Friday, December 21, 2007

My New Exercise Routine

I really kind of stumbled on my new exercise routine by accident, but I have a fitness-friend who has assured me that it is quite possibly valid.

Every morning I wake up and before I jump out of bed, I groggily look ahead at my day to figure out how much more time I can actually sleep before getting up. Then I get my tea. It is a must!! And here is where the calories begin to burn...I get dressed in one of my stretchy workout pants, struggle into the workout undergarment that never seems to fit right though it is certainly snug, and a big baggy t-shirt from the 90's (they made them long enough back then to cover the thing I want covered).

As I wander through my day, it doesn't really matter too much whether I make it to the gym or not, because I am dressed for workout success! As I run through the house (literally, as Big D can testify) trying to find my cell phone/paperwork/or just be on time to my "next thing", I am in fact working out. As I frantically change out of workout clothes and into normal clothes to get to an appt., etc., I am burning serious calories. And of course when I get back home, I have the whole getting back into the workout clothes thing to do all over again. Really, it is just interval training. I am pretty excited to see the results of my routine after the holidays are all over. I bet you I haven't gained a pound!!!

11:20 update: dropped M at school, tires rotated and adjusted, Home Depot stop, Clinique makeup stop, oil change stop... haven't hit the gym yet but I am still dressed for workout success!!! I can just feel the calories burnin'!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Frosty gets caught!!!

I thought you might need a good laugh!! Consider this a Merry Christmas from me!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I Corinthians 13...The Christmas Version

A friend sent this my way and I thought it was worth passing along:

If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, Strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, But do not show love to my family, I'm just another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, Preparing gourmet meals And arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, But do not show love to my family, I'm just another cook.

If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home And give all that I have to charity, But do not show love to my family, It profits me nothing.

If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, Attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir's cantata, But do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug the child. Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband.

Love is kind, though harried and tired.

Love doesn't envy another's home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.

Love doesn't yell at the kids to get out of the way, but is thankful they are there to be in the way.

Love doesn't give only to those who are able to give in return, but rejoices in giving to those who can't.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails.

Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust.... But giving the gift of love will endure.

You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.

Monday, December 17, 2007

We are loving all 9 inches of snow that came our way. You may notice in some of the pictures that it doesn't look like 9 inches...that is because of the wind sweeping across the field next to us causes there to be drifts. But we officially had 9 inches. Poor big D labored to snowblow our driveway only to have it filled back up by the wind within a couple hours. Come on white Christmas!!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Christmas Mystery Game

The mystery game ended up being so much fun! So I will give you the low down on it in case you need an idea for your parties.

By not telling anyone exactly what the game was and making it mysterious, I had the whole anticipation thing and the surprise factor of it. And the fact that they didn't have to shop but donated a couple bucks at the door was a positive too. I bought and re-gifted a variety of small and cheap gifts (can of wd40, pens, etc) with some bigger, more expensive, funny gifts (huge pink bra with a roll of toilet paper, Christmas boxers). There were more presents then people. I wrapped all of them in plain brown paper. Each person had been given monopoly money ($11) at the door in an envelope with their name on it. Throughout the night, people could win different amounts for different things to add to their original amount. For instance, the first people to arrive and the last people to arrive received $5. The tallest elf and the shortest elf received $1 each, and so on.

After mingling and eating for awhile we circled up and we explained that the mystery game actually was an auction for the gifts which would take place after we gave the chance for a few more people to earn some more money. We then voted on the most merry outfit and least Christmasy outfit, the worst Christmas gift story, the most romantic gift, etc. And to top it off we played a guys vs. girls Catch Phrase with the winning team each getting $5. We pulled out the pile of gifts and put them in the middle of the floor and Big D served as our auctioneer (he and I didn't participate in the bidding since we knew what we had). He played it up and described the gifts but wouldn't let them touch them. When a gift was finally bought, that person had to open it and show it off. At any time in the game, anyone could make an offer on that opened gift. Sometimes the offers were lower and other times higher so the original winner of the gift had potential to "make" money on it. And you could offer on as many gifts as you had money for, so potentially people could leave without a gift or with several.

Just one word of prepared for pranks. Our neighborhood now see's us in a whole different way. We found our bush in the above state of dress after church on Sunday. It had been snowing so hard when I left that I had not even noticed it.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Wrapping Presents

I love choosing presents for the people I love. Come to think of it, I enjoy buying for those who just fall in the category of duty purchases. But anyways, I like buying presents. I strongly dislike wrapping said presents. I am good at buying fun wrapping paper with coordinating ribbons. I am terrible at folding and taping and tying. And what have I been doing for the last week? Yep...wrapping presents for work related people. The work party was last night and was alot of fun as usual, but I am glad it is over. ( Does that make any sense to you?)

I have 18 more presents to do up tonight. The ones tonight are for my party tomorrow night with my mom's group (and spouses) at my home with a brand new mystery game. I took a poll and we all decided that we would have horribly fattening appetizers and desserts and do anything but white elephant. So I took the time to research all the Christmas games I could find and settled on The Present Auction. I have never done it before and so I will let you know how it goes. To a certain degree, it is already a success because everyone is wondering what "the mystery game" is. And they are all terribly grateful they don't have to dig up a white elephant present to bring because I have done all the shopping for the presents as part of the game and they are just donating a couple dollars each.

So I am off to wrap presents and I will let you know how the mystery game goes.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Beautiful best describes my first 5 minutes awake with the Lord at 6:00 AM this morning.

I woke to a feeling of calm reassurance that regardless of what does and doesn't get done this week, He still loves me deeply. That if I accidentally let one of the plates I am juggling fall to the ground, He won't be disapointed in me. That regardless of how others feel about my priorities, etc., His is the only opinion I need to be concerned about. These are things I already know. They are also things I needed Him to remind me of. And so He lovingly did so this morning because He is my Father!

And then I dozed off again for another 30 minutes.


Saturday, December 8, 2007

Tracks in the Snow

Out my bedroom window I have a fabulous view of our back yard ending in a stretch of high wild grass which leads to a line of woods which edge a portion of the farmer's soy plot. In warm weather we get to enjoy the regular appearance in our yard of deer and other wildlife. When the weather gets chilly, and as hunting season begins, these sightings are fewer and farther between. But then the snow falls, and I am assured the deer are still around. Right now I count 12 sets of deer tracks in the snow coming up to the water seap behind our house.

I love Christmas time and all the celebration that comes with it, but even still, I sometimes feel a little joy-less rather then joyful. So many items still unchecked on my to-do list. So many responsibilities and commitments. And time is flying by, not crawling. I think about my husband and kids, my friends and the people who happen to be around me for any stretch of time and I sincerely pray my life leaves at least a few tracks in the snow this Christmas season giving assurance that spiritual fruit is still present despite the chill of commitments and lists.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

The Little Lost Library Book

Once upon a time in the wonderful land called Library there was a little white hardback book who loved to be read. She was read by big kids and by little kids. She was read by girls and by boys. She was read in the morning, noon, and at night. She was read over and over and over again. Until she went to the house of C. Where she was lost. Vanished. Never to be found...until C.'s lunch detention has been served and C.'s mom pays a crazy price for another copy. Then she will promptly be found under a pile of blankets/toys/artwork/etc. and will then be returned to the library to sit next to her fresh spanking new twin that was purchased by C.'s mom. The End.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

What is today?

As I sit down to write, I am having a strange moment of panic. I haven't the foggiest idea what the date is today. But I do know it is Tuesday. (Isn't it?!)

Ok, self, don't know your personal schedule for today, whatever date it might be. Process through your schedule, perhaps it will come to you!!

This morning I cleaned, folded, and straightened like a fiend while the girls got ready for school because I had women coming over for coffee. They arrived and we discussed Foster's chapter on Prayer and then did some praying ourselves. After handing them their coats, here I am sitting at the computer wondering what on earth todays date is. (Not part of my original schedule but then I am such a very spontaneous person) In a second I am going to throw some potato's in the crock pot for soup, I am heading out the door to do some errands (cat food cause she spilled the entire container on wet garage floor...ick) and hopefully will find my way into the gym for at least 30 minutes of sanity running. Race back home, in a slow way due to the snow coming down, and make time for a quick shower. Then back out the door to pick up the girls, D3 from practice, and down to M's basketball game. Run the kids back home, slop some soup in some bowls for a family dinner, and then D and I are back out the door for Missions meeting tonight.

Ok, it is December-something. I am sure it will come to me soon...

Oh, the other day I completely forgot C's birthdate. Just blanked! I was embarrassed. And then, in a completely separate incident, I referred to this year as 2006. At least I caught myself on that one.

Hah!! December 4th!!! Whew, I feel better now! (Sorta'!!)

Friday, November 30, 2007

The Dog Is Sold

4 Christmas' ago, Big D named our new black labrador puppy "Truck". Actually, the official name is Holden'sBlackPowderTruck. He was 8 weeks old when he joined our pack and certainly NOT the runt of the litter. The name was a good fit due to his size but also because, at the time, D didn't own a truck and we would laugh that the only way he was going to ever get one was to name the dog Truck.

Shortly after this D found his dream vehicle...a big black 4 wheel drive dooley diesel. Since our move up north, the vehicle has certainly gotten its share of comments. (We do live in suburbia and we aren't in Tejas anymore.) People are also amused at the name of our labrador, and he gets his share of comments as well. Anyways, much to our amusement, several of our friends decided to name D's truck "Dog".

For the past few months, the realization has slowly been hitting us that driving the truck doesn't make sense any longer. So D put a sign in the window and yesterday the sad day arrived. Dog has been sold.

D is mourning a little bit, but I just keep reminding him that:
1. a mini-van isn't exactly my dream vehicle
2. he still has Truck, the big black goofy dog that he is

They even do devotions together when its warm outside!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


...for a seven year old can be many things. It is body function noises. It is Sponge Bob. It often doesn't make any sense whatsoever to the mature adult mind, let alone to other seven year olds. May I just say, I usually fail to appreciate seven year old humor. But this last Sunday, J and I enjoyed an extended, side-splitting giggle over something she said in the car on the way home.

It went like this: Big D asked if his talk that morning had made sense. I said yes. And J leans over and asks, dead serious and with a gleam in her little eye, how many cents did it make?

Jenna and I proceeded to giggle for about the next 5 minutes together. Here it is Wed. night and I am still smiling over the memory!! For a brief moment in time, we bonded together in laughter and a common sense of humor.

Now I need to go turn Sponge Bob off before he drives me insane.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Our Tree

It is cold, snow from yesterday is still on the ground and the girls have been sledding. The fire isn't just for ambiance!!

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree!

It is after Thanksgiving now, so I have full permission from society in general to begin the decorating of the house. If I waited for permission from my Grinch-ish husband, it might be Christmas Eve before he would endorse any hanging of ribbons or lights. (I know you are reading this, sweet man of mine, and you know it is true!)

My tree is up and my mantle decorated. It feels so nice and festive in the livingroom, with Martina McBride singing Christmas carols on the cd player!! I am going to take a picture and talk my Grinch into helping me get it onto my computer by tomorrow's post. I would love to see your tree too, so if you are able, post a picture on your own blog and I will come and admire it!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Conflict Stinks!!

I just thought I would put that statement out there as safe common ground we can all relate to. 'Cause it does and everyone knows it! Except lawyers. They actually like it. But anyways, for the last little while conflict has swirlled near me, but not touched me directly. All of a sudden I find myself flat in the middle of some myself.

In an uncomfortable turn of events, I have been forced to put my actions where my mouth has been. As I have encouraged those in the swirl of conflict to handle it Biblically, so now I am having to summon the courage to not gossip, to confront directly and openly, speaking the truth in a loving way, with a forgiving and non-judgemental attitude, having removed the log from my own eye first, etc. And I just have to say again, Conflict Stinks.

But I am thankful that the God has not remained silent on this topic and that in addition to the above principles He also included in His Word the following verse:

"If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." Romans 12:18

Dear Lord,
if it is possible,
as far as it depends on me,
I want to live at peace with everyone.
Please help me!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Such a Proud Moment

My son in 8th grade had a Thanksgiving brunch in his class this morning. His job was to bring fruit salad, and wisely the room mom emailed me with that information last week so I was completely prepared the night before rather then the morning of. Chatting with the room mom tonight at his b-ball game, I found that as M presented the fruit salad to his class, in that true "Thanksgiving spirit", he requested they not eat it all because he was saving some of it for his snack later. He was apparently dead serious. And his classmates apparently complied with this request. All I have to say is, such a proud moment for me! And of all my kids, I would not have expected that from him. On the up side, at least he is making good choices to eat healthy snacks!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Basketball Is My Favorite Sport...

And I am going to get PLENTY of B-Ball this year. D-3 made JV, M is playing jr high, and C and J will play in our church league on Saturdays. Big D will coach J's team this year, since he and I coached C's team last year. But as for me, I will sit on the sidelines, cheer my kids on, and love doing it. Most of the time. For that small bit of time that is frustrating I make the following commitment:

When I get tired of driving, I will remind myself of how fun it was when I was in their stage of life and be thankful for the sacrifice of time my own parents made.
When I get discouraged because 2 games are going at the same time and I can't be at both, I will be thankful that my husband can usually be at one and I can be at the other.
When I grow butt-weary of sitting on the bench, I will remember it is a season with a beginning and an next Fall I will again be saying "Basketball is my favorite sport!"

Friday, November 16, 2007

Chai-Spiced Bread

It turned out pretty good and was very easy, so I am posting the recipe for you to try. As I warned my friends this morning during our coffee time, it seems like a mid-morning type bread, not a whenever-you-want-it kind of snack like banana bread is. But who doesn't need a mid-morning bit of spice added to their life?!

3/4 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. butter or marg. softened
1/2 c. prepared tea or water
1/3 c. milk
2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
2 c. flour all purpose
2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. ground cardamom
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground cloves

1c. powdered sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
3-5 tsp milk
additional ground cinnamon

Heat oven to 400 deg. Grease bottom of 8x4 or 9x5 inch loaf pan with shortening or cooking spray.
Beat granulated sugar and butter with mixer on med. until fluffy. On low beat in tea, 1/3 c. milk, 2 tsp. vanilla and the eggs until well combined. Stir in bread ingredients just until moist. Spread in pan.

Bake 50-60 min. or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 min. remove from pan and cool another 30 min.

Glaze. Stir powdered sugar, 1/4 tsp vanilla and 3 tsp of the milk, adding more milk by tsps. until spreadable. Spread glaze over bread. Sprinkle with additional cinnamon. Cool about 2 hrs before slicing.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

It's An Evening to Bake

The weather outside is frightful (cloudy, dark, light snow but not sticking) and so I am printing out a recipe for some Chai bread that my sis-in-law sent my way last week to give a try. If it turns out nicely, I will make a bunch for my coffee pals who I am meeting tomorrow AM and will post the recipe for my long distance coffee pals! It is about time you came over to the Tea Side anyways!!!

Biding My Time!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

My Response to Blessings

So how should I respond to blessings, those good gifts from God? In Eph. 1:3-4 it says,

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.”

My response should be one of praise and gratitude to God, recognizing His spiritual blessings with an attitude of humility and a heart ready to live an obedient life according to His holy ways.

A specific type of obedience that God expects from His children when they have experienced blessing in hardships is found in II Cor. 1:3,4. The gift of comfort that He gives to us, He expects us to pass along to others around us.

II Cor 1:3,4 says:

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”

Where God has touched me in the past, my gratitude, recognition, humility, and obedience should lead me to be willing and able to pass those blessings along to others. Simply put, God often chooses to use you and me to bless others in His Name.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Blessings Defined

To those of you who were thinking of me this past week as I worked on my talk for the brunch, thank you!! I love how God shows up in my life through the study of His Word and through sisters in Christ who help me push forward through challenges. I wish I could relay to you the whole story of this past week, but it would be much too long. Suffice it to say, He is faithful!! The following is the intro. to my talk if you are interested.

Growing up in the south, this word “blessing” is thrown around alot in common everyday conversation. It is a word used by Christians and non-Christians alike. It is kind of like grits and coke. It is part of the culture. And because of this, I think the word loses a bit of its real meaning sometimes. Last week I googled the word blessing. I wonder how closely their definitions agree with what you think of when you hear the word blessing?

*praying at the dinner table is “blessing” the meal
*a town in Texas is named Blessing
*going to your parents and asked for their approval on your marriage
*sympathetic thing to say when someone sneezes
*a herd of unicorns is called a blessing (I didn’t know that one either)
*divinely appointed gift

I am willing to bet that if I went over to Kohls and stopped random people to ask them what a blessing is, most would probably respond with something like this...

it is something good that happens to you.

And they are right. Blessings are good things and we all enjoy them.

But the best definition of blessing is that it is a gift from God.

Blessings come to us wrapped up in different packages. There are the obvious blessings in our life that when we see them we immediately recognize them for the wonderful things they are. These are satin blessings, like romance, dear friendships, a lovely home, special abilities and talents, fun vacations. And then there are denim blessings. Still good and very necessary in our enjoyment of life, but not so flashy as satin blessings. These are things like cars that run and get you to where you need to go. Maybe it is a job, not necessarily your dream job but certainly a fine job and there for you when you get to work in the morning. Maybe it is good health, and your kids not coming down with strep when all the other kids in their class do. And then, there are burlap blessings. These are the ones that often come to us in disguise and in times of hardship. These gifts don't appear to be valuable or desirable. In fact, burlap is rough to the touch and often frayed at the edges. But inside the burlap packaging are sweet spiritual gifts like peace, hope, love, grace, forgiveness.

All three types of gifts qualify as blessings and all of them are wonderful things that we desire and need, given to us from the hand of God. So how should we respond to them? Tomorrow, I will post my thoughts on that question!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


...would be an ok excuse for my blog being so sadly ignored, but no, Blue Skies, that is not the reason. I have been up to my ears in stuff. Specifically, in preparing for a Thanksgiving Brunch talk on, of all things, "blessings"! ("A tisket, a tasket, the Lord has filled my blessing basket" is the theme of the brunch!!!!! ) That will happen on Saturday, so I will be able to re-focus on the blog a bit better next week hopefully. So say a prayer for me Saturday morning, if you please.

P.S. First snow happened yesterday. It melted immediately, but, oh, it sure was fun to watch it come down!!!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

I Will Do It This Time!!

Well, I am going to do it this time. I have voiced my good intentions before and then not followed through, but this time WILL be the time that I actually begin to scrapbook! After a bittersweet hour of searching for a very specific picture of J. as a toddler, I have come to the conclusion that enough is enough and I need to get busy!! (By the way, it was bitter because I couldn't find the picture but sweet because I unearthed so many other precious memories.)

I would take a picture of my horrendous mess that I am facing, a la Spaghettipie, but I can't. My room is too messy for a photo and I would have to borrow Big D's computer to download it and he is is just easier to describe it. Under my unmade bed, I have all sorts of shoe boxes in varying size, color, and state of dilapidation containing piles of pictures that are just crying out to be either creatively framed in a acid free environment or thrown away because C.'s eyes are crossed (mild myopia as a preschooler) and Big D.'s head got cut off the top (he can't help that he is tall).

By the way, I did make that first crucial step towards following through. I found two scrapbooks on clearance and bought some paper and tape (acid free, of course). So off I go. But not to scrapbook. I have to clean my room first! And then some laundry. And then work on some Bible study. Sigh!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Like Mother, Like Daughter

Conversation in the car on the way home from school one day last week with J.:

"Mom, why do you shut your cell phone with your chin?"
"Uhmm, didn't know I did that."
"Yep! Why do you do that?"
"I guess because my other hand is busy driving."

Conversation in the church lobby on Sunday as I hang up my cell phone:

"Mom, you are still shutting your cell phone with your chin. Why?"
"Uhmm...I have no clue!!"

This is from the girl who held her pacifier under her chin when she wanted to tuck it away somewhere safe while she ate, or played, or whatever. We always wondered where she got that little trick and now we know.

C. and I have a lot of similarities also. I have to admit, as a child I was a tad dramatic. I dressed up. I role played. I emoted. C. has been known to do this every day of her life thus far. If there isn't any drama readily available, she will manufacture it!

So how much like my mom am I? Devoted to the Lord, check. Service gifts, check. Intensely loyal to family and friends, check. Prayer warrior, oops--need to work on that more diligently. Highly disciplined, ouch--not so strong in that trait.

Well, the nice thing is that I have a great role model in my mother who inspires me to press towards Christ-likeness. My prayer is that I will in turn be that for my own daughters as they grow up into beautiful women of God.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Overhurd At Thu Dintist

I was "relaxing" in the chair getting an enamel-challenged tooth updated (sounds more progressive then getting an old cavity re-filled, don't you think?) when the dentist started talking to her assistant about another patient. She had fitted him with dentures but when she caught sight of him out-on-the-town the other night, he wasn't wearing them. Her voice registered incredulity.

That conversation over the "purring" drill got me thinking.
If I run into my eye doctor and I am not wearing my glasses, will I be the subject of conversation in her office the next day?
If I return my new shoes, will the salesperson at the store be offended if she finds out?
If I don't take people's advice will I be considered foolish?

Probably, but oh well!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Comic Relief

My nephew provided a little comic relief after my mom-in-law's funeral several weeks ago. It was even funny at the time. Note the sign over the slot. The church secretary said that in the history of the church, they had never had that happen before! Fortunately, a physical therapist was on hand and manipulated the arm into a position where it could be removed...10 minutes later! The picture actually was taken just after the arm was removed as we felt it was an important memory to preserve for posterity and probably for his rehearsal dinner someday. One thing we know for sure--Marta would have laughed and laughed!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Denial or Therapy?

Have you ever had one of those days where there's emotional stuff swirling around you from all sorts of directions, but you just aren't going to deal with it? You choose to ignore "it" and allow "it" to just go away for a little while? That is my day today this far! Some might call it denial...

I started my morning off with a professional massage, which was given to me for my birthday last month. Hopped over to the last half of Bible study and had a sweet time of prayer with some ladies from church. Came home and changed back into my PJ's. Next came a leisurely lunch followed by a Hersheys bar (full size) while finishing up a mindlessly pleasant piece of fiction. Fire in the fireplace, raindrops on the window, total silence, bliss!! Book finished, I took a Dr. Phil personality test, which was surprisingly accurate and therefore somewhat amusing. (go to And now here I an blogging about my state of lazy denial to the great big world of internet. Should I be embarrassed?

Strangely, the emotional swirly stuff isn't so overwhelming to me as it was earlier. I actually feel rested up and ready to face some of the things that need to be faced, and which ones those are seem clearer then before. Some might call a day like today denial but it has felt more like therapy!

Monday, October 22, 2007

My Try at a Limerick

There once was a girl who couldn't see,
But glasses or contacts? Not she!
Yet when the day finally came,
And her kids didn't look the same,
She exclaimed, "Four-eyes isn't so bad to be!"

Ok, so in case you couldn't tell, I am enjoying the gift of sight!! My kids were never really so blurry that I couldn't tell them apart, but I do see them in better focus now. How sad is that?! The leaves on the trees are beautiful and don't blend all together in globs of color, and I am even noticing the little individual blades of grass. It is like High Definition vision! Sight is good! Very, very good!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

10-20-30 meme

Thanks for tagging me, Spaghettipie. This was a fun one!

Ten years ago my husband and I lived in Texas and he was in seminary. It was a huge time of spiritual growth for our entire family. I tried to read as many of the books my husband was reading and kept a journal of what I was learning. I was still a stay at home mom and my kids were 6, 4, and 2 years old with my youngest not born yet. God kept showing up in amazing ways both spirtitually and also very practically. A favorite story of His provision happened right around this time period. We needed a certain amount of money to pay for tuition and books, and it was a couple of thousand if I remember correctly. We didn't have it. I was biting my nails over it and remembering to pray occasionally for it, when a letter comes in the mail from a former client of my husband's now-ended law practice up in Oklahoma. He sent us a huge check with an apology for it being over a year late! Totally a God moment, as anyone who has ever run their own law practice can attest. Clients just don't track you down after that long and especially after you have closed the practice and moved on.

Twenty years ago was my senior year of highschool. I lived in Oklahoma and attended a private Christian school. I spent my time playing basketball, tennis, and socializing. Sadly, my main focus at that point in time involved my appearance--shopping, makeup, hair, nails, etc. I did have a hard year with the mysterious end of a close girl friendship, though with such maturity I just can't imagine why! God used that "trauma" to grow me up, it really was bitterly hard at the time, and for that I am thankful.

Thirty years ago I was in 2nd grade and my teacher's name was Mrs. Wellborn. And that is all I can remember about that year. It is strange to have an entire year without memories, or at least memories I can identify as linked specifically with that year. I know that we lived in Oklahoma in the same house I lived in from 4 years to 19 years of age. I loved playing with my stuffed animals. No dolls for me. They weren't soft and cuddly like the animals. But I dressed them and fed them and spanked them and hugged them. My favorite was a large round pink bear that I could have sworn hugged me back!

Friday, October 19, 2007


When I tried them on, my friend from church who works in the shop told me to look in the mirror. I did and experienced a horrifying moment of heart-stopping shock. I have wrinkles in between my eyebrows, which, by the way, need to be plucked. My pores are rather obvious as are the numerous freckles. And not only is my foundation not doing its job on the spots, but it was a bit caked in areas I had not noticed in my previous state of ignorant bliss.

When I could breathe again, I said to my friend I didn't realize I had wrinkles. She laughed and said, if it was any consolation, it was just news to me. Everyone else has been seeing them for awhile.

Uhm, thanks...I feel so much better now.

But on the up side of things, I can actually see. And my husband tells me they are sexy!! Really, what more could I ask for?! (Other then lasik of course.)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Update on A Cow's Eyeball

Success! You will be so relieved to hear that I survived the dissection yesterday and didn't have to leave the room once. Well, I did leave once, but it was to run an errand for the teacher that, providentially, couldn't wait a minute longer. She desperately needed a trash bag and, frankly, it was up to me to make that trash bag happen for her.

My son was a pro at dissection, as I watched him from the far back right corner of the room next to the open window. He is the one who not so long ago suddenly came down with the "flu" when on a hunting trip with his dad. The "flu" hit right about the time the deer was being dressed. But no "flu" symptoms showed up today as he carved and observed and prodded the huge knobby smelly thing.

What have I learned from my brief foray into the world of 8th grade science?

1. I was very wise to not have pursued anything scientific for my vocation.
2. While it may be "interesting" and "educational" to observe the dissection of a cow's eyeball once in my life, I am quite sure it needn't be a recurring thing. Thank goodness!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A Cow's Eyeball

There comes a day in a person's life when she must dissect a cow's eyeball. Apparently, today is that day for me. My son's 8th grade science class desperately needs my assistance (I am told) and I will be there for them!! I will let you know if anything "interesting" happens.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Five Things...

...that cause me to question my vocation of stay at home mom:

1. My shirt never manages to stay completely dry when I wash the dishes.
2. I do not own an apron and haven't since I was 7 years old.
3. Not only can I not sew, I don't even want to.
4. I am a mediocre cook, and only slightly better at baking.
5. While I appreciate a clean house, I do not appreciate cleaning the house.

...that affirm my choice to be a stay at home mom:

1. Big D!
2. Little D.
3. M.
4. C.
5. J.

Thank you, God, for allowing me to have this wonderful job of taking care of my family!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Date Night

Once thing I love about my life is our date night. It usually happens on Sunday night for us. It is a cherished tradition in my marriage and one I hope never, ever goes away.

It started several years ago. We knew our marriage would suffer without special alone time together but when our kids were younger the budget just didn't allow for babysitting on a regular basis. And so we decided to try some dates at home. All four kids were put in bed at 8:00 PM regardless of their regular bedtime and required to stay in their rooms to read or play quietly until their regular bedtime. They did a really good job leaving us alone and so began our weekly date night routine.

Today, we have the luxury of kids old enough to stay home alone or to babysit for the younger ones. (: But we still spend the majority of our date nights right here in our own home with all the kids going to their rooms for the night at 8:00 PM with a grin and a kiss goodnight.

Because it is such a highlight of my week, I am adding to my blog a page element called Cheap Yet Fun Dates. Most can be done in house, but some will require babysitting if you have younger ones. Glance over there every once in a while if you need an idea for your own date night. I will start with several of our favorites from the past. And if you have a Cheap Yet Fun Date idea of your own, please pass it along to me. I am always looking for new ways to date my husband.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Been Tagged

Saturday MeMe...I was tagged

Jobs I’ve Had:

1. babysitting was good to me in my highschool years...kept me dressed preppy

2. receptionist at my dad's Dr. office...I can type pretty fast, actually, but I am not a big phone person

3. nanny...while Kellie's nanny job made her feel smug and superior mine made me wonder if I ever wanted to be a mother with children of my own! Fortunately, I like my own children.

4. welcome wagon...the high point memory of this job is tied between the new local t.v. newscaster answering the door in his boxers and high centering my car on someones driveway and the tow truck had to be called. Both make me giggle.

Places I’ve Lived:
1. Honolulu, Hawaii
2. Irving, Texas
3. Edmond, Oklahoma
4. Topeka, Kansas
5. Garland, Texas
6. Frisco, Texas
7. Ft. Worth, Texas
8. Michigan

Food I Love:
1. TexMex
2. chocolate
3. tea, with milk and sugar, if you please
4. steak

Websites I Visit:

2. http://yahoo (: pathetic source of information, but oh well

3. mostly I just cruise around my friend's blogs to be honest

Places I’d Rather Be:
Too scary to even chase this question out. I am here!

Movies I Love:
1.Pride and Prejudice (BBC edition)
2.You've Got Mail (so predictable, but still a favorite)
3.The Music Man (put out a couple years ago on T.V...a friend taped it for me)
4. Big Fat Greek Wedding

TV Shows I Watch:
Here I go...Pro football and college basketball, Mixed Martial Arts (only with Big D, though), Funniest Home Videos(with the kids), Singing Bee (I apoligise for being so weird but there it is for all the blogging world to see) We try not to watch t.v. during the school week so that limits the shows we watch.

Friday, October 12, 2007

My Mom-in-Law

This picture was taken just a month before she went to be with the Lord. Sadly, there are only a few pictures of us together which encourages my committment to not avoid the camera anymore. One picture I found of us was at my wedding shower in 1990 and both of us look like walking flower gardens (think Laura Ashley in mauves and blues).

Today as I post this, I am thinking grateful thoughts of the woman who mothered my sweet husband, played tea party with my girls, listened intently to my boys' sports stories, and loved me as a part of her family.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Vanilla Sugar Cookies

Yesterday on La Vida Dulce, Kellie referenced my sugar cookie recipe and they really are yummy and so easy! I inherited this recipe from my sister and won't use any other now.

1 c. butter (2 sticks)
1c. sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
3 c. flour

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg and vanilla. Add baking powder and flour, one cup at a time mixing after each.

Do not chill dough. Dough may be tinted with food coloring. Pat or roll out (not too thin) and cut. Bake 6 min. or until golden brown at edges. Frost when cool.

Note: drop cookies take 9-10 minutes

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Not Enough Hours In My Day

Yesterday went by so fast and I felt like I didn't really accomplish much of anything. Drifting off to sleep last night, I tried to figure out where I went wrong. As I mentally checked things accomplished off my list I came to the conclusion that nothing went wrong...I just had too many things on my to-do list. (:

So today, with yesterday's stuff rolled into my list today, I WILL NOT panic. I WILL calmly take care of the priority items, and I WILL NOT care if my list is completely checked off by tonight at bedtime!!

Gotta' run! (blog...check, laundry...)

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

A Bit Ticked Off

I try to keep things positive and upbeat on my blog while remaining real and authentic.

Be forewarned, today is a little more of the real then of the positive. My insurance company is strangely refusing to pay for my allergy medicine. Quite honestly, I don't know if I have the emotional energy right now to navigate through their phone system.

It will go something like this:

Welcome to our automated phone system!
Press 1 if you are a doctor or pharmacist, and we will joyfully and immediately connect you to a kind and helpful person.
Press 2 if you have "VIP" at the beginnning of your account number and you will be helped sooner rather then later.
Press 3 if you have a long string of numbers in your account number and pull up a chair you will be here awhile.

When I press #3 I will hear the cheerful voice say:

Press 4 if you have given birth to 6 or more children and have a question about a prescription.
Press 5 if you are postmenopausal with thinning hair and have a question about a prescription.
Press 6 if you have psychological issues and have a question about a presciption.
Press 7 for more options.

This is where things get risky. If I press #7, will it circle around to phase one and start all over again or if I am patient will I eventually get the option of talking to a real person?

Or should I just push #6 and get it over with!!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Moving Forward

Marta didn't want us to wallow in our sadness when her time came and so our family is choosing to move forward. Today the guys are out playing golf and enjoying each other and the fresh air. Yesterday, we girls did own thing...lunch at PF Changs, pedicure, shopping, candy!

To get a little picture of how the pedicure went, please go to YouTube and look up the clip by Angelah Johnson titled (I think) Nail Salon. You will enjoy!!

Friday, October 5, 2007

This World Is Not My Home

"This world is not my home, I'm just passing through.
My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue.
the angels beckon me from Heaven's open door
And I can't feel at home in this world anymore."

This is the first stanza of an old song from the 1960's by Albert Brumley. Reading through the words my tears are a mix of sadness and joy, pain and hope. This world is not my mom-in-law's home, her treasures are laid up in heaven, the last months have been a series of steps closer to her home-going, and she was ready. She died Tuesday morning at 10:20 and entered into the Presence of the Lord.

"I have told you these things so that IN ME you will have PEACE. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

6 Signs of Stress

1. The waves lapping at your ankles are due to the handfuls of hair clogging your shower drain.

2. The object you keep catching out of the corner of your eye is really just the "blemish" on your nose.

3. Silver strands of hair can be more accurately described as streaks of gray.

4. A shoulder massage is your favorite way to receive affection.

5. Your pantry is suddenly very empty of carbohydrates.

6. Scissors find their way into your hands and start cutting hair even though you had a professional trim last week.
(Thanks, Kellie, for the promise of intervention if this sign surfaces again!)

If you have a moment, let me know what your favorite ways to reduce stress are. And keep those anwers G rated, thank you very much!

Biding my time!!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Book Reviews...

are apparently quite subjective. I just finished a book that was touted as "poignant", "funny", and "hard to put down". I will not acknowledge the title of the book here in my blog because it doesn't deserve that much recognition. I skipped whole pages at a time just trying to see if the poignant and funny part was just waiting around the corner. And get this! The publisher has the nerve to provide a readers guide with discussion questions as if literary individuals everywhere will want to meet around a coffee table and discuss.

I think what really irritates me the most is that I actually bought the stupid thing! I feel duped by the reviews! So to feel a little better I think I will give my own private review of the pathetic novel that shall remain un-named.

"The perfect read for those who crave a healthy portion of weak plot and awkward narrative interspersed with tired characters. A must-not buy!"

Ok...I feel better now. Thanks for letting me vent!

Friday, September 28, 2007

It Is So Fall...

so why is it still warm?! I am not in Texas anymore!! My daughters are still wearing shorts to school and I haven't worn my fun little red trenchcoat even once. Tags are still in it because I am still wearing capri's!!

But from my bedroom window I see the trees are turning, vines around the trunks are truly crimson, and the wild grasses are rusting and yellowing.

I guess it doesn't need to be that cold during the day for nature to begin its process of winter rest!

I have been thinking on the concept of real rest in my life lately and its lack thereof. More Sabbath rest, less sleep rest, more do-nothing-but-play- with-the-kids rest, less brain rest, more soul rest. These are all things I need to get better at this Fall.

I shouldn't let things in my life grow cold before I start the process!

Thursday, September 27, 2007


Today was a day I easily could have betrayed my decision to only write on my blog. I would have used the technology of pictures if I had the capablity (intellectual) to do so. It has been a while since I posted. I am in a weak spot, feeling a little dry and non-creative. Just plug in a picture with some commentary!

It isn't that I dislike pictures on other people's blogs so don't get all offended and send me hate-comments. It is just that, well, blogging was my chance to write. Basically, I am rethinking my resolve.

I will be sure to let you know what I decide.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Fall Hike

Yesterday on my "day off" with my husband, we took a little hike. There is something timeless when you exit manmade road and hit nature. Not only do you trade pavement for dirt, but you also leave behind the worries and stresses of daily life.

For that span of time, there were no school issues with the kids. Various challenges disappeared. Scheduling and housework and laundry didn't even exist.

We were surrounded by color. There were deer tracks. Leaves waved and rustled high above us. We were together.

Thank you, Lord, for sharing Your Creation!!!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Wife of a Hunter

At a certain time each year, I become the wife of a hunter. The phenomena actually begins to take shape before hunting season begins. As the weather begins to change, so does my husband. He spends more time looking through various outdoor catalogues and begins to stretch his shoulder out. His binoculars are found in various parts of the house, but always near windows and doors. The bow case can be found open in the basement next to the target block.

Though it can sometimes be an annoying pastime, I mostly like that my husband hunts. It means my husband and my kids will be creating some more great memories together. Past trips have provided fun campfire style stories that involve not just my boys but also my girls. From killing a deer while my littlest was wearing hot pink "camo" to great "sleepyhead" video footage of my middle boy, these memories will last all our lives! I like my husband having a hobby. He is a better man with something fun to plan ahead for, to dream about, to hone a skill for, and all outside in the crisp fresh air of God's creation. I appreciate that we eat what he kills. It is good stewardship, healthy, and I get a full freezer! And best of all, the season begins and the season ends. It isn't forever!

As hunting season fast approaches and I am tempted to notice the annoying side of his hobby (early mornings, random chamo articles strewn about, time away from me, etc.) I intentionally choose to acknowledge the positive side of being the wife of a hunter.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Big Truck

I have a big black Labrador named Truck. He was part of the Three Ring Circus I blogged about not too long ago. He is quite big...oh wait, I already said that. But he is NOT fat, and I am not just saying that to make him feel better about himself. He is big boned. Seriously! Just ask my vet!

Anyways, Truck loves food! He loves cheap dog food, he loves expensive dog food, he loves cat food which he steals from Hidey, and he loves rawhide bones which he devours in about 30 minutes. He would love human food but we do not give him any table scraps at all. We are very strict about it!

Monday morning Truck was let out and fed by my son at his normal time of 6:00 AM. At around 6:30 I am jerked from sleep by frantic barking in the front yard. Deer, I think wearily to myself. He will get over it. Sure enough, the barking ceased but 5 minutes later I hear a pounding on the front door. Neighbors, I think in horror to myself. They are coming over to complain about Truck barking at the deer! It is my birthday and I can't even sleep in!! I leap from bed ready to calmly but coolly annihilate whatever person happens to be at my front door only to find nothing but a basket full of bagels and pastries and fruit.

About now I am feeling, well, stupid! So I grab the basket and bring it in all the while wondering where on earth Truck is and thinking how fortunate that he wasn't around or the basket would be empty. Last year for my birthday, my sister mailed me a package which he had chewed up but fortunately (for him) the earrings were inside a metal box and were ok.

I got the scoop yesterday from my friend who left the basket for me. The barking was initiated by her and her daughter taunting Truck just out of reach of his radio collar in an effort to get us to let him in the house. They are both very nervous around big dogs. When that didn't work, she had to turn to bribery. When I opened the door she was actually hiding behind my car in the driveway, shoeless, hanging onto Truck's collar while he gobbled down goodies from the basket! Apparently, she had knocked on our door, grabbed pastries from the basket, grabbed his collar and had drug him through the flower bed, losing her shoes on the way just in time before I opened the door.

So Truck is feeling like a very fortunate dog, having had breakfast from Panera for once in his life. I personally am feeling fortunate my friend is still talking to me.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Disapointment and Discovery

Have you ever really looked forward to something only to find that when you get there it isn't as good as you imagined?

Yep! The shoes just weren't that great in person. They were darling on the model in the catalog online. But not so special hanging on a plastic hanger (!) on the wall. And so, the price tag just wasn't worth it.

Have you ever been really disapointed about something only to discover that just around the corner something special was waiting for you?

Yep! Across the room was an adorable little red trench coat calling out to me! I tried it on without even looking at the price tag! And then I exercised my birthday prerogative of spending way too much on a trendy item just because I want to!

If you happen to see it at Anne Taylor Loft, picture me in it as I dash from picking the girls up, to soccer, to basketball, to the store, to coffee, to Bible study, etc. Because I am looking forward to wearing the coat out this Fall!!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Shoppin' for Shoes

I really, really like shoes!!

I have always been drawn to the click-clack of high heels on a hard floor. There is just something about open toe shoes that show off bright polish on toe nails. I appreciate the comfortable pleasure found in a good pair of tennies. I adore comfy, wooly slippers that cuddle my cold feet in the winter.

And I really, really like getting to purchase the little red ballet slippers that have caught my eye at Ann Taylor Loft!!

Thank you to my mom-in-law for helping me pick them out online!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Embarrassment Meets Kindness

I picked up my daughter from school the other day and her expressive face told me immediately that something was up. When asked how her day went, she blurted out, "I have to tell you something when we get to the car".

In testimony to my misunderstood childhood, my first thought was she had a detention. Thankfully, she only resembles me in a limited way and so the answer to that question was a very indignant "no".

After an eternity, we reached the car. My mind had raced through several scary possibilities and I knew for sure that if it was anything to do with a boyfriend I would probably have a panic attack.

C. prefaced her story with a giggle and by commenting that she hoped she wasn't gossiping but something hilarious had happened that day. Apparently, she was in the girls room when a boy entered and too late realized he had made a very awkward mistake. I asked what she did and she said that since the boy was in her class she immediately looked away so that he could make his escape without knowing he had been seen.

As relief flowed through me that this was all that "was up", it occurred to me that my daughter had behaved herself very kindly! I wish the embarrassing moments of my childhood had been handled that well by my peers. For that matter, I still have embarrassing moments. And I am so, so proud of my kind daughter!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Shopaholics Beware

I am a recovering shopaholic! Flying on the plane today, I was struck anew at the incredible shopping possibilities to be found thousands of feet in the air. In one catalogue you can find anything from gaudy bathroom fixtures to feet massagers to 14 karat gold roses.

My favorite item today was the filtered water system for cats. Apparently, cats love fresh water. In fact, it is vital for their survival. For a small fortune, I can now insure kitty has the freshest water possible whenever kitty wants it.

For a brief moment, I am actually tempted. After all, I like filtered and fresh water myself. I even half way like my cat. And then it occurs to me, my cat lurks at night searching for rodents. When it finds a rodent, my cat slaps it around before killing it. My cat takes the deceased in its mouth and drops it on my front porch for all to see. If after all that, my cat still needs filtered water to survive, then kitty is up a creek.

Besides, there was a pretty awesome set of his and her ab loungers that caught my eye.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Favorite Psalm

The entirety of Psalm 63 ministers to my heart. It voices my prayer, especially in the hardest of times when I am weakest. Here are the first few verses:

O God, you are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirst for you
my body longs for you,
in a dry and weary land
where there is no water.

I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.
Because your love is better then life,
my lips will glorify you.
I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Three things that make me happy...

*seeing God's hand at work

I LOVE finding tidbits in Scripture that connect with some current event in my life (like getting to the book of Ruth in my reading just a few weeks ago). And even when God's hand at work is a disciplinary hand, I know it is wielded in love for me and it makes me so happy that He hasn't forgotten me, that He is active in my life, and He loves me tenderly enough to help me mature spiritually.

*my family

My best friend is still my husband. My kids aren't perfect but they are sure great, if I do say so myself. My parents and siblings are my prayer warriors and friends. My in-laws are brave and caring. It just makes me happy to think about them all!

*Dr. Pepper, steak, and chocolate cake

There is simple pleasure found in the tang of a lime squeezed into a Dr. Pepper; the salty, charcoaly taste of a great steak grilled to perfection; the smooth and creamy texture of rich chocolate! But I have also learned this past week that it can get even simpler! In the words of one of my mom-in-laws doctors, "there is nothing that makes you feel so human as the ability to eat and drink". As she drinks her very small cups of Propel and ice, or eats portions of Cream of Wheat, my mom-in-law is relishing it as if it is a feast prepared by the finest chef. She knows what it is like to go days without this simple comfort and she appreciates it thoroughly!

There are other things, obviously, that make me happy but these three are what I am thinking about today. Maybe tomorrow I will thank God for three more things. This exercise could last for quite awhile I am thinking!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Roadtrip Reminiscence

My family had to make a last minute rush trip south to see the family due to my mom-in-law's cancer and the fact that time is growing close for her. It wasn't an easy trip. Long hours on the road invite mournful thoughts. But there were a few funny happenings and so those I am going to share!

*It isn't a roadtrip without the typical "are we there yet/how much longer/what time is it" questions and all the variations the kids could think of

*To break the monotony, Big D asked the kids a question..."If you are a Norwegian, what country are you from?" C. 's answer was France, of course.

*We stopped at Wendy's, mainly because we had travelled too far north for a Sonic, and found a Wendy's girl who was having a worse day then we were. Big D didn't tell her we were "to go" until the end of the order. It was JUST AWFUL!! Can you BELIEVE how RUDE? (: Somehow in some sick way, it made us both giggle!

*Overheard as we unloaded, "I get the first shower 'cause I haven't showered in a week!"

Friday, August 24, 2007

My Favorite Cartoon...

was Loonie Tunes. Wasn't it everyones? My favorite character, though, may be a bit different then yours. I adored the Abominable Snowman. "I will love him, and hug him, and call him George.", he would say in his goofy voice as he squeezed the eyeballs out of poor Bugs Bunny.

When I was first married I had a pet lop-eared bunny named George. He was sweet but he didn't last too long into the marriage. I found that taking care of a husband and a little cocker spaniel and a bunny named George was just too much responsibility. So he was shipped off to a classroom to become the class mascot. I can just picture some little chubby 3rd grader loving him and hugging him and wondering how poor George ever came by that name.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Of Cats and Teenagers

Random internet fact of the day: cats can only remember approximately 10 minutes worth of stuff.

Random MEH fact of the day: my cat and my two teenage sons have more in common then I thought.

People warned me that the teenage years were coming. When late night feedings had exhausted me, people with a knowing nod would say, “just wait until they are teenagers." During the potty training years, a.k.a. my cranky years, older parents would say, “if you think you are stressed now, just wait until the teenage years.” As my kids trotted off to elementary school and began thinking they knew it all, parents with teenagers would warn, “you think it is bad now, just wait until they are teenagers.”

I have to admit I never truly believed any of those naysayers. In fact, it irritated me that fellow parents were negating the hardships of the phase I was currently in while “warning” me of how bad it would be in the future. Was that supposed to be encouraging to me in some sick sort of way?

So here I am with two teenage sons and one preteen daughter. As an official "older parent", it isn’t bad at all.

When my kids wake up in the middle of the night hungry, they feed themselves. Not only is potty training a distant memory that now only causes me to mildly shudder, my kids actually clean the toilets for me. There is a bit of condesension in conversations with them, but usually just a raised eyebrow look from me is enough to curb the ‘tude. All in all, my teenagers are fun to hang out with and talk to and they pretty much take care of themselves.

But the memory lapse thing is a challenge for me. They can literally forget something I have just said in the excitement of whatever moment they are in. For example, I told teenage son number one to turn off the water after a couple minutes while I went on a run. When I returned to a flooded flower garden, the anwer was “oh, sorry, I just completely forgot.” He was on the computer. When I heard that teenage son number two forgot to eat breakfast and lunch, his reply was, “oh, sorry, I just forgot.” He was on xbox all morning.

It is just as well, I guess. I still like having them around and so it is nice that they need me for something, even if it is just reminding them of stuff. And when they go off to college I will always have the cat to remember them by.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


It sounds dark and a bit morbid, but this is what it is apparently called. Popping off the dead blooms on my rose bush allows new fresh blooms to appear sooner then if I just let them dry up and fall off on their own.

As I performed this rite on my four little bushes the other day, my mind had nothing else to do but analogise it to my own life. There comes a time when a phase or circumstance or even habit of life needs to come to a close. Sometimes it is a quick death. Sometimes it fades slowly. Regardless, the bloom time is ending.

Deep thoughts for a Tuesday, I know. (: But I resolve to not hang on to old, faded and crusty blooms because new, fresh and fragrant blooms are preparing to bud!

Friday, August 17, 2007

A Favorite August Recipe

Freshest Blueberry Cobbler Ever!!!!! I made 2 yesterday. Easier then pie, which I also made 1 of yesterday.

Pick 8 lbs. of blueberries in the morning directly off the bushes.

Rinse and pick over them All Day Long until you think you are going to scream. Pull out 4 cups of blueberries and freeze the rest for later.

Melt 1 stick of butter in 8x8.

Mix together 1 c of flour, 1 c of sugar, 3/4 cup of milk, 2 tsp baking powder, pinch of salt.

Dump onto melted butter.

Add fruit (with some extra sugar)

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.


Thursday, August 16, 2007

My Very Own Three Ring Circus

Late last night some friends of ours brought their dog by for a short visit. They are moving into a new house and so their little Sheltie, Mollie, needed a place to crash. She is a very sweet little mini-Lassie and my kids were thrilled!

Our big lab, Mr. T, was already tucked in his kennel when Mollie arrived, but kitty was so kind as to meet Mollie outside. Suffice it to say, it was not love at first sight. We brought Mollie inside and fed kitty outside. Through a series of barks and yips, Mollie finally succeeded in assuring us that Timmie was not in the well and that she would like to sleep in our room last night. (Yes, La Vida Dulce and Spaghettipie, you read that correctly.)

The rest of our night was uneventful but dawn broke the charm. C. and I took her out front to smell the roses so to speak, and she met Mr. T for the first time. Mr. T is very, very large. Sheltie's are very, very small. But fortunately, labs are notoriously happy and before anything too "interesting" could happen a distraction showed up in the form of kitty ready for battle.

Kitty and our dog have long since found a truce, but kitty is apparently a one dog cat. She proceeded to taunt Mollie mercilessly with slaps, dodging in and out for about 15 minutes. I fianlly gave up and rescued Mollie, carrying my dew drenched kitty to the back deck with her food. Mr. T, who adores all food but particularly cat food, promptly threw all training to the wind, galloped to the back and onto the deck, and in 1 second devoured her bowl. Kitty climbed the wall, literally. Mollie employed her communication method, telling us that Kitty was a meany and that Truck was gross and eating cat food.

Forget the three ring circus analogy, I feel like I have 3 preschoolers!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Best Advice

What was the best advice you were ever given?

This is the question of the month posted on a blog called La Vida Dulce. I have to admit, the answer didn't immediately come to me. I have received a lot of advice in my life and to find the best advice takes some sorting.

Only breast feed your babies.
Supplement with formula.
Never go to sleep angry.
Sleep! You will think clearly in the morning.
Lighten up.
Get serious.
Etc. and etc.

The best advice I have ever received comes from Scripture and through the diligence of my mother's teaching:

"Your Word have I treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You." Psalm 119:11

The Scriptures I have memorized, especially as a child, come back to me at key moments. When I am listening, His Word protects me from making painful mistakes and guides me in the right paths.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Long, long ago in a land far, far away one of my favorite songs had lyrics that went something like this:

"just another manic Monday, wish it was Sunday, that's my fun day." (I hear you humming along!)

The lyrics aren't deep but the tune is catchy and when I hear it on the all-80's weekend, it takes me back in time. It used to fit how I feel on Mondays.

But now, with my husband taking Mondays off, that day is no longer manic. In the summer, we all sleep in. Big D and I might jog together. There might be some yard work or chores, but we try not to let it take too much of our time. We read, we play, we talk, we swim, we hang out with our kids. I don't blog. Big D doesn't email. Monday is my fun day!

That was how yesterday went. It was absolutely restful! And now it is Tuesday.

Just another manic Tuesday...

Friday, August 10, 2007

Friday Favorites

I think, starting today, I am going to make Friday my "Favorites" day on my blog. I may share a recipe, quote, book...we shall see and I hope you will enjoy a peak into things that qualify in my life as "highly regarded". And so here we go:

"Moderation in everything, even in moderation."

(I am not sure who to credit with this quote, but I believe it was a famous chef being interviewed on t.v. about perhaps a delectable dessert of chocolate. I was immediately struck by the simple insight found in that comment.)

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Motivated Running

This afternoon I put on my jogging clothes and headed out. As I did my warm up walking, I rehearsed in my brain all the reasons I run. For health reasons. Ok, but walking is still healthy. For the endorphins. That is a laugh...I wish I had the endorphin thing kick in even once but it hasn't at all!!! For the weight loss. That has been nice, but for all the months of running I have done I have lost only several pounds and not one change in my jean size. For the newly emerging muscles that have long lain dormant. I like 'em but still not enough motivation. To get away from the huge black flies that have picked up on the fact that a juicy warm person is in their vicinity. Yep! That was all I needed. Not only did I break into a pretty impressive jog, but I kept it up even after I left those flies in the dust because I knew that they were just biding their time, waiting patiently for their opportunity to annoy the tar out of me.

Big D. is home from work and he is heading out the door for his run. I told him if he wasn't motivated to run yet, he would be in about 3 minutes.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Dressing Up

I have never met a girl who doesn't love dressing up!

As a kid, my favorite outfit was a flowing mexican dress of black and silver. The skirt was absolutely fabulous for twirling! Just a few years later it was time for highschool banquets. And then during my college years I had the ultimate in dress up occasions--my very own wedding complete with gorgeous trailing dress and veil! For a little while I had a bit of a dress-up dry spell, and then like magic I had several friends ask me to be a bridesmaid. I agreed instantly, mostly because I loved them but also because I would get to wear long fancy dresses and strappy heels!

My girls are no different and they are really very creative. Some days they are spy girls and that is when the black boots and the hats come out. Other days they opt for the pathetic old west/frontier mom routine and they wear shawls and mother whole hordes of stuffed animals in their sod shanty. They have way more props then I ever did with all sorts of outfits and accessories that "work" for all different sorts of occasions. And when in doubt, they just improvise. For instance, my girls helped me make dinner the other night. We made stuffed ham and spinach pasta shells with a garlic white sauce--one of our favorites. So I tell them to go wash their hands and grab their aprons and a long 10 minutes later they show up ready to cook...wearing heels, makeup, hair done up high, and jewelry. Oh, and also their aprons. I was very impressed!

Well, I am off to make dinner...and to dig out my strappy heels and apron!

P.S. This would have been the perfect day to have posted a picture but I am still not there yet...just give me time!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Family Dinner Insight

Sitting down to a family dinner is a big deal for us. It doesn't happen every night, especially in the school year, but we try and make it happen as often as possible. If too much time goes by without our time of connection, we have found that we all really miss it and get a little cranky with each other because we don't know what is going on in each others lives. The dinner table is where we get to know each other better.

A few weeks ago, we discovered something really cool, quite by accident, and because only 4 out of our 6 family members were gathered around a homecooked meal. Son M. and Big D. were missing.

As a side note, when Big D is gone it is real easy for me to announce that it is "cereal night" when the kids ask the inevitable "whuts fer dinner". And they are typically quite happy with that because it means there will be zero vegatables or fruits on the menu (unless you count Fruit Loops as a fruit, which my kids would) but anyways, please note that I had actually prepared a meal!

So there we are eating our meal and all is peaceful. No one burps. The lazy susan my dad made for us doesn't get spun around faster and faster so that all the food flies off. No complaints about the menu, miraculously. Things are going great! And then J. pipes up and says, "with M. and Dad missing, it sure is quiet at dinner time."

What a great observation!!

Our "conversators" were gone and we had eaten most of our meal in comparative silence. J.'s little insight was just what we needed to get the ball rolling. We had a fun conversation about how God had placed each person in our family with special gifts and unique talents and how important each of us was.

In our own little family we have a mover/shaker, a peacemaker, a thinker, a conversation starter, a drama queen, and a fun loving little butterfly. And that is only a part of each of the unique personalities represented! God is amazing!

Monday, August 6, 2007


It occurs to me that I may have friends and family and perhaps even complete strangers who would wonder/be concerned at my new hobby of gardening. It may not seem to be, well, ME. Here is a go at my explanation.

First Reason: though we love our house on the inside, it isn't the prettiest on the outside. We have a phenomonal view from our back deck and our front porch of wild flowers in the empty lot next door and then just beyond that you see sloping hills and the rich green of a farmland, and then surrounding that are a zigzag of woods. Not one house is in sight when looking west, north, or east! It is an amazing view from inside our 2 acres and looking out. But driving up towards the front of the house what you see is just a bit plain and in need of...gardening.

Reason B: I have embraced gardening as my new hobby because it is in my blood. My grandmothers on both sides gardened. I have sweet memories of visiting their homes and being awed by the lovely roses and old fashioned flower gardens placed in velvety green lawns. And my mother gardens mostly roses right now. Growing up we certainly had some flower gardens and she has aways had a great affinity with roses, but her main emphasis was a vegatable garden. Rows upon rows of corn, new potatoes, strawberries, tomatoes, green beans and a small orchard of apples and pears filled our table with yummy fresh food. There is NOTHING like new potatoes just dug from the dirt and slathered with butter and salt and pepper. Or tomatoes just off the vine!!

Reason 3: Having recently moved and having some extra time to invest in...something...I have picked up gardening and miraculously it is kind of working.

So basically, gardening was needed to up our house value, it is really pretty much genetic anyways, and I was bored and needed something to do. Problem is, I have always had a brown thumb with most of what I try to grow either dying or anything but flourishing. And it is really, really hard to enjoy something you really stink at!

Until now! I am finding gardening is working for me on several levels. I am not killing very many things, which is a huge confidence booster, but probably mainly due to the northern climate with more rain then is found in certain southern states (except this year apparently). It is healthy and fun to be able to work outside when it is not blistering hot, which it rarely is up here. And I am allowed to be creative! Creative in an arena that so obviously reveals God's awesome character and characteristics that whenever I garden I am inspired to think spiritual thoughts that are unforced and come effortlessly!

So that is my little insight into the current me and the why of my new hobby. You can stop wondering if I have a split personality with someone named Daisy who is 55 years old, wears a floppy pink hat, and who walks around with dirty fingernails muttering under her breath about manure and peat.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Biding my time...

To bide one's time is to wait patiently for an opportunity, so says Webster. The title of my blog came to me this morning as I thought through my upcoming year and the hint of wonderful new opportunities awaiting me.

I am not sure how consistently patient I have been, but for the past 16 years I have been biding my time. Please don't misunderstand me...I have enjoyed and loved being right where I was meant to be! The past decade and a half have been a whole series of opportunities! But starting this September I will have reached a serious milestone. I will not have a child in my home during the school day. I won't need to formulate, and then re-formulate lesson plans and field trips. I won't have to drag them with me on errands. I will have literally hours during the day that are kid-less.

I have to admit I have a strange mix of elation and apprehension at the opportunities that are just around the corner.

Do I get a job to earn some extra cash? Do I up my volunteer work at the church, and if so, in which capacity? How about the kids schools? The community? Do I actually become a conscientious housekeeper? Do I expand my culinary "efforts"? Do I start watching HGTV? Do I join the gym? Do I start to blog?

Thankfully, I am not at this milestone alone. I am reassured by Scripture that God has created me with a specific plan in mind and already has good works set out for me to do for His Glory. I commit here and now to patiently wait for Him to show me what those new opportunities are and to lean on Him for the accomplishment of them. I also have a loving and faithful husband who is looking forward to this new phase of life and encouraging me to embrace it. And I have some fun friends who are just a speed-dial or a blog away who share like interests and issues.

Reality is that this is just one milestone in my life. There are lots more ahead of me, which means lots of future opportunities opening up. Very exciting stuff!

Thanks for walking with me as I continue to bide my time.