Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Again, I did not write this but I wish I had!!

Matters of Opinion: Hallowing Halloween

Why Christians should embrace the devilish holiday with gusto—and laughter.
By Anderson M. Rearick III | posted 10/02/2000 12:00AM

A few years back, our local Christian radio station ran a poll asking whether Halloween is spiritually harmful. The response from a predominantly evangelical audience here in Ohio was two-to-one against Halloween. This did not surprise me. It is now popular in some Christian circles to repudiate any celebration of All Hallows Eve—Halloween.

"We all know what day is coming," said a young woman in the choir of the Rhode Island church my wife and I attended when I was working on my doctorate. "And I think we need to be in prayer that the evil powers and principalities be held in check over this next weekend." Halloween fell on a Sunday that year, making the event seem all the more sinister. On the calendar of events for the Christian college where I teach, October 31 sits in a dark square with no acknowledgment that there is anything special about the date.

"It's Satan's Holiday, Dr. Rearick," affirmed one of my students. "Didn't you know?"
Well, no, I didn't know. And I am reluctant to give up what was one of the highlights of my childhood calendar to the Great Impostor and Chief of Liars for no reason except that some of his servants claim it as his.

Give up nothing

I have always considered Halloween a day to celebrate the imagination, to become for a short time something wonderful and strange, smelling of grease paint, to taste sweets that are permissible only once a year. How wonderful to be with other children dressed up as what they might grow up to be, what they wished they could be, or even what they secretly feared. All of us, dreams and nightmares, were brought together on equal footing, going from door to door to be given treats and admired for our creativity. How delightful to go to parties with doughnuts, apples, brown cider, and pumpkin cakes—and to hear spine-tingling ghost stories and feel our hearts skip a beat when the teller grabbed for us.

Now some are pressuring us to give this all up, and they use what is for some of us the most difficult argument to answer: it's the "Christian" thing to do.

Some Christians shun make-believe. Such believers feel that a young Christian's mind should never long to be in lands where little men have fuzzy feet, dragons breathe fire, and horses have wings. Instead, they maintain that a Christian should be caught up in the here and now of the "real" world. Defending the reality of fiction and the value of fantasy requires an entirely different essay.

Christians certainly may be leery of sharing anything with modern pagans and Satanists who claim Halloween as theirs. But who gave these individuals the right to claim the holiday? If they are Druids, they are celebrating Samhain, which is not Halloween but an even older holiday. As for Satanists, their calendar is a perversion of Christian seasons—there would be no Satanists if there were no Christians. Let them claim all they want. I give them nothing.

"But look at the roots of Halloween," some may say. "Don't you see how evil it once was?" I do, but the operative word in that sentence is was. Samhain was once a time of fear and dread, but at one time so was Yule or Midvinterblot, as it was called in Sweden. Toward the time of the winter solstice, the days became shorter and colder. The land was laid waste. In pagan times, to keep the fire of the life-giving sun alight, people often made sacrifices before a great oak tree. Boniface is supposed to have stopped one such sacrifice and instituted the indoor Christmas tree at the same time. The burning of such logs in the midst of sacrifice has come down to us as the traditions of burning Yule logs and enjoying Christmas trees.

I'm not suggesting fir trees and Yule logs be banned from Christmas; I'm only demonstrating what has happened time and again in history. For our pagan ancestors, the holidays that marked the great seasonal changes were often fearful, terrible, and dark. But with the coming of Christ came a great light that reclaimed not only individuals but also the holidays they celebrated. In the case of Midvinterblot and Yule, the holidays that once marked the terrible price required to provide light instead began to express the joyous arrival of God's true light.

Laughing away our fears and foes

What would a reclaimed Halloween express? In our culture, Halloween traditionally has allowed us to look at what frightens us—to experience it, to laugh at it, and to come through it. So at the end of October, we are visited by cute Caspers, laughing pumpkin heads, and goofy ghouls.

Should the forces of evil be mocked? Should Satan be laughed at? He most certainly should be. At the beginning of The Screwtape Letters, C. S. Lewis includes two telling quotations, the first from Martin Luther: "The best way to drive out the devil, if he will not yield to texts of Scripture, is to jeer and flout him, for he cannot bear scorn."

The second comes from Thomas More: "The devil … the proud spirit cannot endure to be mocked."
The one thing Satan cannot bear is to be a source of laughter. His pride is undermined by his own knowledge that his infernal rebellion against God is in reality an absurd farce. Hating laughter, he demands to be taken seriously. Indeed, I would say that those Christians who spend the night of October 31 filled with concern over what evils might be (and sometimes are) taking place are doing the very thing Lucifer wants them to do. By giving him this respect, such believers are giving his authority credence.

Not all believers should celebrate Halloween. For those who have been redeemed from the occult, Halloween in its foolishness may contain what was for them deadly seriousness. While their souls were in deadly peril, however, what they experienced were lies and illusions.

It is understandable that they look with horror upon what once enslaved them. Such sensitivity may be appropriate for them, but it is not appropriate for the majority of Christians. Holding their opinions as appropriate for most believers is like having a former bulimic dictate how Christians should regard church hot-plate socials.

Christians should instead celebrate Halloween with gusto. If we follow the traditional formula of having a good time at his expense, Satan flees.

In any event, I doubt the anti-Halloween party will prevail. This tactic was tried before—with Christmas. In the 17th century, because of its pagan ancestry and because it was a Roman Catholic holiday (Christ-mass!), many Protestants decided that true believers should not recognize Christmas. In 1620 our pilgrim forefathers purposely started unloading the Mayflower on Christmas Day to make the point to the crew that they were not going to observe such an evil day.

I'm glad those believers—however well-intended—failed. How bleak and desolate would a winter's December be without Christmas! We could have lost our chance to celebrate Christ's first coming and a chance to witness to the world, as I fear those pilgrims lost a chance to witness to those sailors.

If we give up All Hallows Eve, we lose the delight of God's gift of imagination and we condemn the rest of society to a darker Halloween because our laughter will not be there to make the devil run.

Anderson M. Rearick III is assistant professor of English at Mount Vernon Nazarene College in Ohio.
Good friend?

Because I do not desire to gain 10 lbs this year, I am bagging up candy for one of my friends whose children won't be able to trick-or-treat this year. Does that make me a good friend or EVIL to the bone???

Happy Halloween!

Yesterday, while my children did schoolwork, I researched Halloween. It actually has a very tame history. The pagans celebrated it as an end of summer. There was no Satanic involvement because these particular pagans did not believe in God or the devil. They did believe in fairies and elves and also that this was a magical time when the dead could walk among the living. That is the extent of it. All of the slasher movies, trick-or-treating, even pumpkin carving(they did make lanterns out of a turnip) are not ancient traditions. They originate in America and began about 1930. Apparently, some Christians declared Halloween a satanic holiday and made up some folklore and we all bought it hook, line and sinker. Go ahead, google Halloween and do your own searches!!

So enjoy your Halloween festivities and declare it God's day in your family. Read that pumpkin story about how God gets out all the yuck from our lives, like we do with a pumpkin, and put His light there instead. One site did have a checklist of things that were scriptural and things that were not-things dealing with the dead were strictly forbidden. Dressing up and trick-or-treating were completely harmless if you were not glorifying evil with your costume.

All that said, we have decided to stay home tonight and hand out candy and watch some Alfred Hitchcock movies instead of leaving our hill. We had trunk or treat and a bonfire Sunday night and a girl scout Halloween party Monday night and I am just Halloweened out. We normally go to a church in this community for their harvest festival, but Erik made an executive "stay home" order. It will be nice.

Our trunk or treat/bonfire was a great success. I love a good fire and the weather was perfect! It was such a fun time and we had so many hot dogs left over that we are serving them for supper Wednesday night! That is alot of hot dogs!

Today, I am trying to get back on track and actually stay there. The last few days have been chaos and I am tired of it!! I warned my children that this week, we would have a schedule and stick to it. It is now Tuesday. Gotta go remedy that!!!

We are having baby ruth's and m & ms for breakfast. Totally healthy!! Okay, okay we'll have twizzlers for fruit. Why you gotta be so healthy???? Be safe and have fun!

Monday, October 30, 2006

What a weekend!

Saturday, after chores and lunch we headed to Bandy's pumpkin patch because we enjoyed it so much last year. It is quite a drive, but totally worth it! When we arrived, we were greeted with a sign that said the corn maze and hayride were closed due to muddy wet ground. At first we were very disappointed until we rounded the corner of the play barn. A new tunnel and slide, MORE tubs of corn, a jumpy house had all been added. The girls had a blast and it was indeed the fastest slide they had ever ridden.

Being so close(and yet so far) to Cape Girardeau gave Erik the idea that we should go there and walk around their downtown. The drive was totally gorgeous. Fall colors are primo right now!! The drive alone was great. We arrived in Cape via their new bridge(which is actually 3 years old now)and that bridge is phenominal!! Going home we saw it in the dark and it is awesome light or dark. The town is alot like ours in that it has murals on its floodwall and many historic downtown buildings. It varies a bit after that though, they do not have boat/river access at downtown, there are functional train tracks right by the floodwall, and since it is a college town, a bar every other building. We were arriving about 5 on Saturday though so it was calm on the barfront. We thoroughly enjoyed looking at the murals and exploring especially their courthouse which is high on the hill and gorgeous.

Our noses taking in the wonderful smell of BBQ made us have to visit Port Cape Girardeau, which was Grant's headquarters in the civil war for a brief time. After a fabulous supper, historic atmosphere-complete wtih a train coming by that we could watch through the windows, we tackled those courthouse steps. I was the only one sucking wind at the top. It is so fun to be the most physically unfit in my family!!
They were some steep straight up stairs though!

We had a very short time at Cape. We will definitely make a return voyage there to Rush Limbaugh's hometown. His picture is on the murals but I resisted the urge to take a picture of all of us around it and send it to Rush with a sappy fan letter. Bill O'Reilly would not have been so lucky. I guess I need to find out his hometown and see if there is a mural of him. Sorry, chased a rabbit, next time we will take in some museums and make a full day of it.

I rate it an A+ and the history lesson was a great bonus!!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Praise you Father!!

Today is supposed to be glorious weatherwise! Thank you for a wonderful day, God. Also, hubby has a Saturday off. To some of you that is the norm, but it is very rare in this house. Once every five weeks and then he still usually works if they need him. He is a team player and if they need him, he is there.

He is gone with the two earlybirds to get donuts. Kayla and I are chillin'. God grant us a wonderful family day together!

BTW, DSL rocks. I'm not going back to dial-up. SPOILED. ROTTEN. Posting is a breeze!!

Friday, October 27, 2006

My house is a wreck!!!

But I am kickin' butt and takin'names as far as clutter goes. What does that whole saying even mean!!!??? Anyway, progress is being made, just not soon enough to suit me. I think I have discovered a whole new yard sale. NOT. Can you say goodwill. AND friends, being blessed with stuff I have two of, saved and didn't use, outgrew, never fit, never used, bought on clearance and never used. The list goes on and on!!

I love bedtime. Such a magical hour when I kick into overdrive and try to accomplish all the stuff I could not do while they were up. I hope tonight is a good one.

Okay, probably won't make 7 posts a day. Keep checking though, Heather, I may surprise you!
Rain, Rain, go away!

Oh, I miss the sun. I may have that disorder thing that affects your mood when you have not had enough sunlight. At least this is my story as I have been kind of grouchy the last few days! Water is standing in little pools all around our yard. I just think we have had enough rain for a few days. It is rough to not have any playtime outside. WAH WAH WAH!!

We had cinnamon rolls and fruit loops for breakfast. Can anyone say SUGAR! I am listening to debates on the radio. I so wish I had a vote for city commisioners. One of our commissioners was faulting the firefighters for not working enough actual hours. IDIOT!! Plus we have spent a huge fortune on painting murals on our floodwall. Now the commission thinks we need to remove it so we can see the river. Our mayor and sitting commissioners are power hungry freaks! There are no checks and balances, they can just do whatever they want. IDIOTS! GOSH!

Plus, in our area, we have a felony criminal, Carroll Hubbard, running for senator. He has been a representative of our area before and he misspent money, abused privileges, and was convicted of many things. FELONIES!! It will really reflect pretty poorly on this area if he actually wins.

When my kids are grown, I am running for office. If honest ordinary people don't get involved in politics, it will just get more and more crooked! Look out presidency, here I come.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


I am high-speed, if all the bugs are worked out!!

Look out, I may post seven times a day now!!
Proof that we have not-a-clue about flying!!

Erik proposed today that we start selling stuff on ebay and save save save for a family trip in the spring. This is a total lie but still a good idea. I know what will happen once that total gets around $2000, car shopping will become more and more earnest. He will happen upon at least 3 "must-have-bargain-of-the-century-oh-my-goodness-do-you-know-how-much-that-would-be-worth-if-it-was-fixed-up!!!!")

Anyway, I digress AGAIN!!

Kayla pipes up, "We can go to Texas then and see Naomi!!!AND WE CAN FLY!! 5th class."

"Kayla, come here."
"Yes, Mom."
"Did you just say fifth class?"
"Yes, first class would be way too expensive but 5th class would be right about in the middle, so it should be just right for all of us to fly."

Jettybetty, Please let me know which airline has that package plan. We hope to travel around March-April.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Making a dent...

...in our big old mountain of stuff. I bet I had 8 or nine boxes and bags just brimming with stuff that I sold at the yard sale with Jennifer. The stuff I kept to give away or consign is in one box(very small). Two boxes went to goodwill. I am making progress. It is slow but I am actually doing it not moving it all around the house like I have in year's past. I am experiencing two things of note.

1. I feel free-er somehow. Like I can go and find something I need without digging through a mountain. Things are filed a little better and are accessible. A friend borrowed a chef's hat yesterday and I went right to it. I love that.

2. I am feeling content with the size of our house for the first time in a long time. We do have enough room when there is not clutter everywhere you look. Don't get me wrong. I would love to have a larger house(2000 sq ft would be great) with a full unfinished(for now) basement(for skating, playing, birthday parties, scouts, etc) but I feel very blessed to have a home that fits our family, lifestyle and budget.

Also, as I get to the bottom of the barrel of stuff, I am finding guilty "stuff". Stuff given to me, stuff my kids made, stuff I have kept forever, hubby stuff, stuff, stuff and then a bit more stuff.

I am feeling so sorry for those of you who have not even started to weed out your stuff. What are you waiting for? wwwDOTFlyladyDOTnet is where you should start!! She is a lifesaver-but don't sign up for the emails, you will never leave your computer. Just make her site your homepage!!

Oh yes, if you have any tips-YOU MUST SHARE!! organizing, decluttering, filing. Any topic on conquering the organizational beast. I could read 500 comments if you have that many tips. Post more than once if you need to. THANKS!!

Have a blessed Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


I am still posting it though, with credit to the author!! Sagerat, you are a genious. Leave comments begging her to write some more!
Here is her latest entry:

The Problems with Homeschooling

Everyone is always singing the praises of homeschooling. I think it's about time someone stated the problems with education in personal abodes, and not from the public school supporters. Who better to state the problems than one who has experienced them for the last 11 years?

1. It makes you lazy. I have sat around in my pajamas all day long, just reading books with my children curled up beside me. My lunch has been served to me by a smiling teen who was thrilled to get in the kitchen and make a meal for others.

2. You don't get short answers to your questions. When a public school child comes home and is asked what he did that day, he simply replies, "Nothing." Homeschooled students follow you about the house and report in great detail about everything they have learned, even if you were the one that just taught it to them.

3. You can't threaten to expel errant students. Since you can't send them away for weeks at a time you must find a way to live with them. You must also continue to educate them through their "disciplinary period."

4. You can't pass the buck. If your child doesn't learn something, is sassy or disruptive you can't blame it on bad parents, or bad teachers.

5. The principal won't be in his office until dinner time. As he is out soliciting funds from a regular supporter to help keep the school financed.

6. School is never over, you never get to punch the clock. You may have put the books away, but the learning never ends. You trained them to love learning, you encouraged them to keep learning beyond the textbook and test, and now you have to continue to answer questions asked of you.
A question, if you please.

If you know me at all, you know I love a bargain. Please tell me about your best bargain. Please de-lurk if you have never commented-I want to hear from you!

I have no clue how to link it, but Sept 15th of 2005 in my blog archive tells of a wonderful bargain event at Walgreens.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

First Communion!

Erika got to participate in the Lord's Supper today. The girls have been discussing this wonderful occasion since Wednesday. Erika had forgotten about that little perk, but Lilly could never forget. Lilly has been obsessed with the Lord's Supper since she was two and maybe before. The church we attend does it every Sunday and every Sunday, she longs to participate. Today after the "bread" was passed, she had forgotten to watch Erika (she was busy playing tic-tac-toe). She turned around and in a loud voice said, "Did Erika get some, Erika is supposed to get some now!" She was so worried that someone would forget and Erika would be left out. Of course, I was so worried too, about pictures. I was torn about whether I should. It seemed a little irreverent, but I decided no flash and if they did not turn out, God did not approve (or maybe there just should have been more light-hee hee!).It was an exciting day. Someone also put Erika's picture in the bulletin announcing her baptism and she was very excited about that. I hope people let up soon, she is starting to expect hugs and congratulations everywhere she goes!! No lectures from me yet, but they may start if she starts a fan club or anything.

We went to Food Giant after church to get the rest of our groceries for the next two weeks. That wiped out all yard sale money and then some. It was fun while it lasted. It is a good lesson for the girls to see just how pointless alot of stuff is. We worked all day for two days selling soooo much stuff. Then spent it all on groceries. I hope they emerge from our household with a grasp on the dynamics of money. I learned it all the hard way. We are still paying some of those bills ) :

We have our high speed internet kit. We have had it for a week. We have not had time to install it. We also have no idea what we are doing. We are going to attempt it tonight or tomorrow night. This is a big step for us but everyone says it will be great. Thank you Dialog for coming through with a high speed plan cheaper than our regular internet!! XOXOXO to Dialog!! I'll let you know how it turns out.

Off to care group real soon!! Have a blessed Lord's Day!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

At last...a small timeframe in which to blog.

I am so glad I made the commitment to pare back our activities. Based on the flurry of activity this past week and the upcoming activities that close out the month, I might be a little nutty if I had not "cut back". November will be different. I mean it.

Okay, I told you about Judgement House and how awesome it was. Apparently, it made a huge impact on my little girls!! Erika made the decision Sunday morning that she wanted to be saved and baptized-but not Sunday, Wednesday night. We have discussed this for so long I was relieved to see the spirit working in her little heart (and Kayla's-soon, I think). I totally supported this decision because Wednesday is really more the core of the church. Of course some have homework school issues that cause them to miss, but for the most part-Wednesday night is tight-knit.

At church, she was very nervous, but not as nervous as her Daddy who was doing the baptizing. They both did great. I can't even describe what a milestone this is for us. On so many levels. Thank you God for sooo much grace and mercy! And the precious little souls you entrusted to us!


Tuesday night, we took the van to get a new radiator and started sharing a vehicle. BOO. HISS.

Wednesday morning, Erika and I attended a Rotary Club luncheon because of her County Grand Champion award in drawing. This was mostly a 4-H thing so we were a little out-of-pocket. I wasn't sure if I should attend with her or not since she is not in a club. I called the extention office and they said I certainly should. It was not at all what I expected. It was nice though and Erika and her friend Hannah were able to spend time together and they always love that. Since we were transportationally challenged, my friend Lisa(Hannah's mom ) brought us and dropped us off while she picnicked with my other two and her other two. We all enjoyed our day.

Thursday, Erik was off so I went to Bible study with no children. Then right back home to get some school done before time for dance class. Thursday evening, we went to church to celebrate 50 years and a renewing of vows with a lovely couple in our church. That is such an amazing accomplishment and they are so very much in love. God is good. 12 down, 38 to go for us.

Thursday night, I went to Jennifer's house to get ready for the yard sale Fri-Sat. We got it mostly ready to go and then I came home to catch very few ZZ's and then the next morning, Erik dropped all of us off to yard sale. My kids had their ultimate dream come true. A LEMONADE STAND!! There was much strife at first but then we had a schedule going on and they took turns well. They sold $22 of lemonade Friday. $15.50 Saturday. WOW! Who knew lemonade was so lucritive. Several people did not even want lemonade and just gave the kids money. What are they thinking???? This was a lesson to work for your money. I went over cost (overhead) and profit and partnerships. "Here kid, here's a dlloar for nothing." I made sure they said "Thank you!". Lilly got a little hooked on the free money for no's. At one point a man said no, but gave her a $1. The lady right behind him also said no. Liily's reply? "Do you wanna do what that man just did?" Thankfully the lady had a sense of humor. (But no "money for nothing") Jennifer and I have had a ball for two days. Thankfully on Monday we will have a field trip together so we don't have to go too long before referee-ing and talking together again. Erik picked us up in the van on Friday, but left the jeep to get worked on next so Saturday we were up to take him to work, then yard sale. Picked him up at work, went to ALDI and spent almost the entire yard sale proceeds.

CAR REPAIR BILLS STINK!!! I am thankful for great friends who do a great job on car repairs for a fair price!!

I'm going to bed now. Can any one say EXHAUSTED!!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The trouble with bucket seats is that not everybody has the same size

Do you realize that in about 40 years, we'll have thousands of old ladies
running around with tattoos?

Money can't buy happiness -- but somehow it's more comfortable to cry in a
Porsche than in a mini-van.

Got those in my email box and thought they were funny!! I like to laugh, often. I prefer it over anything else in fact. I am glad God made our senses of humor and glad he "laughs" with us.

I believe laughing at ourselves is best for not taking yourself too seriously. So, I am posting my most embarrassing moment.

It all began with a wreck. I was stopped completely at the road I needed to turn into. I was decked out in my Pampered Chef attire on my way to a kitchen show. Suddenly I was rear-ended. He never even slowed down. He had not seen me at all. That all worked out, the car was totaled-my friend picked me up and I still did the show (can anyone say work ethic?). She had an accident the year before and gave me these words of caution: You will be sore for a day or so and then you will feel fine. This is a lie, you are not fine. Get thyself to a chiropractor!! He can fix you now easily or you can live everyday on a heat pad like me.

I made the chiropractor appointments the next day. My oldest two children were still in school (ahh, the good old days-just kidding but it was a free-er time for me). Lilly was 2-3 years old and VERY scared of the wonderful Kelly Estes (look him up if you are local-he does great work!)along with everything in the clinic. One day when we arrived, she had finally gotten her nerve up to visit the toys. Yes, shocking as it may be, once upon a time Lilly was very shy, quiet and easily frightened by strangers. She found many that she liked and was playing contentedly.

I knew I had to use the bathroom and there would not be much of a wait so I had to hurry.(I never waited more than about ten minutes-usually I was straight back) I was wearing my most favorite khaki pants in the world. They looked nice and fit me perfect in every way-not too tight, not too loose-just right. They were sooo soft! These were once in a lifetime pants. Never before or since have I had pants fit so well or be so comfortable. In fact, I had bought them new about 6-7 years earlier. Those of you who know me are shocked because you know how rare that happens. NEW clothes for ME?! I even paid full price (scandelous!)

I walk on over to where Lilly is and kneel down beside her (it did not even hurt to kneel down just 2-3 short years ago). I started helping her pick up the toys and made a fatal flaw. I reached to far in pants that had been washed and dried too many times in 7 years!! I felt the cold draft about the same time I heard the sound... Now folks, it is very important to point out two things here.

1. These pants were old. AND. MUCH. LOVED. All of the fibers were challenged, not just the seams.
2. I had not SEEN Dr. Estes yet. Going to the chiropractor involves lying on a table dressed.

This, my friends was not an ordinary rip. This was a start right at the inseam, travel down the thigh halfway and then make a sharp right turn. I now have a flap on my right leg showing all the world what color panties I have on. (White grannies of course which is even more dignity-stealing than the rip). So there I am, helping my toddler put away the toys with my whole right "cheek" on display. I ponder my options. I look all around and decide no one has noticed yet. The waiting paients are reading mags. The office staff is doing all the normal office staff stuff. NO ONE KNOWS WHAT HAPPENED!! Is there any way to sneak out? No. I know as soon as I stand up, it will be obvious to all the world that I've come undone. AND. I still have to pee. So, I swallow my pride and appeal to the mercy of the office staff.

"Do you have a gown I could borrow?" They look at me as though I have two heads. Surely this is common, for waiting patients to want to borrow a flappy gown while they are waiting to see the doc.

"I ripped my pants just now when I kneeled down to help Lilly pick up toys." Now, they all understand.

"Well, maybe it isn't noticeable." One girl hopefully says.

"Oh no, it is VERY noticeable." One side of my pants is ripped down and over. I turn around and I hear the sound of sucked in air and they all cover their mouths. No one laughed. Another reason I love them. They probably laughed later(I know I did), but on the scene-they were just thoughtful. (I think they even let me borrow the gown.) Immediately, a gown was handed to me to tie around my waist. I then scooped Lilly up and went to the bathroom to pee and survey the damage. There was no shot at dignity today. I made sure to swallow down all pride and self respect. I emerged to be called back immediately to see the doctor. They had not shared the story with him so I had to when he looked curiously at me with a gown tied around my waist.

He was completely nice about it and I somehow made it through the adjustment.

I am very cautious now with dearly loved and worn clothing. There is no kneeling allowed. EVER. I hope this serves as a warning to others who may love and wear their clothing even though it has become soft and perfect in every way.

I really miss those pants.

Monday, October 16, 2006

No field trips this week!

I can't believe I am so excited to not have a field trip. I love field trips. We were so far ahead on school days that I did not mind the "running" days. Now we are not so much ahead, still on track but no longer with lots of days to play with. I love the flexibility of homeschool, but I have to be very diligent or I will get way too loose with my days and record keeping. So far this year I am far exceededing past years in record keeping and course work in general. [Except the first six months that I homeschooled when we really completed six grades because I overworked my kids and myself like performance dogs and made us all really hate school.(except Kayla)] (Still recovering from that. Kayla wishes we could go back to it.)

Anyway, it is a calmer week so our cars have decided to break down. This should keep it all nice and chaotic. We are trying to prioritize all the things gone wrong. We have decided the slowly bursting radiator must take precedence over the slowly going out starter on the van. Also, the failing water pump on the jeep gets to cut in line in front of the failing transmission. Also, the jeep transmission gets to cut in line in front of the van transmission. We have been saving for these repairs for a while, so hopefully the money thing will all work out. (Please Heavenly FATHER!! Stretch our money!) No car payment does equal headaches because the cars are always older...but I will still choose the headaches. Hubby though has had his fill. If I caved, he would so be trading in for a new impala, or an old impala, or an extended cab truck, or a beetle. Or a 55 chevy. Or a 59 chevy. I guess you get it that hubby loves cars. Almost all cars. In fact, if it has wheels and a motor- he would buy it. Well, not a Ford or foreign car-except mustangs, beetles, mercedes. Oh never mind, he's an auto junkie. Oh wait, he loves boats too, so I guess it just needs a motor and movement.

I am off to try to catch up from the weekend!! AND there is scouts tonight after a two-week break. This means I am very prepared for the meeting. I would certainly not have a two week break and then wait until the last minute to prepare for a meeting.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Ten thousand things I should be doing

...but instead I read blogs and blog. I must put some sort of limit on myself. TV time is now spent bloglanding(reading or writing of blogs). While the giving up TV part is good, I don't think this is quite the route I should go with my new-found time.

So much to post about so I will do the good old random and odd method.

*I introduced my children to another one of my "nieces" today. They are thoroughly confused by the fact that I have nieces and nephews my age and older. This is due to the fact that my stepfather is 20 years older than my mom. He also has 9 children. Some of these children are older than my mom. They were all grown when he and my mom married. I was six. These are my "brothers and sisters". I very rarely see any of them. Their children, my nieces and nephews, are grown with children both older and younger than mine. When I think of my family tree it makes me feel a little loopy (What about the two women my dad divorced and those step-siblings??) I guess it seems really simple to some of the family trees growing now-a-days!! Anyway we had a nice visit with Kelly, who is divorced and remarried to an older man with grown children...the cycle repeats!!

*I cannot believe I did not post about our field trip to the jail!! Actually it was to the courthouse, but the kids only were excited about the jail. I mean, really, is it possible to make the circuit court clerk or PVA office interesting-no offense. Anyway, they loved it. It was so scary/safe/scary. I hope none of my children ever see it from a non-tour vantage. Thanks to all law-enforcement type people!!

*Lilly spent the night with my mom last night and we used the opportunity to take the older two to Judgement House. It was really neat. It is a peek into the "lives" of a group of teenagers. It is just a series of skits, but designed to really make you think. It shows a tragedy and then the afterlife. It really impacted Erika, who is ten. It really focused on salvation and making the decision to accept Christ. It had a great impact on Kayla to, just not the same. It will be interesting to see what develops in the next few days/weeks. I am not a great fan of fire and brimstone scare tactics, but there is a promise of hell to those who don't accept Christ. This is not to be taken lightly.

*Mount Washmore is once again a full fledged mountain. I must go now and chip away!

Friday, October 13, 2006

God is blessing Texas...

AGAIN with one of my good friends. I hate it and love it for them. She and I have bonded in a way that I cannot even describe except to say it is "iron sharpening iron".

Please pray for Stephanie & Chad. This is a good thing for them but it is hard to move with four kids even in the best of circumstances. She is such an example to me of truly being a helpmeet to your husband and also being a submissive wife. Some of us talk the talk-she walks the walk(or maybe drives the drive is a better way to put it!).

Abilene is where they are headed. All of you Abileneans are very lucky to be getting such an awesome family back (they left you to come here). This does kind of clench it for us that we will have to visit Texas in the near future. We just have too many connections there not to. On the plus side is the fact that Texas is so small we can see each of them easily: Houston, Dallas, Beaumont, Abilene-all so close in proximity!!...hee hee.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Despite the nervous breakdown,

It was a great day. I loved everything that we did and having so many great conversations with Jennifer. We both love nature and field trips so it was much fun. We went to the BIG SANDY unit of the Tennessee Wildlife Refuge in Paris, TN. We took a hike through the woods with 31 kids and adults. We, of course, saw very little wildlife. I think they heard us coming. A. MILE. AWAY! We did see a little garter snake and I uttered words I never dreamed I would say. "Protect the snake from the children." I did not think I could feel so sorry for a reptile. Yes, my children were totally involved in the scaring of the snake. It took every ounce of self-control in Lilly(and Erika) to leave without picking that snake up. Amazing thing #2-my friend Shaun got a call on her cell phone in the middle of the woods-PERFECT RECEPTION! I wanted to make calls too, just for the wonder of it but I did not bring it. The kids did a scavenger hunt through the woods as well and really enjoyed finding stuff. We also saw a turtle that was picked up before we could say, "Don't".

After the hike, we went to Fort Donelson in Dover, TN. We ate our lunch first and then watched a movie about the battle that happened there. Then we learned about cannons and toured the park. The kids loved this park as much as I. It is just full of so much history along with natural beauty. I think I will organize another full day field trip to this place because we barely scratched the surface of the learning we could do there! We then went to the cemetary of the soldiers and the Dover hotel where the surrender was made.

We ended our day as all days should end-junk food from Sonic. I caved and got kids meals and then after throwing away food and arguing over toys-remembered why we don't get them. It was a cool toy though- a learning wheel that taught things I did not know such as, when you are born you have over 350 bones but after they fuse you are left with a mere 206. I have even learned those bones but did not know that fact.

I give this field trip an A-.
I lost my sanity...have you seen it?

Turns out, being with six kids all day makes me pretty edgy. It is one thing to be with my own(I am edgy then too depending on the day!), quite another to add 3 more to the mix. I am not as easy going as I try to delude myself into thinking. I have to really work to love kids and usually really like their parents alot too. Some kids are exceptions-most 1-3 year olds are exceptions. They are so funny even when they are bad that I love'em. All the more if they are not mine.

AND one-on-one almost all kids are very enjoyable.

Boys in groups though, wear me out. I don't have any experience to draw on. I can't tell the normal behaviour from the bad. I do know, they are out to be noticed. Like birds, they puff up their feathers and try to stand out in a group. The testosterone makes me a little crazy. God knew this about me, this is why I have girls.

Normally, I can handle all of this in a group setting because there is a refuge-my own vehicle. I need a refuge and yesterday I was without one. It is possible to threaten my children into blissful silence for a few minutes to recharge. I do not have this control over other children lacking any of my DNA.

No more carpool for me. I'm just not easy-going enough. I will try to break this to my friend Jennifer who loves to ride together. I love her and her kids. I just don't want to take trips with six kids together. EVER. AGAIN. Nor anyone else. EVER. AGAIN. It is a little sad too, because I think my kids totally enjoyed seeing mom pluck her hair out strand by strand. They have also enjoyed watching all of the twitches in my face that won't stop.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Perfect in every way...

I apologize for being such a bad blogger. I am enjoying me some fine weather!! Sunday afternoon, we did much needed yard work and then came in and caught up on some housework so we could play on Monday(federal holiday). We went to Garden of the Gods and then to Rim Rock. These are parks in Southern Illinois that are GORGEOUS!! It takes a while for us to get there but they are totally worth it. Erik walked us like we were his dogs!! He is so fit from delivering mail. At one point I was huffing and puffing like a choo-choo. There are about 600 steps at rim rock and they are all steep...very steep. Lilly was so tired!! Erika and Kayla were too but they are old enough to trudge on. Lilly still thinks about someone packing her...maybe...no one else was thinking that. She was very grouchy and sound asleep before we got home.

Yesterday was my homemakers meeting and then home to do school and then drop kids off at Memaw and Pepaws so mom can get another haircut-last one was in May. I was much overdue! Then I returned some clothes to Elder-Beerman bought for me by the bestest in-laws in the world. They did not fit. I bought 5 new shirts on sale and a new pair of capris. I spen $29.47. All Alfred Dunner. I love sales!! Then I changed in the van...hee hee...I can do this with great skill, no one would notice. Not sure when I picked up this skill but I have it. Then I went to my homeschool support meeting at Olive Garden. It was a great time of fellowshipping. I love these ladies!! I can't imagine going through the rigors of homeschooling without other people to pray for and to pray over me. We got new prayer partners. Mostly though we talked and laughed and ate too much pasta.

Today is supposed to be Erik's day off but he is working. The post office is very shorthanded. Our family is going to Tennessee today to see some wildlife and then to a civil war battlefield park. These are places I learned about at my teacher workshop. I am so excited and I must go dress and pack and be gone!! Like southern IL, it is almost a couple hour drive but totally worth it. My friend Jennifer and I are carpooling...SIX kids. I hope I am still sane when we get there!!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Fall, glorious fall!

I can't believe it has been a whole year. I have missed you soooo much. I even did extra school days in summer so my family could totally enjoy you. Welcome, welcome and please don't rain so much we can't enjoy you fully. Give us a few days of glorious sweatshirt weather and gorgeous leaves to look at and then rake up and play in.

Take your time, pull up a chair. Don't pay any attention to the cold that follows you, in fact let's just skip that. Let's just have fall until spring, okay maybe a big snow on Christmas Eve night that is all melted away on the 26th.

I love you fall! Don't ever change. You are going far!! LYLAS. BFF.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Top ten signs I listen to Bill O'Reilly too much...

10. I interrupt with "Hey, Hey, Whoa, Whoa" until I get to talk again.

9. I only see black and white no matter the issue.

8. I can no longer watch the Today show and feel good about it.

7. I can't see Clinton(Hillary)anywhere without mumbling under my breath.

6. I see the media biases in movie reviews.

5. I've never laid eyes on Nancy Palossi(or her name) but when I hear it I hope she isn't re- elected.

4. I often phrase questions, "What say you?".

3. I postpone making supper to 5PM so I can catch the show.

2. I hold up my hand and say, "No spin zone!" when I think my kids are lying.

1. My kids know what a "no spin zone" is.

I'm not his biggest fan, but I do think he's looking out for America and I appreciate it. Maybe he will comment on my blog. I doubt it but it sure would be cool.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Glad I stopped at three!!

I just babysat a four year old and a baby overnight for a friend(in addition to my 3). I can barely function today. I forgot how hard it is to get up in the night with a baby. I hope my friend enjoyed being down to one!! I have been a walking zombie since they left at three-thirty-ish(all day). (Not even mentionioning how hard I had to work to get my floors crawlable before they arrived-wait I guess I am-hee hee!!!)

I will blog more soon. I need some recovery time. Label me a wimp and step up on your pedestals, those of you with more than three children(or still getting up with babies!)!!

My homework for Bible study is done. TV cut-back is going well, sweets too. I have resisted many candy bars at checkout and had only one serving (or less) of many sugary things!!