their ears to determine if they had an infection. now I know.
Lo and behold, I had the mother of all ear infections. inside outside updside down. It was nearly into my face... no wonder my jaw hurt.

The doc ordered every kind of medicine you can imagine. ear drops, oral antibiotics, antihistimine, decongestant, nasal spray, tylenol.... I about fainted at the cost of some of those things... and because of the cost, opted out of one or two....

I was feeling pretty good to the naked eye really. But a few days later... well Sunday to be exact, I started feeling kind of cold. Nothing else really. I just thought they decided not to turn the heat on in the church. I came home for lunch, and it was strangely cold in our house too. I just couldn't get warm. Then, Sunday night, I was shivering all night long. It finally dawned on me that something wasn't quite right. I should have figured it out when everytime I took tylenol, I didn't feel cold anymore, but life has really been too busy to even notice.

I fought it all night and then went to work on Monday. After thinking about what I would say to my husband or children if I were them, I decided to come home early from work yesterday and sleep. And sleep I did. I slept for four hours. Then the kids came home from school, I staggered up to make them supper (Shawn is gone hunting for a few days), spent a little time with them, and slept more.

It always amazes me what a little sleep will do.

I think of the passage of scripture in 1 Kings 19 when Elijah ran from Jezebel and he was so exhausted and he fell asleep under the tree. He woke and ate, then slept, then woke and ate, then slept...

Sometimes in life we just need to rest and eat. So, today... that is what I will do.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

sleet



Last night, we did a bit of shopping for some hunting equipment for Shawn's upcoming trip. (a bed to be exact. Is that considered "equipment"?)

We (me, Ab, and Em) coaxed Shawn into going to Cold Stone for a treat. Trust me, it didn't take much coaxing.

It was a chilly night and we really should have been drinking cocoa.

When we walked out with out with our ice cream - me with my chocolate and snickers by the way a fantastic combination - it was sleeting.

Yes maam you heard me right. SLEET.

You know what that means. Winter is here, a bit early I might add.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

In keeping with my emealz plan, here is the menu for the week.

Mon - Cajun Pork Chops, Dirty Rice, Carrot Apple Pecan Salad
Tues - Classic Lasagna and Salad
Wed - Low Country Boil and Cornbread
Thurs - Company Chicken over Rice and Broccoli
Fri - Microwave Greek Chicken and Potatoes, Greek Salad

So far, we've liked everything we've had!!!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Lazy Day Saturday

There is just something about having Lazy Saturdays... hanging around and reading and doing nothing and just putzing around... sleeping in until 10am (YES! I DID!) and then taking a 2 hour nap at 12:30 (I know... am I ill???)

I honestly haven't done anything today. Not really anything of worth anyway. Well, I guess I did go buy groceries and spent 2 hours at Wal-Mart (good grief, that's a long time really). Now, it's 11:15 at night and I'm baking a cake for my sister's birthday tomorrow and getting ready to go to bed. The best part.... is realizing it is only really 10:15 because of the time change and I can sleep even more!

I. am. seriously. so. lazy.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

the candy




We have a downtown trick-or-treat night tomorrow night. It's a night that all the businesses downtown hand out candy to all the little kitty cats and jedi knights. loads of candy. I talked about it two years ago here. I made a huge mistake that year and opened the candy early.


some mistakes, I have learned, you make over and over again. and you never really learn.


I bought 30 pounds of candy for tomorrow night. I have 27 left.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

Okay, so it isn't Monday. what. ev. er.

Monday - Easy Does It Spaghetti, Salad, Garlic Bread
Tuesday - Almond Rice Chicken, Peas
Wednesday - Eat at Youth Building
Thursday - Beef Cubed Steak, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, Broccoli
Friday - Sliced Top Sirloin with Chili Beans, Apple Cole Slaw, Cornbread
Saturday - Black Beans and Rice, Buttery Corn

So, here's the deal. We have been trying to do some things to simplify our lives lately. So, we tried the "revolving menu" where we would have the same thing each week ... uh... bor. ing.

This week, we decided to try this. For $5 a week (only $4 a week with Shawn's handy dandy coupon code) we get a weekly menu, and a complete, ready to shop grocery list with the prices and everything at one of our local grocery stores. I figured out the meals I shopped for - 5 of them in all - was $47 in groceries this week (plus a few staples I had on hand of course). Each meal serves 6 people... so it averages at about $1.56 per plate. This week's menu includes all of the delicious items above. Not bad eh???

I can't take the credit. Shawn has taken over the budget and has become quite the thrifty one. So, we thought we'd try it for a few months and see how it goes. I'll update you all in a couple of months and let you know if it's good or not. :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Back Home

I'm home!
I thought I'd have so much time to blog when I was visiting Mom, and I did have time..but no internet access. I guess I didn't realize how wireless home is!

Anyway, I'm back. And mom is doing much better than before. She is recovering slowly, but steadily. She has a little time ahead of her to heal, but it's going well so far. She has one more month off work, so she should be in good shape by November! Yay!

Shawn and I both went to the school and had lunch with Emily yesterday. It was super fun!

Shawn charmed the 3rd grade girls and they called him a "show off", which he was by the way. ;)

And I met the most captivating 1st grader. He was a very enthusiatic charmer with the most contagious smile I have ever seen. When he smiled, his entire face lit up. But the best part about him was his conversation. This boy spent the entire lunch hour bragging about the special girl in his life -- his mom. "My mom cooks the most amazing suppers ever!", and "At Christmas and birthdays, you should taste her cakes!", and "My mom can eat super hot spicy food without even taking a drink!"... it was so precious to hear a boy brag about his mom. Just the things he said showed me that he loved this woman with all his heart, and she had truly captured his love and attention.

Mother Theresa once said "love begins by taking care of the closest ones - the ones at home". This mom, whoever she is, has surely done her job well. I pray a blessing on her day,... and her week.

It's good to be home.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

in the desert

Thought I'd post an update. I'm still here in AZ helping mom. She is doing better and better each day. My sister left and went back to Washington so now it's just me and mom and her husband. We went to the doctor today and he said she's doing better. We have two more appts this week and I'm anticipating she'll be good enough to say goodbye to me at the airport in a few days. Meanwhile, I'm cooking and freezing food so she doesn't have to do prepare meals for a while, and getting caught up on a few things they need to get done before winter here. *COUGH* as bad as winter gets in AZ. Nothing like the midwest let me tell you.

Why, it might even get down to 40 here! And I don't mean below zero.

I went to church here on Sunday. Lifechurch.tv to be exact. It was pretty good. A small church - the service I went to was about 70 people maybe. I was worried at first because at 9:30 exactly when the worship team began to worship, there were only about 6 people in the congregation. But, they trickled in through the next couple of songs. And they had great worship and an overall good experience. It was nice to be with brothers and sisters in Christ, even strangers. I felt at home. The messages at Lifechurch are delivered via satellite. The pastor gave a great message about sharing Christ with your friends and family members. He had some points that spoke directly to me. He talked about the fact that you don't always have to give the Roman Road or an 8 step path to Christ to share Christ with family and friends. Sometimes it is in acts of kindness and being the hands and feet of Jesus.

I don't always have the right attitude, and I don't always have a servant's heart. But, this week, I am trying to consciously choose to be the hands and feet of Jesus to my mom. To be a vessel that He can use somehow to reach her heart for Him.

God teaches you a lot when you're in the desert... :)

Thursday, September 27, 2007

SOAP

S - The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Luke 2:2

O - There is much work to be done, and few to do the work of God

A - This week in my Beth Moore study, she brought out this verse. It was a great week in that study - something that is very near and dear to my heart. The fact that God desires to use us ALL in His Kingdom work. She talked about how God directed Moses to have the Israelites give an offering to Him. They gave and gave, everyday until they had enough. Then, the Lord told them to stop giving. I thought about this a lot this week. I wonder what it would be like for our pastors and elders to have to say to the congregation "stop giving!" We have enough. We don't need your time, your talents, or your treasures. We are full of all we need. That is not usually the case. The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.

P - Lord help me be an example to my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Use me Lord to show them their value in you. Lord, help me be excited to serve you and to make that excitement be contagious. Lord, the Israelites gave because their hearts were stirred with a desire to be a part of what you were doing among them. Stir the hearts of the Christians today to see that you are moving in our world, and desire to be a part of the work you are doing. Open my eyes Lord to see the work you are doing around me, and help me to be a part of all that you have for me. I love you Lord. Thank you for all that you are doing! In Jesus name, Amen.

Mom Update

Well, here I am in Sunny Arizona. More like so-hot-i-can't-breathe Arizona.
They tell me that it's cooler now than it was before.

Mom lives in a retirement trailer park here in Arizona. okay...there's like a zillion of those so I'm not giving away my location to some internet stalker at all.

Things are going very well so far. I am happy to say that Mom is getting better every day. She got out of the hospital yesterday and we are taking very good care of her. Each day is an improvement and she has the best nurses in the world. My sister and me.

It turns out mom had a second ulcer that began to bleed. They clamped it off and gave us some yummy internal pictures. okay, not so yummy. that's a lie. After four days in the hospital and a very nice doctor, they released her to my sister and my care. It has been nice to have two of us here to keep each other crazy sane. We have a new diet, new medications, and a home health nurse to do the really bad stuff on the wound.

We have four doctor appointments next week and Tammy is leaving on Tuesday morning. So, I will have one more week here with mom before I go home. I hope that will be enough time to get her well and able to do more things for herself. Two very serious surgeries in one month is a lot for a 66 year old.

I have now discovered the public library. I hope each day to be able to utilize this nice facility to send news home to my family and friends. It is nice and air conditioned but probably the loudest library in the united states. yeah, pretty much is. yep.

Perhaps when I have time, IF I have time, I can give you all some nice cactus pictures and prove to you that it is very very hot indeed.

Have a super day!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

I'm leaving

I am leaving... I know I haven't mopped my floor in three weeks. I realize my bags are still packed from the last time I was gone. I also am fully aware of the fact that there are dance lessons, and musical practices, and dinners to make. I also know that I have two jobs that I can't really afford to take time off from.

But, my mom is in the hospital. She lives on the other side of the country and I am leaving tomorrow to be with her.

She's been ill for some time now, recovering from an ulcer surgery three weeks ago. But, the recent turn of events has been that she is bleeding internally and they aren't sure why. I have decided it's just time to go to her.

This morning as I was thinking about it all.. and praying for her... it struck me how important the family unit is to God. He designed it. He calls us his children, he is our father, family is important to God. As a matter of fact, He is the grand designer of the family unit.

And even though I have small children at home, and many responsibilities, this didn't take God by surprise. He is not caught off guard. And He is not powerless to bring strength and love during this season in our lives. This is a circumstance that was clearly in His plan...and I trust that He will make His spiritual strength available to me at this time.

My husband is a gem.... truly should win the husband of the year award for his tenderness and support to me.

I'll keep you all posted, as I have hijacked Shawn's laptop for the long trip! :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

another crazy meme....

1. Black and White or Color; how do you prefer your movies?
color... definately. Pictures are okay in BW but movies are just drab and boring.

2. What is the one single subject that bores you to near-death?
Actually most things are interesting to me... it always depends on my mood. I could be bored by lots of things at certain times in life.... I could better list the things that absolutely never bore me like lipsticks, eyeshadows, eye liner, and the new MAC Line... oh and Shawn. He never bores me. unless it's late at night, and he's talkin a lot... and I'm tired...really really tired. sorry about that honey.

3. MP3s, CDs, Tapes or Records: what is your favorite medium for prerecorded music?
CDs - I'm a bit on the 90s side of music technology at the moment.

4. You are handed one first class trip plane ticket to anywhere in the world and ten million dollars cash. All of this is yours provided that you leave and not tell anyone where you are going ever. This includes family, friends, everyone. Would you take the money and ticket and run?
Depends on if I get to come back - is it just a trip or is it a leave forever type of thing? Cuz if its a leave forever type of thing, no I couldn't take it. But, if it's a go-on-a-trip-see-you-next-week type of thing, well... I might be able to...

5. Seriously, what do you consider the world's most pressing issue now?
The world needs Jesus. There it is.

6. How would you rectify the world's most pressing issue?
One life at a time.

7. You are given the chance to go back and change one thing in your life; what would that be?
It would have to be the clothes in the 80's. I would definately change that without a doubt. I would introduce a whole new clothing line in the 80's that look nothing like the 80's thus changing the 80's altogether.

8. You are given the chance to go back and change one event in world history, what would that be?
I should probably choose something really political or meaningful here.

9. A night at the opera, or a night at the Grand Ole' Opry” which do you choose?
uh... considering I leave for Nashville tomorrow, I still choose The Opera. Oh man... I hope they don't kick me out of the state! Do you think it will be written on my forehead or something and they will all point and whisper and stare....

10. What is the one great unsolved crime of all time you'd like to solve?
Wow, this is a really philisophical serious meme... maybe I should not have agreed to do this. Note to self. read meme entirely before agreeing to do it.

11. One famous author can come to dinner with you. Who would that be, and what would you serve for the meal?
Famous author... great, this is where the world sees the real me. Quick... google famous authors... who is there? Steinbeck - I read East of Eden, really. It was a great book. Dr Seuss. - hey I could serve green eggs and ham... but to be perfectly honest and not listen to google, I'd have to say Sophie Kinsella. Okay, so is she really that famous? I mean, she's British right and so that makes her even WORLD famous. But, I'm slowly working my way through to reading every one of her hysterical books. Along with every other sixteen year old in the USA... does that make me younger? So, yeah, it would be her. And I 'd have to serve Bon Bons for dessert. But, I could probably serve canned soup or something because I don't think she knows what a home cooked meal is. Wait a minute... she might! But, her characters in her books don't for sure.

12. You discover that John Lennon was right, that there is no hell below us, and above us there is only sky - what's the first immoral thing you might do to celebrate this fact?
I wouldn't. Actually, I know John Lennon was wrong, if he ever really said that. I don't really know him.

13. If you could be anywhere in the world as you are answering this, where would that be?
Italy... I've always wanted to go there. But, my secret fear is that if I actually go someday I might hate it. So, then I would have to say in Germany with Julia cuz I miss her. :)

Okay.... so, if you feel like playing along, do it! Come on Mel, Heth, Judy, Chris, Amy, Amie, Haleigh, Linds, Nate, Shera, Natalie, Mary, Angie, Theresa (I know you read this!), Shawn (revive that blog boy!), Angela, Matt (you need an update!), Sarah, Danielle, Bill, Momzie (I want you to have a blog! that would be so great to read!) oh man... I hope I didn't forget anyone. Hey! If I have that many bloggers on my site, why don't you all comment? oh,.. and all the anonymous too! can you participate? speak up.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

the Number Game

As you know, I'm somewhat intrigued by the idea of turning 40 soon... so I've been doing some checking on the life expectancy in the USA.

On September 1, I officially became age 39.25

Did you know... the average life expectancy in the USA today is 77.7? That means, when a person is 38.85 - they are halfway there... in today's words, they are at the top of the hill. So, me at age 39.25 am actually OVER THE HILL!

That is a shocking realization because all along, I have been believing that I would not be over the hill until after I was 40. That is stupifying! Simply ghastly!

The only good news is this: If a person actually lives to be 65 in the USA, they automatically get to add 18 more years to their life... because these special people are so healthy that they have an average life expectancy of 83, which is 5.3 years more than the overall average.

So.... if I could see into the future and know that I would be healthy enough to hit the 65 mark, THEN... I wouldn't actually be over the hill until after I am 41.5 years old.. which is good news!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

She's Riding the Bus

Em has been begging me for years to let her ride the bus. Well, this year she gets to. Okay, well, not entirely but KINDA...

I have almost always been a working mom. Most of my life was as a part timer, and there was a period of time when I was a stay-at-home-mom when the girls were very small. It took my husband a while to get used to the idea that I wanted to be a working woman because he always wanted a wife who would be home. We worked on that for a few years, and finally came to a place where we are comfortable with what we have. I don't say that in a prideful way, really I don't. And I don't want to paint a picture that I have gone against my husband and worked either. I have always had a job that is flexible and my kids have always been first. But, some things in my personality just work better when I work and God has truly worked out my working envirnment perfectly. Right now, I actually work two jobs. It's hard to admit that at times to people, because they often think that it is our greedy selfishness that causes us to make these choices. But, it isn't. Truly. Part of my week is spent at my husband's father's family business doing the books. A small company, at this time they only need me a couple days a week. The other part of my time, I work at my church, which I love and adore. The people I work with are very talented love God with everything in them, and I count it a blessing to be able to do what I do.

Anyway, working isn't the topic of this! the BUS!

Our jobs are very flexible. We are able to pick the kids up from school easily and either bring them with us or take them home to kill each other. (did I just say that out loud?)

But, Abbie is in HS now and her school is only two blocks from our house. And Emily wants to ride the bus!

So, we made arrangementsn for her to ride the bus from her school to Abb's school, then go home with Abbie. She is sooooooooooo excited.

I went through the whole "what is she going to learn on the bus?" "what if she sees something she shouldn't?" "what if she hears something she doesn't know is a naughty word and tries to repeat it?"

But, the bus ride is only probably about 5 minutes, and she promised she would sit with a girl her own age!

Now, let's just hope her sister doesn't forget she's there.

Jitzu's New Adventure


We only waited for about a week to recieve the letter. And it came.


Dear Lindsey,
Congratulations!



We didn't need to read any more really. That said it all.


She applied in January. Well, I take that back. She began the application process in January. But, then she wasn't sure that it was the right thing for her. She wasn't completely sure that she was supposed to go. So, she set it aside and waited. I'm proud of her for that. Waiting is sometimes a hard thing to do.


Psalms 25:1-5 To You, O LORD, I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in You; Let me not be ashamed; Let not my enemies triumph over me. Indeed, let no one who waits on You be ashamed; Let those be ashamed who deal treacherously without cause. Show me Your ways, O LORD; Teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; On You I wait all the day.


...You have been accepted to ....


accepted: v. to admit to a group, organization, or place.


She only had two more steps to complete the application. She had to write a 200 word testimony and pay a $30 registration fee. She went to camp this summer and when she came back from camp, we were in the kitchen talking and she casually said "when someone says write a testimony what do they usually mean?". I explained, and she agreed then I said "why do you ask?" ...


Her testimony was 400 words and then she finally just stopped. She had sent it in that morning along with her fee. She wanted to do it on her own. The waiting was over, and she had made a decision.


...let me be the first to congratulate you...


Why do they get to be first?? The letter should have read "run to your parents and let them congratulate you! They are your cheerleaders and have been cheering you on for 18 years! " But, they were first. Shawn was second. He told her (in his best Pedro style) that he would build her a cake or somethin to celebrate. Here is the cake. He did it all on his own. Decorated and all. I'm pretty sure it's the only cake he's ever decorated in his life. And when you cut the cake open, he even put food coloring in the batter to give it a purple color. Her favorite color is blue, but we didn't have any blue food coloring, so purple is the next best thing I guess! oh, and yes, it's a heart-shape.




... will surely be the best 9 months of your life!


I have no doubt about that part. God is in it. I know He is. 9 months of discipleship training. Disciples - more than students, more than just believers. They are individuals who are determined to become people who live life as Jesus did. A full life. A life that is deep and rich and rewarding. A 5000 seat santuary, a 1500 seat auditorium, an 800 seat amphitheater, a private Christian K-12 school, a daycare center, offices, are just part of the things that make up the campus she will live on for the next 9 months. It's not your average university by any means, but I have a feeling it will become home to her in a lot of ways.


...send in your $300 deposit, and choose your payment plan...


Swallow hard now. There is always a downside to acceptances when you're 18. Well, downside for parents anyways. :) Since it's a discipleship training school, and not a university, there are no student loans, no grants, no nothing. Just pay it. And yet, knowing all that, I have a peace. I have no idea where the money will come from. But, I do know that God brought her this far, and He will meet her needs.


On September 15, she moves in. We're so excited and proud and nervous and thrilled and scared all at the same time. She's determined to walk through whatever door God opens for her, and I canNOT wait to see His vision for her life.





Sunday, August 26, 2007

so what's up?

Okay, I shave my head and sit silently at my computer and nobody believes it's really me! What's up with that? I think it's the silent part you don't believe.

Okay okay... I admit, I have plenty to say. I know this may come as a surprise to you, but there are SOME things in this world that I do NOT have an opinion on. really. there are.

One, for example, is , well, whatever that's a dumb thing to write a whole blog on anyway.

Forget that. Here's some other news...
* You already know that school is in session. Many of you are living it. It's a strange mix... somewhere between glad you once again have a routine, and sad that you (once again) have a routine.

* Lindsey has a new adventure! I'll post the pics and my next blog entry just for her!

* Em is in 3rd Grade and super stoked because at church, they combine the grades like 1-2, 3-4, 5-6 - and she got to move UP a grade and be with PJ her 4th Grade friend! Whoo Hooo!

* Abbie had a radical stay up all night watch movies sit in the hot tub play high school musical board game sing songs dance around make a video play with sidewalk chalk tell scary stories and eat junk food until you are sickly slumber party. It lasted 24 hours. Doesn't that just make you wanna be 15 again? I wanted to join her and she wouldn't let me. So I popped in every now and then and busted a move and listened to the giggling. Such a great group of girls. I love them all.

* Haleigh is in a wedding next weekend. The first of her high school friends is getting married. She's excited and happy for them, and it's going to be a fun weekend.

* Shawn and I are catching up on all the past episodes of the OFFICE. He got the files from a friend and we sit silently in bed each night at 12:30, 1:00, 1:30 trying to watch "just one more episode" - crammed together on the bed watching them on his laptop with a speaker that is barely audible except in the still of the night getting kinks and cramps in our necks. yeah, we really don't need another thing to waste time in, but it's brainless fun to do. It just goes to show you how desperate we are to watch tv sometimes since we opted not to get cable or even hook up our tv since last November. (I did cave in last week and plug in a little 13" one we have just to watch the news on a local station with rabbit ears.... you have to hold it just "so" in order for it to be viewable).

After reading all these past few posts, I really do have some seriousness in my life. I have been doing my devotions every day and loving them! I have also started reading through the Beth Moore A woman's Heart God's Dwelling place Bible study that I will lead this fall for our church ladies evening group.

Need encouaragement today? Do what I did... read Hebrews 12. Keep your eyes on Jesus.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

the cops came

I like catchy titles. Ones that say "hey... what's this blog about today?" Ones that say "Who? What? The cops came? I HAVE to read that"...

So, that's why I titled this entry that way.

But, really, the cops did come. Not to my house. My sisters. It's actually a quite amusing story. My nephew is somewhat of a fascinating 11 year old. My sister is a single mom, and she just really doesn't always know what to expect next. Living on a very limited income, there isn't always extra money to spend on impractical things. So, my nephew has gotten pretty clever about finding resourceful ways to create an income for himself. It isn't unusual for him to offer to pull weeds for $15 or scoop the deck of snow in the winter for $10 each. It gets a little expensive to hire him, and Shawn calls it robbery (although he still pays it) .. but we've had to negotiate quite a bit in order to afford to help him out. Especially since we have to usually go back and do the job ourselves after he's "completed".

So, my insurance agent called me yesterday to offer me a deal of the century. And he just happens to be a neighbor of my sister. Is this gossip? My insurance agent said that my sister said that my nephew.... ?

Okay, nevermind that... it's just another twist on the story that I already knew.

Anyway, it seems my nephew heard about an animal shelter starting up in town and liked the idea. So, he decided the little town five miles away needs one too. So, he took his tin can and hit the streets to collect. My insurance agent's wife contributed to a very needy cause, seeing how she just rescued a goldfish from an untimely death and saved his life by giving him a home in a lovely bowl in her living room.

However, another neighbor nearby, didn't think it was quite as lofty an idea, and called the cops. So, a short while later, my sister sat with her son, a police officer, and a tin can between them. And he explained that while it wasn't really something that actually WAS happening, it was something that he WANTED to help happen.

The police officer took my nephew to all the neighbors and returned their contributions. My insurance agent was polite and took the money back - and then whispered to the police officer that "he really is a good kid". They exchanged a smile and a wink and called it a good lesson in life.

Incidentally, the agent is going to New York on a trip with his wife, and she couldn't see how rescuing a gold fish would be beneficial unless they made arrangements for care while they were gone,... so they hired my nephew to goldfish sit while they are gone. I informed him to be prepared to pay much more than the job is worth, and could I get the name of the place they got the goldfish so I could find a twin look alike before they get back if needed?

Monday, August 13, 2007

Happy Anniversary

I wish I had a scanner to scan in this picture of two very young and ready-to-take-on-the-world husband and wife.

We had no idea life would be this rewarding and this challenging all at the same time did we?

Happy 19th Anniversary Babe.

It's been fun!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

things that make me go "hmmmm"

Just a few unusual things that grab my attention:

1. The man who grabbed forty winks outside our office building - on the grass, bare-chested, using his tshirt as a cushion on which to lay his head, on his lunch break in the middle of the day.

2. The IRS employee who had a pleasant voice and eager willingness to assist me with my questions.

3. The neighbor's blind, old, decrepit dog who strolls up to our driveway each morning, barks at the sky (or an invisible cat?) and then hobbles away to defecate in the surrounding yards.

4. Our fruity feline who chases flies and eats them - Hakuna Matata!

5. husbands

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

too busy for God?

I have had a pretty relaxing and uneventful week thus far. My 3 older girls are gone to camp, and my husband is gone until Thursday out of town as well. So, it's just me and Em for a whole week.

I realized life isn't as busy with all those people and schedules around. More people in my home seems to = more activity. And more activity = busyness. It's logical of course. Makes perfect sense.

I read this article today. If you don't have time to read it, that's okay. I'll just tell you what it says.

Out of 22,009 Christians surveyed aged 15-88 spanning 139 countries, more than 4 in 10 Christians say they "often" or "alway" rush from task-to-task in life.

Busyness was the distraction from God found worldwide.

"Professionals whose busyness interferes with developing their relationship with God include lawyers (72 per cent), managers (67 per cent), nurses (66 per cent), pastors (65 per cent), teachers (64 per cent), salespeople (61 per cent), business owners (61 per cent), and housewives (57 per cent)."

Dr. Michael Zigarelli, a professor at a Charleston school of Business conducted the study and he suggests it is a cyclical cycle... you get busy, you get overloaded, God becomes more marginalized in your life, your relationship with the Almighty suffers, thus you become even more affected by your cultures ideas of busy life which leads to more conformity and busyness and overload.... and the cycle begins again.

Psalm 39:6 in the NLT says "All our busy rushing ends in nothing".

I'm mindful of this as we enter into August. School is just around the corner, as is fall calendars and a whirlwind of activity. I want my days to matter for God. All of them.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

In case you didn't believe me...

This is what we do to Greek Casserole Recipes that we hate...


Monday, July 23, 2007

Menu Plan Monday Update

Okay, so last week I did a Menu Plan Monday that many people were thinking was a little out of the ordinary for our family.

You're right... it was. But, they ate it like troopers.

Here are the results:
Chinese - EXCELLENTE!
Indian Curry - pretty good. Many here thought it was their favorite all week
Jambalaya - good. Again, a good recipe makes a great dish
Greek Casserole - okay, those two words should not be in the same sentence. Three letters - YUK.
Ratatouille - for a non-zuchini eating family, it was pretty darn good. I doubt it will be on the menu anytime soon, but it wasn't bad.

This week, in honor of the troopers in my family, the girls each get to pick what they want one day each... so here's the menu. You try to guess who wanted them (some demographics on my girls - E=age 8 semi picky eater but not bad, A=age 15 most picky on the face of this family, L=age 18 and a budding cook, H=age 20 and likes most things.

Mon - fried chicken and mashed potatoes
Tues - nachos
Wed - grill your own meat at the youth beach party (nobody's choice today)
Thurs - Chinese stir fry
Fri - undecided

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Thunderstorms and Tornadoes

I know.. it isn’t the most interesting thing to blog about. But, sometimes, when your life is really really dull and you have nothing else to say, you just blog about everyday stuff. Like the thunderstorm and tornado last night.

And actually, by the way, I LIKE my boring life. I’m content to be dull and boring.

There was a storm last night and we heard the sirens go off in town and the announcer said “Severe Thunderstorm Warning. Please seek Shelter Immediately”. So, I went downstairs to read my book instead of laying on the bed. Lindsey was at work (where she spends most of her life) and Abb and Em were watching a dvd on Ab’s computer. But, Shawn and Haleigh… decided to go storm chasing. Crazy kooks!

They didn’t see much. But, they brought back Strawberry Shakes from Dairy Queen!

Fast Forward… I went to bed, and fell sound asleep. Nothing wakes me up except my husband getting out of bed or my daughters vomiting. So, apparently there was a really really really bad thunderstorm and Shawn could hear the wind howling and hissing and he decided to get up and shut the windows. I woke up. (what are you DOING?) He proceeded to tell me that he was shutting the windows and was pretty sure there was almost a tornado in the neighbors yard, or at least 65 mph wind. (How does he know that it was 65 mph exactly?)… I dozed back to sleep (I knew if it got really bad he’d save me… now that’s security.)and he eventually came back to bed.

A short time later, he got up again. Apparently the storm had died down a bit and he wasn’t able to get back to sleep so he decided to sit in the hot tub. Again, I wake up. (what are you DOING?) He got in the hot tub and just as he was about to kick on the jets, the sirens and announcer came on again: “Severe Thunderstorm Warning. Please seek Shelter Immediately.” I glanced out the window from my comfy cozy bed and could see he was contemplating the message and trying to decide if he could ignore it or not. It wasn’t raining or anything, but just really dark.

I could see the headlines: Man Ignores Warning and is Found in Hot Tub in Corn Field After Tornado Lift Off.

Yeah, he decided to get out. And just in time.

editors note: by the way... I thought of our Pastor and family a LOT last night as I think they were camping!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Menu Plan Monday


I decided to actually PLAN this week. Whoooo Hooooo! It's gonna be an exciting ethnic week!

Monday - Chicken Stir Fry
Tuesday - Indian Curry
Wednesday - Jambalaya
Thursday - Ratatouille (yes, inspired by the MOVIE!)
Friday - Greek Casserole

Bon appetit!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Caution: Hot Flash In Progress

I'm definately not happy about this. But, what's a girl to do?

I knew it would happen someday... but it doesn't hardly seem possible. I am attending a 40th Birthday Party this week. This will be the first of many 40th Birthday parties I will undoubtably be privvy to over the course of the next year, leading up to and including my own.

When I was in High School, I arroganly touted that I would be "happy" when I was "32". That just seemed like an amicable age to me. I would have a career, husband, 2 kids, home... you know, I'd be 32! For goodness sake, it would be perfect.

Well, unbeknownst to me, 32 came and went when I was still looking for it. It wasn't until I was 38 with four kids and two cats that I realized I had been waiting for 32 and now 40 is creeping in to take me by surprise too!

I decided that even though I am not happy about it (this old age thing) - I am going to join the crowd! My mother was well known for being 29 for her entire life. When she turned 60, we had her birthday party late because we didn't realize she was 60.

When my sister turned 40, she spent the entire day crying. seriously. get real girl.

So... in view of all that... I proudly announce to the world that tonight I will attend a 40th Birthday Party and give this gift: A lighted button that says "Caution: Hot Flash In Progress" and embrace the year of 40th Birthdays with all of it's gaudiness and gag gifts!

Happy Birthday Jane! Bring on the 40s!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

the 4th

I was just thinking about the 4th of July today... you know, since it's tomorrow and all.
My memories as a kid of the 4th - we always went to the parade in the morning and then to the local fireworks show. It was so much fun. The whole city was pretty much dull except for those two events. The parade brought out rows and rows of people, and the fireworks was always packed and fun afterwards - we would walk home and there were tons of cars driving around. It felt like a big city for a few minutes.

After we got married, and our kids were small, Shawn and I would take the kids to different places to see fireworks. Big cities in the mountains, lakeside fireworks displays,...

Several years ago, our city stopped doing fireworks on the 4th and decided to not compete with an even smaller town 5 miles away. We started attending there regularly. And, truthfully, nothing compares to that small town display. It is fabulous and fun. Nothing beats hanging out at the school on the hill with all your friends and family, eating junk food and watching your kids whip sparklers around until they are deliriously dizzy. Then watching the fireworks display from a hill as you dodge ash that you are sure is going to land on you....all the while laughing and having a great time.

For some reason though... fireworks do something to me. Each year as I watch the fireworks, I am in awe of our freedom. Fireworks on the fourth of July to an American is a celebration of who we are as a nation.... the land of the free and the home of the brave. It is a reminder to me of the men and women who fight daily for that freedom. Men and women who put their lives in harms way on a regular basis to protect the freedoms that we often take for granted.

I am grateful for these people... and for the freedom we share in the USA.

Happy Independence Day!

Friday, June 15, 2007

My list of things to do this weekend

1. Clean up Thursday nights supper mess.
2. Find the red arm thingy for the dance recital.
3. Attend the dance recital.
4. Find my dad's father's day gift. (I thought about it two weeks ago but just didn't do anything about it)
5. Finish my laundry that I started on Wednesday.
6. Make 8 pole thingys for VBS decorations
7. Take my brother Dairy Queen (I missed his birthday because he was out of town)
8. Go to Mary's garage sale.
9. ssssssssssllllllllllllllllllleep.

Not bad huh?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Tomorrow is the dreaded day.

Well, the time has come. It seems like it has been a lifetime, but it has only been ten months. Longer than it takes to have a baby. But less than it takes to finish a scrapbook. Julia leaves tomorrow.

You heard about her here and then here and here you saw her. I realize now that there was quite a bit of silence on this blog about her. I guess I didn't write about her much.

It has been a year of great experiences for all of us. We have absorbed Julia into our home and she has truly become part of our family. Letting her leave tomorrow will be hard.

For the past ten months, we have shared our lives with her. The good, the bad, and the ugly. I believe it has been a great ten months for her too. We've tried to do everything we would normally do... and allow her to experience life in the US as it truly is. And in our family, it's craziness! :) This past week, the girls slept out in the tent in the backyard, we went jet skiing, tubing in the river, had a farewell party, went out to eat, went out to breakfast, bar-b-qued, went to the public pool, and a host of other last minute fun events to hold on to our time we have left and make the best of it.

Her first meal in the US was pork chops and corn on the cob. Her last meal here will be the baked potato bar at church. :)

After becoming her parent, sister, friend... for the past ten months, it is difficult to shut that off. We are all sad today and not looking forward to tomorrow morning. I searched for her visa and passport (we had put it away for safekeeping last year) and secretly hoped I wouldn't find it so we could keep her a bit longer.

How can we bottle the time and memories and send it home with her... or keep it here?

Our family has had a great experience. We have had ten months with a very special girl we have learned to call sister and daughter. We have had ten months with a lifelong friend. We have seen her grow and mature and learn and develop... .and learn to drive-- :) well, kinda. (she's not that good yet).


We have went shopping, shopping, and shopping. She has experienced Chicago and the Black Hills. She tasted elk and corn dogs. She went to family reunions, and bar-b-ques with friends, Christmas gatherings, New Years Eve party. She experienced the hot tub in the winter, ice storms, lots and lots of dvds at home, and many movies in the theater. She dressed up like a bratz doll for Halloween. She mopped the floor at least a thousand times and now knows why I hate it when someone walks in when I'm doing it.

She carved pumpkins and ate cinnamon rolls. We had birthday parties and birthday parties. She visited new babies who were just born. She went to football games, basketball games, baseball games, soccer games. She went to homecoming and prom and school dances. She went running, and played tennis...and stayed up all night (probably more times than I know). We laughed until we cried. We cried together.

She went to youth trips with the church, and experienced God. She went to church gatherings and youth group. And the list goes on and on....

We will miss you Julia. We don't know when we will see you again. But, we will always be praying for you and asking God to keep you safe and secure.

Thank you for sharing your year with us! We love you.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

the end of some crazy times

A good sign that I am back in the world of the living is that I am blogging again!

It is hard to blog when life is at it's utmost of craziness! So, here's a sample of where I've been:

1. The iPod drawing went great! I played musical chairs and went through a process of elimination using the leaders to represent the kids names. It was fun! And a really cool kid won the iPod...well, hey they are all really cool kids so I wish we had 50 iPods to give away.

2. my sweet Lindsey graduated from High School. That event alone took me to a place I have never been before. She is done with High School forever. It may seem cliche' but I know that it was just yesterday she was sucking her thumb with her blanket and not wanting to leave my side. I know it was just yesterday when she watched Cinderella a thousand times a day. I know it was just yesterday when she was in second grade and didn't want to go to school so badly that she was physically ill. My sweet darling separation anxiety filled big blue eyed beauty. My only consolation is that she hasn't decided what she wants to do yet.... so maybe she'll be around the house for another year or so. I love you Lindsey Mae. I'm so very proud of you.

3. Julia's parents from Germany came and left. They were here for ten days. It was great fun to have them around. We learned a lot about them and they about us... although I am pretty sure they were a bit overwhelmed since everywhere we go is a big CROWD of people.

4. Shawn and I graduated from our class we have been taking for (well, I won't say how long it has taken us). I say that so nonchalontly but in reality I am SCREAMING inside. Only those who have done this course know what it is like to do it while you are in the midst of LIFE. I have to say --- probably the most rewarding experience of my life so far. Not that I was the best student in the system... but, God certainly taught me so much during that time in my life. I have grown so much, and I look forward to all that He continues to do in us and through us in the years to come.

5. I went back to work. Some of you might not even know I wasn't working... but I have been off for a while...and now I'm back. Two jobs as a matter of fact. Just this week I started my new schedule, and I am loving it. (has nothing to do with the kids being out of school)

6. Haleigh is back for the summer. Doing odd jobs and working for different people. I hope she can make money at that! :) She is officially a junior at college next year.

7. School's OUT! YIPPEE SKIPPEE WHOO WHOOO !!! The kids are done with school and we're all happy about it. I love summer. summer around here brings vacation Bible School playing at the pool and walks and bike rides and lots and lots of Dairy Queen!

8. I turned 39. Yikes. I am only telling you this because it is officially the last time I will mention my age in public. After this year, it's the big 4-0 and I am never going to talk about it again. ever. My brother brought me DQ (like he does every year) but I was out of town so I missed it. SNAP!

9. I switched over to a paper calendar. I have too many computers to work off of now so I went back to the old paper calendar. I know that means little to you -- except that I love my pda and I am experiencing a bit of withdrawals.

so --- that's the end of some crazy times. summer is here and I probably won't blog much... but consider yourself caught up and if you read all that stuff... give yourself a pat on the back.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Two things...

Okay, I am not posting a long entry today because I only have two things to say...

1. Did you know that the median age of the people in the US, according to the United States Census, is 36.4? Not that I noticed I have ANOTHER birthday coming up and I am ALREADY above that....

and

2. If you have never posted a comment on my blog, PLEASE READ the iPod entry and COMMENT. I'm desperate here....

Monday, May 07, 2007

Here's what's on my mind....


In two weeks, our youth group is giving away an iPod Nano. The kids have been bringing friends and getting their name in a drawing so they can win the Nano. My job, as of yesterday, thank you very much, is to find a creative way to pull off this drawing.
I know I could always do the old "put your hand in a box and pull out a name" trick. But, that's just so lame and boring and old-fashioned. I need something new, creative, techno-geek, iPod worthy... oh, and it can't involve any $ because my budget for this is nill... you know, youth group style.
So, any suggestions out there? Anything? We already mentioned one, which is pretty good. But, I don't want to settle for the first idea that comes my way.... it was this:
Have the person drawing stand under a ladder while someone (not me of course) dumps the names on his head and he grabs one out of the air while they fall.
I tried google... "creative drawings" gives me some list of well, you know, creative drawings!
So I tried "creative ways to do a drawing" and it's creative ways to teach drawing!
So I knew it was the word "drawing". thesauras.com gave me another word. "raffle"
Back to google. "Creative raffles" gives me creative raffle prizes...
Yeah, this isn't working.
So, I'm blogging.... you got any ideas?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Birthday Girl






It's amazing the things you remember as a mom about your kids and their birth stories. The specific memories that are etched into your mind for one reason or another.

Abbie's birth was the longest of all. I was in labor for 17 hours. Not really grueling labor, just long and boring. I remember finally deciding I was going to get a spinal. It was the messiest scene for some reason. I kept having contractions and they had to put the needle in my back a couple of times and take it back out. Finally, after the second try, I told them to forget it cuz it was time to have a baby. At first they didn't believe me. But, I gave them "that look" and then they listened.

I remember looking back at the room as they were wheeling me away to the delivery room and wondering who was going to clean up that mess. There were blankets and monitors and cables all over the place. I was glad I didn't work there.

Abbie, you came into this world with a bang. We were so excited about your entrance into our lives. We were so excited to see what you looked like and how you sounded. We anticipated your arrival with joy and excitement!

It's amazing to me that 15 years have flown by. I remember you dragging that huge comforter around with you the first five years of your life. You wouldn't leave it behind. ever.

You're the girl who grew up loving swimming lessons and playing in the park. You loved playing card games and board games. You love to sing and dance.

You have always had such a great sense of humor. I love to hear you laugh, you light up the room and make the parties fun! You enjoy life!

As a young girl, you loved Harriet the Spy. I remember when you carried that notebook around and "wrote down everything you see" for an entire summer.

You have always been a great little sister, and a wonderful big sister. I appreciate that about you.

But, most of all, I love your heart. You love people. You believe the best in people.

Many people don't know this about you, but you always display true God-kind of love to your friends. You have a love that believes, hopes, endures, cares... and that love is carried over to God as well. Something you said the other day to your dad blesses me. You said you hated to always ASK God for things.. that you feel like He's always giving and you are always asking.


That's you. You're a giver, a blesser, a believer, a hoper. You're a blessing to me! I can't wait to see how God uses your gifts and talents to His glory for the rest of your life. You are beautiful.

happy birthay abbers.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Consider Jesus....

Last week at Bible Study, I had the privelege of teaching about how God's love "corrects" me.
I love teaching the Word of God, mostly because I get to learn way more than the people I talk with. I get to delve in and discover so much more about God than when I just observe.

So, even after a week has gone by, I have been chewing on God's love correcting me.

The book we are going through is called "Steadfast Love" by Debbie Alsdorf.
This particular week on correcting, the author took us through Hebrews chapter 12 in such an incredible way. I find myself revisiting it often.

But, one particular part has really worked on me all week. Two words really. They are found in Hebrews 12:3.

Consider him.

Consider Jesus.

Consider the one who endured such adversity.

Think about all that Jesus went through.

Think about that.


I can probably echo thoughts that many have had lately. Life is crazy. If it isn't one thing, it's another. How much more can I take?

And yet, I consider Jesus.

The price He paid, the amount He endured, the sufferings He suffered...

and Hebrews 12:11 says that "no discipline is enjoyable while it is happening, but painful! But, afterward, there will be a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it."

I know my Jesus.

He is worth it.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

my step dad

Dear Buck,

It is hard for me to say good bye to you because I haven't seen you in so many years. The last time I saw you was 8 years ago. I remember exactly because I had just had Emily. You were here when I was pregnant, and you were pretty sure it was going to be a girl. You were right.

But, then you got sick right after I had her. Your emphysema was bad, and you were struggling breathing. You had developed pneumonia and the doctor admitted you the the ICU. It killed me because I had a baby just a few days old and couldn't come to see you in the hospital. I only made it once. But, when they transferred you to the regular room, I couldn't stay away.

I remember how optimistic you were. You weren't worried about your health. You were invincible.

You got better and went back to your home, two states away.

I wish I could have known if you had gotten my letters and cards. I never was able to talk with you on the phone because whenever I called, if the number hadn't been changed, they said you were sleeping or at the doctor or something else.

I know it wasn't anything personal about me. I realized even then that the people that you lived with were not looking out for you always. But, I also know that even if you knew that, you still wanted to believe the best in them. I just wish they would have told me that you were sick, that you may even die. It mattered to me.

I have some very fond memories of you. I know that you would say that you made a lot of mistakes. I am pretty sure we can all say that in our lifetime. But, I never questioned your love. And I wish that I knew for sure that you got the letter I wrote you a few years ago.. the one that I told you I forgave you.

I wish a lot of things. That I had the opportunity to share with you how much Jesus loves you. I know you heard the words from me... but did you hear my heart? Did you believe that no matter what your life brought, he loves you?

I will always remember you. I will remember your birthday and your goofy phrases that you used to say that didn't mean anything to anyone but you... I will remember the way you squinted in the sunlight, and how your hands changed as you grew older. I will remember your favorite outfit, a white t-shirt and jeans, and how you always appreciated good cooking. There are many things I never got to experience with you. But, I will treasure the memories I do have.

May you rest in peace.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The BUNNY




For Easter, we each got our own CHOCOLATE BUNNIES from Julia's parents in Germany. Have I mentioned how incredibly awesome it is that they are from Germany, a place where chocolate grows on trees??? :)


So, mine is gone. And today I talked Emily into opening hers. :) I hope my family doesn't read this or they will start to hide their bunnies....


Each day I see that delicious chocolate bunny sitting there and I sing a little song... you know it, I know you do....


I don't want no health food when it's time to feed
A big bag o' bunnies is all that I need!
I don't want no buddies to come out and play
I'll sit on my sofa, eat bunnies all day.


I won't go to church! And I won't go to school!
That stuff is for sissies, but bunnies are cool!
I don't want no pickles, I don't want no honey
I just want a plate and a fork and a bunny!
I don't want to tell you a joke that is funny
I just want a plate and a fork and a bunny!

I don't want a tissue when my nose is runny
I just want a plate and a fork and a bunny!
I don't want to play on a day that is sunny
I just want a plate and a fork and a bunny!

The bunny, the bunny, oh, I love the bunny
I don't love my mom or my dad, just the bunny
The bunny, the bunny, oh, I love the bunny
I gave everything that I had for the bunny!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

UPdate

Blogging has been scarce lately and here's why:

1. I have discovered I get more done if I stay away from the computer.
2. INSTE FINALS in Two weeks and that's it forever.
3. company here at Easter.
4. company coming for Graduation = lots of work ahead
5. graduation = lots to do


That's just the top five. The big kicker is graduation. The countdown is on. I have 6 weeks and lots to do. If you don't have anything going on, come on over and I'll give you a broom and a scoop shovel and you can help in the garage. If you want to stay home, email me and I'll give you a recipe for a dessert you can make. The menu for our graduation open house is coffee and dessert! Sugar addicts beware...

Monday, April 02, 2007

a slight recycling break

Every now and then, for some reason, my life becomes extremely busy for a season with whatever it is that is going on and I have to do for a while... I'm pretty sure this is normal. At least it is in my life. And sometimes, if my attitude is right, it can be really fun...

The only downfall of that is that I neglect things like blogging and getting ready for our upcoming graduation and summer company, and the recycling that is piling up in the garage. Although the recycling really isn't my responsibility, it belongs to another member of my family, who at this point shall be unnamed, it still ends up being one of those things that I do ... mostly because I apparently "see" things that nobody else in my family sees...like the sock that has been lying by the stair for over a week now, and other odd sorts that are apparently invisible to the naked eye only to be seen by supermom.

Ah, but I digress...

Ahem! The recycling in the garage, as I said, has been piling up, oh let's see, pretty much all winter long. So, I decided to take a break from my busy with whatever it is that eats all my time schedule, and just take one load to the recycling center. ONE. LOAD.

I unloaded the seats from the van and piled in one load. I chose only cardboard. That's a pretty easy task.. no sorting necessary really at all. It was truly ONE MOTHER LOAD is what it was. The van was full. to. the. brim. I thought it would be a hundred years of recycling, even though I know it's only at least the winter's worth. And quite honestly, I had fun.

It was a trip down memory lane for me. Oh... there's the yogurt box from the one I bought at Aldis that nobody liked, and the closet organizer box from when we surprised Lindsey with a newly organized closet (don't let your mind wander to what the closet looks like now), oh and the cake boxes from the ongoing birthday season, and the egg cartons - why are there so many egg cartons?, and the dell box from Haleigh's new laptop, and the - hey! There's the flower vase I was looking for, the packaging from the China birthday that we are still waiting to reschedule because of the ice storm, and the juice boxes we drank in 24 hours, and the new strawberry juice I discovered at Aldis that is oh-so-delicious.

It was the most nostalgic trip to the recycling center I have ever made. Well, actually, the ONLY nostalgic trip to the recycling center I have ever made.

Enjoy the simple things today!

Monday, March 19, 2007

OhmygoshIamsotired.
Oh.my.gosh.I.am.so.tired.
Ohmygosh....I am so. tired.

If I say it enough different ways, maybe I won't feel that way anymore.

It was one of "those" nights for me. Fell asleep at about 10ish and then woke up magically - wide awake! - at 1:30am.

I tried to coax myself back to sleep, but it didn't work. wide. awake. ugh.

So, I got up and came to the computer to write a thousand emails and do some of the million things I have to do this week.

Then, at 5:30am, I dragged my tired body back to bed and laid down to catch some more winks.

wide. awake.

Have you ever experienced that?

My body was so. tired.

But, my brain was going a hundred miles per hour and not wanting to rest.

So, I got back up. made a hot baked oatmeal breakfast. got the kids up and ready for school. and as they were eating their breakfast, 10 minutes before we had to leave, it hit me.

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz..........

mom? mom? MOM!?

8:10am. I felt like I was drugged. I drove them to school (I think) and dropped them off and then came home to fall back to sleep.

wide awake.

no WAY!

So, I did what any exhausted tired woman would do. I read the bible. And just as I was fallin asleep... I read this part of Isaiah...

Awake, awake! Clothe yourself with strength,
O arm of the LORD;
awake, as in days gone by,
as in generations of old.

It was just too funny

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

sixty nine degrees!

I can't say I have ever been this excited about SPRING!

It hasn't been an excruciating long winter, it hasn't been horrible and bad and all that, it hasn't been really bad at all...

But for some reason, this spring comes at a time when I am so in need of refreshing.

It's 69 degrees today... and I am overly thrilled that Em can ride her bike in the driveway and the girls are walking home from school.

We haven't planted grass yet in this yard, and so it's MUDDY... but it's beautiful MUD! :)

have a blessed day!

Monday, March 05, 2007

after the storm

I feel like I have been on vacation for a week... you know what it's like when you go on vacation... you're in the "vacation" bubble.... you spend a lot of time with your kids... nothing gets done at home... and when you get back, you just behind in a lot of stuff.


We had the "storm of all storms" last week, there was no school for a week, so I spent A LOT of time with my kids. You would THINK a sane person would take this time and get ahead. You know, use your time wisely. I know this may come as a real shock to you, but we didn't. We spent hours and hours and hours really doing nothing.
But, ah yes, we had birthday cake... boy did we ever! We've had a couple of those actually, and we still have some left over. But, don't bother coming over to share because with any luck at all, I will lick the plate clean by time school lets out today at 3pm!


So, today, I have come out of the vacation storm bubble. The kids are at school, the laundry room is whirring, the computer is buzzing, the checkbook is draining, and the kitchen will sparkle (after I "clean up" that cake at least). With any luck at all, I'll finish what I started two weeks ago and be right where I left off last week tomorrow. How's that for a mind boggler?


For those of you who were in the same bubble as me, have a productive day!

I leave you with a photo of my poor pot out front.... it is just a mere sampling of what the rest of the driveway looks like.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Bibbity Bobbity Boo!



Lindsey, Linjitzu, Jitz....




18 years ago today... its amazing how quickly time seems to fly when you're trapped in a family of four girls... :)




I remember you as a baby... long fingers,... and that vein in the middle of your head that you still have... :) you were so fair skinned, and so tiny. I remember how you slept through the night at two weeks old (for 12 hours!) and you kept sleeping that well. You were such a content and sweet baby. You loved your blankie (even when it got all ratty and worn out) and your thumb. At 18, I'm pretty sure you could still sleep for 12 hours... easily.




You were born on a day much like today... we had just had a really bad snowstorm and everyone was concerned about the roads, but we were registered guests in the hospital room...two days of room and board, oblivious to the outside world, amazed at the beautiful wonder God had just delivered into our lives.




I remember the perfect outfit we took you home from the hospital in. It was angelic... white and spotless... an ideal wardrobe for you....




... the years to come proved to me that God knew what He was doing with you. Your entrance into the world...the white snow, white outfit, pure infant... who then developed into a beautiful Cinderella loving princess.




I remember when you were two years old and all you wanted to do was watch "Rella" over and over and over again... and when you were four and five... all you wanted to do was play Barbies (well..and six, and seven, and eight, and eighteen... ). You were such a mommy's girl. When Haleigh would play outside you would just hang out with mom and watch the neighbor kids out the window.




I remember when you were 11 one time you were so upset because you were just playing a "nice little game of cops and robbers".... and someone ruined it. Everything was always innocent and sweet and "nice" in Lindsey's world.... even cops and robbers.




There are so many wonderful memories of you growing up. So many memories tucked away to remind me of your personality, and your style... and you. I have enjoyed the past 18 short years... and look forward to the next hundred with you!




Happy Birthday Cinderella... my sweet princess. Remember... a dream is a wish your heart makes... and may all your dreams come true!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Make Ahead

I am in the "make ahead" meal mode....
So, thought I'd share tomorrow's supper (that I'm making today)... :)

Make-Ahead Turkey Tetrazzini
8 oz cooked spaghetti
1/4 cup margerine or butter
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
3 T. flour
2 cups chicken broth
3/4 cups half and half
1-3 T dry sherry
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp nutmeg
dash pepper
3 cups cooked turkey
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

1. cook spaghetti as directed on package

2. melt margerine in dutch oven over med heat. Add mushrooms. cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to med-low. Add flour; cook and stir until bubbly. Gradually add broth, stirring constantly, until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat; stir in half and half, sherry, 1/4 cup parsley, salt, nutmeg, and pepper.

3. add cooked spaghetti and turkey to mushroom mixture; stir gently to mix. Spoon mixture into ungreased 13x9 inch glass baking dish. Cover with foil; refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.

4. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Uncover baking dish; sprinkly Parmesan Cheese over top. Cover; bake at 350 for 45 to 55 minutes or until thoroughly heated, removing foil during last 10 minutes of baking time. Sprinkly with fresh parsley if desired.

8 servings.