Monday, December 31, 2007

Back to School (And a RANT)

Even though it is a bit early, we started back to school. The moans and groans were loud. The screaming and ultimatums from me were louder. I win. I knew it would be like this. Slothville is a hard place to leave. I am doing lesson plans for my English and science classes. (Boo Hiss) I am trying to come up with some sort of syllabus that actually fits in with where these fine young men are and also include some writing instruction that will get them going in the right direction for next year. I love it so much, I took a break to blog a while. I am trying to incorporate some real hands-on stuff and physical learning into our grammar. This is how boys learn best. It is like finding a needle in a haystack. So far I have a play and parts of speech charades. Not exactly what I was looking for, but we shall see how they go over.

Our homefront schooling is going to be tweaked as well. We focus so heavily on our co-op homework that Math often gets edged out. This is not an acceptable thing. We have done sort of ok on the break-not what I wanted. I am also going to be doing some home grammar because I am not at all pleased with the amount my girls are getting at co-op. So many people just don't think grammar is important. I am not those people. I believe spelling, grammar, math, and science are most important. I am in a co-op with people who emphasize much more literature, writing and history. SOOOO, in order to compromise and be happy, I realize I will have to tweak some of our home activities and live with the co-op emphasis. Because, as I have mentioned many times before, I LOVE co-op, it keeps me sane.

The New Year's Eve Eve party last night at church was a blast for my kiddos. For some reason, I was not in a party place so I did not have a big time. Perhaps it was my visit to the funeral home before to see a friend who is my age whose father died. I dislike thinking about the passing of mine or Erik's parents. Going to a funeral of a friend's parent makes me think about the inevitable. My in-laws rode with me to the funeral home and it made me think about what wonderful blessings they are to us. I have many friends who have already lost one or both of their parents, it scares me a bit. Especially with all the close calls we have had this year. Oh yeah and my mom called just before I left for the funeral home to tell me my stepfather was in the hospital. He will be home today and they are not sure what happened-he passed out and they don't know why. So anyway, not in a party place. Also, it was a talent show and that is not my favorite setting. I dislike performances of most any type. I don't know why. It makes me anxious that someone might not do well and then feel bad. Or that they will do really well and be obnoxious. Anyhoo, I was a dud at the party but my girls(and my adopted one from next door) had a ball. They loved it so much it made up for my unpartylikeness.

Tonight I have a date with my husband to go to an art showing. Wine, cheeses and stuffy pretentious people. Some day I am so gonna pay him back with political parties featuring the same snooty sort of folks.

This reminds me, as I am standing around chatting with some of my favorite people, I discover they are liberal democrats. YIKES. I don't think they really are. I live in a state of denial though, I don't think any informed person can possibly be a liberal. I am one of the most compassionate people you will ever meet, but I don't want the government to be. I want the government to be all about infrastructure and leave all the charity stuff in the churches and charities where it belongs. The government sucks at charity work. It is the most abused program in the entire US of A. I believe if we all had to go and pay our taxes and not have them automatically "taken out", there would be an outcry for tax reform so loud the whole country would get off their butts and vote some career "tax-happy" politicians(Republicans AND Democrats) out of office forever. Liberal does not mean what the media says it does, it simply means "bigger government", more governmental control over the people. To listen to the media, one would think conservative means someone who doesn't care about the poor, minorities, homeless, etc. That really burns my butt. Liberal means you think the government needs more tax money to be redistributed to help the less fortunate. Conservative says, tighten up your belt and manage the money you already have better. OOHH!! I've started a whole other post. For another year. ( : HOWEVER, I don't believe there is anyone in this whole country-Republican, Independent, Libetarian or Democrat-who could possibly believe that what our government needs is MORE of our money.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

A Most Excellent Day

Last night I had a horrible reflux night, meaning I was up in the wee hours in the morning for about 3 hours. The last episode I had was the last time I posted about it, so it isn't very often but when it happens, I am miserable. I finished my sleep time on the couch in a completely upright position-so condusive to sleep(NOT!)!! Just another fun thing on my list of things to cover at my yearly check-up in Feb. I strongly dislike getting older, but it still beats the alternative.

So anyway, I was saved from a day of overtiredness by a daughter who felt worse than me this morning. She and I both stayed home from church. She took two tylenol and feels much better, I took two and a half more hours of sleep and feel much better as well. So anyway, it reminded me of the Simpson's episode where Homer stays home and has the best morning of his life. That is kind of what my sleep was akin to, the best sleep I ever had. I shut my eyes as they were leaving and when I awoke again, they were home. Wonderful restful sleep.

So anyway, the middle child is down for mandatory rest as I feel she is fighting something. 2 hours, the timer is set. After that, I told her she may arise, shower and we will assess her health for tonight's New Year's Eve Eve party at church. I think she is fine, but a little caution never hurt anyone.

I am like the energizer bunny today, getting things done left and right. So I must get off of here now or it will ruin the day!! Happy New Year's Eve Eve, Y'all!!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

I made it!!

It was very close, but I managed to climb down off of the pity pot. Thanks for indulging me. I face frustration like that at least once a day. It isn't that my family doesn't appreciate me, they do. My husband is awesome and almost always supportive of me(he's not perfect)(just kidding honey) but sometimes this is a hard job with very few accolades. Whah!!! I think I am done now.

I have some updating to do. We had a wonderful Christmas. We played dirty santa at both Christmas Day celebrations and it was very fun. We played without the kids at one and with the kids at the other. At my moms it was a $1 gift, at Erik's grandma's, it was $10 gifts. It was equally fun both places in my opinion, but my mom was unhappy with the quality of the gifts. All in all, I hope it is something we repeat again next year. So that means we did not have as many new gifts to feel bad about not wanting. I always feel really bad that I don't want half of the things that I get, especially in a world where there are some that have nothing-not even a glass of clean water. It doesn't make me want them more though. While I love a well-thought out gift, one that is not well thought out is just clutter. Hubby has done a great job the last few years and I have been the one purchasing him dud gifts (an extra large remote control). He puts so much thought into it and gets me stuff I really want and need. I'll do better next year.

We did get the Singstar 80's version and it was so much fun. Not the nastiness that is the Amped version. We pulled it out last night and stayed up much too late enjoying the game. We are not a singing family, but we are definitely a very competitve family. Lilly loves it so much, but it is really a challenge for her as she reads very well-but not very quickly. 99 Red Balloons is a very hard song to sing!! And one of my all-time favorite songs-Come On Eileen-has some very risque lyrics. I was so shocked I could not stop laughing to sing. Then I quoted it the rest of the night to Erik. For over 20 years I thought it was a song about a guy running down the street and trying to get Eileen to keep up with him. It is not. He is basically begging for lovin'-come on Eileen!!!! Please!!! I am still laughing at how wrong I was. Heart of Glass by Blondie has a** in it and Kayla sang it. (The game has it written just like I do. ) Then she turned 7 different colors of red and apologized. That is the worst I think. We had many laughs over Twisted Sister too!! It is a good game and I can't wait to play it again.

My house has been undecorated since Dec 26th, and yet I still have a tree in my living room. It is not something I can do alone, but I am thinking of maybe getting the girls to help me. It's dark when hubby gets home and it is really a daytime kind of job.

Monday, we are positively getting back to school. I have become a total holiday sloth. I have been keeping up with housework and laundry for the most part, but cooking has been very hit and miss! Last night I actually reheated all of our leftovers and threw out some of them when we were done. Today, we may venture out into the world to buy gift wrap(for next year!) and groceries. Or maybe one more day at home in slothville and then Monday...but then there is that whole school thing. Decisions decisions. Slothville or errands. Can you say "NO-BRAINER"?????

Boy oh boy, as I re-read this post I am startled by how awesomely nothing it is. Aren't you glad you wasted a few minutes here?

Friday, December 28, 2007

Computer Work

My butt has been planted in this chair off and on all day. I am trying to wrap up all the loose ends for the Ministry Fair I am organizing at my church. I have now done all I can do until I receive the papers back from my ministry leaders. However, since I only got 1 back on the due date, I am moving to plan "B" where I list their jobs for them and they live with it because they did not turn in their papers or communicate with me. ( ; I will also directly email them so it isn't as control freaky as it sounds, however, sometimes(in this case) control freakydom is good.

So anyway, why do I feel like all the brain work I have done today while sitting in this chair today won't count? I know it counts for God, who I believe will like the fact that I am trying to hone in on what my gifts are and use them for His Glory. I know at least the staff at my church will appreciate the work going into this whether the results are what we hope for or not. But generally, the pay-off for this project will be nill. My husband and children will just see it as Mom being on the computer all day. My housework will go undone. Most of my church will not realize that any prep work has gone into this at all.

It isn't just this project though, is this not the story of a Domestic Engineers life?? We work, plan, manage and micro manage until we are so weary. No one notices what is done, only what is undone!! Why oh why is that?? If I may insert a postal-ism here. My hubby says that no one notices the 10,000,000 pieces of mail that an individual gets delivered correctly and on-time. They hone in and focus on the one misdelivered. This is true of the mom/household manager job as well. It does not matter how many times all of the stocking is consistent-it counts for nothing if the bathrooms run out of toilet paper. It seems the whole world is so busy buzzing around on auto-pilot, we forget to notice the work that other people do-big or small-to make our world a happy place. That is, unless they do it wrong or don't do it at all. It just seems a little bass-ackwards, as my mom used to say.

I think maybe t is time for a break, to go make supper and put another load of clothes in. Please allow me another poor pitiful me indulgence.
"Man works from sun to sun, but woman's work is never done." Can I get an AMEN?

Thursday, December 27, 2007

So Not A Mall Girl!

And yet I will be forced to be one for a few visits so that the girls can spend their Christmas money. It is "burning a hole in their pockets". Man, I always hated that saying when I was a kid, but it totally makes sense to me now. Kids just really enjoy spending money that they did nothing to earn. It makes that giant yellow bracelet seem like a wise purchase if you didn't work an entire hour to pay for it.

Tonight, I did not think I would make it. I wore my black dressy shoes with my thin black socks because I needed new shoes. It took much longer to find some than I anticipated. Payless saved us. We always look all kinds of other places and yet still end up at Payless. We are fancy like that. Erika got new shoes too-boots. I now have some "wannabe croc" mary janes and I love them. I know crocs are bugly, but they fit almost like birkenstocks-which means comfortable!! She and I both sat on benches in the middle of the mall and put our new shoes on. We have no pride, except in our new comfy shoes.

I am dead now. Must sleep. These crazy kids will expect breakfast in the morning.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Because You WANT To Know!

AND I need to gripe somewhere!! Two Christmas purchases that absolutely SUCK-and you know I don't say that very often. One of them I am stuck with but only bought small containers for stocking stuffers. I am so hoping this post will catch some family before these two gifts are removed from the packaging!!
  1. Moon sand-doesn't work but does make a huge mess all over the hands, clothes and floor. If I am too late and you have some opened-I feel your pain. Thankfully, Santa bought small containers for our home, but he seriously considered the whole giant playset.
  2. Disney pix micro- Oh MY GOODNESS- what a tiny little piece of crap. We dug through trash to find the packaging so I can go back to where it done came from and plead for them to return it to the evil people who try to pass it off for a camera. Not only are the pictures crappy and worse than a polaroid-the software is so user unfriendly, we can only manage to download 2 of the 5 pictures. Total CRAPOLA.

I almost feel better if I kept one person out there from opening or buying either one of these products!! Don't even get me started on the Playstation 2 Sing Star game that nearly made it into my home. I ordered it online where it was stated that it had an "E" rating and gave three example songs that were not wonderful but were not bad. Then I get it and it very plainly has a "T" rating. "C*m On Feel The Noize" is a featured hit. Is there some reason we need to resurrect this wonderful song and put it on a kid karaoke game?? Are there not any decent songs that could allow an "E" rating? Of course this is the "Amped" version. We considered swapping it for a different version that is "E", but have decided to just request our money back but I might change my mind if the songs a "G". Are we really in the minority because we don't want our kids singing trashy nasty lyrics??? God help us all.


My niece spent the night last night. She woke me up at 2 AM screaming, "Aunt Janjan Aunt Janjan". (Aside, this is where janjanmom comes from. I do not go by Jan, although my Aunt Jewel called me that ocassionally. My nephew Jason started calling me Aunt Janjan. I was around 7 and Aunt Janice seemed wrong-too old. It stuck. I like it. When it came time to come up with a username somewhere in the computerized world we live in, janjanmom was born. Since I was "Janjan" before "Mom" it flowed beautifully.)Back to the story! I made it through the house in a sleepified stupor and said, as sweetly as I could muster, "Yes?"-it did not come out as sweet as hoped for but fairly close. "I miss my mommy." "Honey, it is the middle of the night, everyone misses their mommy in the middle of the night. In the morning it will be fun again and you will be glad you are here. I love you and so does your mommy. Go back to sleep and please please don't yell again, everyone is asleep." "OK". Sniffle, sniffle. I forgot that 6 year olds sometimes miss thier mommies. I am really exhausted today. I had somewhat grand illusions as to what I would accomplish today. I did not accomplish them. Next mission-try to force myself to attend church tonight. I want to, but my flesh is screaming for a break already. I did take a nice hot bath this morning and so I am clean. Baby steps.

I am going to take my Christmas tree down tonight. Slowly. No pressure, I've had enough deadlines and pressure for a while. The only thing I have to occupy my sweet little brain is a little school, a little co-op and the ministry fair which is going really well since my last chat with the co-chair. I had huge elaborate "booths" in mind. She laid that to rest and at least 100 lbs of worry lifted from my shoulders. Ahhhh. So anyway, I have the time available to do some mindless chores-like taking down the tree and organizing my new wonderful hand-me-down bookcases. I also plan to devise a "rearranging the house" escapade.

I should really go to church. I should. REALLY. I want to. I will...

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Next year I will...

  • Think about a nice family picture for Christmas cards 1 week before Thanksgiving.
  • Not forget my Aunt Ruth's present and have to drive back home to get it.
  • Go ahead and put my tree up the day after Thanksgiving since it is only a blink until Christmas.
  • Do the whole Advent thing in it's entirety.
  • Definitely repeat Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh
  • Help my elderly relatives more.
  • Communicate Christmas gifts with my husband more-especially the ones for our kids!!
  • Mail cards as close to December 1 as possible!
  • Push to play Dirty Santa at every gathering where there are people and gifts.

Please add to my list-while they are fresh on our minds!! I am sure you are thinking of some that I have forgotten. Let's make this a group effort!

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!! We did. I love Christmas. Thank you God for the wonderful gift of Jesus. I love celebrating His birthday every year!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Oh Christmas Tree!

Dear Friends and Family,

We hope this letter finds you anticipating a wonderful Christmas. We have had a fun year this year and I will try to update you a bit about the things we did.

We went on a big trip to Texas in March. We went to 4 different cities in the Lonestar State to visit with family and friends. We received Texas sized hospitality at every stop. We made wonderful memories with each family. We also hardly made a dent in the places available to visit in such a huge state!! On Labor Day, we decided we should go and tour the great Mammoth Cave. This was the busiest day of the year for the cave and we are thankful we arrived early! The last time we went, Erika and Kayla were both in backpacks. This time everyone was old enough to be on their own and also remember the trip! Erik and I enjoyed it alot more as well!

This is our third year of homeschooling and we are still loving it. We joined a co-op with other families last January and it has been a great addition to our school. We plan to continue with it as long as we are homeschooling. People often ask us if we will homeschool all the way through-that is our plan, but we also want to keep an open mind about what is best for our girls.

Erik is drumming every chance he gets, staying quite busy. He is still playing with Lew and the guys, but also drumming with other bands as well. We tag along every chance we get. He also remains on his downtown mail route and he loves it. Janice gave up Pampered Chef and Girl Scouts and couldn't be happier about it. They were alot of fun-but also took up loads of time. She still blogs, reads and does lots of crafts and fun stuff with the kiddos. Erika is 11 and in the 6th grade now. She loves drawing, sewing, needlework and anything that even remotely relates to crafts. She hopes to add basketweaving to her list of skills soon. Kayla is 10 and in the 5th grade. This year, she joined the local children's chorus and has enjoyed doing that. She probably won't do it next year but it has been a fun learning experience. It has definitely given her a whole new appreciation of music and singing. Lilly is still taking piano lessons and dreaming of being in a band with her dad. She is 6 and in the first grade. All three girls love school and learning. Of course, they don't brag on that or even admit it in public, but they do enjoy their schoolwork and, of course, all the extra-curricular activities!

We sincerely wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a wonderfully Happy New Year!

Much Love,
Erik, Janice, Erika, Kayla & Lilly

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Too Funny!!

This is not written by me, it is all over the web though and I wanted it to be here too!! Hats off to whoever wrote it!!

To all my Democrat friends:

Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2008, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere. Also, this wish is made without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee.

To all my Republican friends:

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Humorous observations...

Christmas dinner and gfts with my stepmom went wonderful. My stepmom is the best cook in the whole world and also one of the sweetest people I know. I hate to admit it, but I feel more of a loss over my stepmom and Dad divorcing than I do my mom and dad divorcing. I am sure age is a big factor. I never really knew my dad very well until he settled down and married my stepmom. Then he became much more dad-like. He was a turd when married to my mom and also the years after. We were such an obligation to him and it showed. When he met Barbara though, it was different. We enjoyed visiting him. We spent a lot of time with them and really enjoyed it. They married when I was about 13 or 14 I think and stayed married for at least 15 years or so. Those were definitely my formitive years and Barbara was always very good to me. She also forced my Dad to step up and do things like pay for graduation stuff, help with things and made him finance getting me a beautiful graduation dress that help me snag many a job after I graduated. It was the perfect blend of pretty and professional. It also looked really nice on me. I wish I could find another one just like it! I have tons of good memories like that with her. She is a very special lady and I am thankful she can still be my stepmom even though she is no longer married to my dad. My mom hates this and it is a constant source of hurt to even mention my stepmom. So I don't. I love my mom more than anything and never wish to hurt her. It is wrong though for her to assume I could walk away from someone who was so good to me for so long. Thankfully, although my dad doesn't like it one bit-we have discussed it and he understands. Probably because he feels the same way about Barbara's son Josh. Divorce is so ugly. I digress-big time there!! Anyway, it was a fun night and a good way to kick off Christmas. I hope the rest of the get-togethers are as loving.

Why do cats think Christmas trees are their big giant toy? Gray Gray is having a big time playing with ours. New ornaments are on the floor every morning. Between the cat and Lilly, we have had ornaments swapped around so much, it is like a new tree every day. Lilly pulls off the Christie Yamaguchi ornament and the "I Love Jeannie" ornament and they each take turns teaching the other one their "skills". Lilly really loves Christmas, the tree and all the presents. It reminds me that my sister Linda used to sing into the Christmas light cord. (I do not remeber this at all-but it is an often shared family story) Apparently one Christmas, things went all wrong and the tree came tumbling down. I hope between the cat and Lilly we don't face that. Jan 6th is a long time off. I'm not sure it'll make it.

That reminds me, Advent has not gone well for us this year. Our weekends have been action packed and I have not lit the candles one time. We have been doing our calendars though. And we found an awesome advent candle centerpiece at the goodwill in Evansville. It was $1. God smiled on me that day because we had been in a store earlier where I had hoped and wished I could buy a $35 one. It was made to center around a white pillar candle, so that would have been an additional candle purchase any way. I walked away with a twinge of regret. The one we found was perfect and had a spot for an elevated white taper. Exactly what I wanted. Tapers are what we already had. And did I mention, only $1. So next year, we are all set to do Advent up right. I am going to store all of the Advent stuff somewhere special where I can get to it Dec 1, not when we get the tree stuff down.

Last fun story. On the way home, we passed a bar Erik sometimes plays drums at. Lilly just absolutely fantasizes about what it is like to go in there. (I fear this response a whole lot!!) She asks Erik and I very often, "How old do I have to be to go to a bar?". We answer 21 and then she just looks at it longingly. Tonight, Erika was the one she asked.

"21, but I don't know why you want to go in there, all they do is drink beer and I bet they even cuss." Thoughtful pause.

Then Erika asks, "Mom did they cuss in there the night you and dad went to dinner there?".

"I don't know honey. I was sitting in a booth having dinner and talking with your dad not listening to anyone else.", I answered.

"That was a really good plan, Mom.", said Erika.
The Beginning...

The joy of coming from a large family is that Christmas festivities fill so many more days than just Christmas. We start tonight and go on through the 25th. I am excited and also hoping things go well, everyone is sweet to one another and all that jazz.

My kids will be totally rotten by Christmas, so I will just treasure the fact that they are not yet rotten.

Merry Christmas, y'all!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Rise and Shine!

I just asked my daughters to please straighten their rooms and get dressed.

"Are we going somewhere?"

"No, but I still want you to get dressed and straighten your room."

"I don't know why we have to get dressed if we aren't going anywhere. Why can't we just stay in our pajamas?"

Oh my friends, the apple does not fall far from the tree is the understatement of the year. I see a new years resolution brewing...getting dressed everyday maybe??

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Good Times

I have spent the day laughing my head off, (my daughter was literally ROFL), eating lunch, making ornaments and just "hanging out". It was glorious. It was comfortable. It was way too many hours of togetherness and I am delighted yet exhausted now. Mama Mia, you are a joy. I wish I could say we made the world a better place with some wonderful act of servitude. I wish I could say we talked some sense into her 19 year old (is it possible to hear sense when you are 19?). I am pleased to say we just enjoyed being in the moment, and selfishly, I had a wonderful day. (and I love your 19 year old!!)

I can't spend too much time blogging-I am working on a huge project at church. I just got off the phone with my preacher and I assured him that barring no horrible family tragedy, the staff will have to put forth very minimal work. So now, since I am a total freak about keeping commitments-I am scared to death some horrible tragedy may make a liar out of me. So now I must eat, sleep and drink this project until it is at a stage someone else could just be-bop into and "take over" if need be. Because, honestly, in this family?? Intense drama, often tragedies happens frequently. Which also means, I am totally used to it and it would not deter me from a commitment, unless, it was on the actual day...but still off to work I go. I'm halfway there already, so it is not too much to get on done with it.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Less-Controversial Posting...

I apologize for the fervor in the last post. It is never my intent to alienate or "bloviate" or overpontificate-but I fear I may have. Sooooooo...a post about Tobilicious. The kittens are long gone, but this picture says it all about Toby's temperament, although I must add, he did not love the kittens-merely tolerated them.

I haven't posted on him in a while. He has become such a smart wonderful pet and we adore him. He does not love going to the kennel, but he isn't any trouble at all. He doesn't pout or sulk when we pick him up, just "hugs" us. They say he does not bark his head off like all of the other dogs we hear barking their heads off, or EVER dirty his cage.

At home, he only barks for a reason, namely he really needs out to pee, poop or play with a canine friend who wanders into the yard. He also gives a loud very mena bark if people are in our yard or at the door. I like that very well. He loves children, especially playing fetch but sometimes he doesn't come back with it.

Once upon a time, he really hated his crate. We actually read somewhere that dogs would go into their crate without being told as a "safe" place. We laughed our heads off because he looked so sad when we put him in there to leave and also was so eager to get out when we returned. Now, all we have to do is say, "crate" when we are leavng and he goes right in. He doesn't even care much about the treat. He also goes into his crate to nap or chew a toy about 3 or 4 times a day. I feel so blessed to have such a sweet, cute, well-behaved dog. In the very early puppy days, I really did not think things would turn out this way. He was just such a dopey, nervous little dog, redeemed by his awesomely cute ears and sweet cuddliness. Fast forward a few months, he has not had anything even resembling an accident since he has been a full-grown dog. This is amazing because it was so often as a pup.

I am very proud of our great dog. I can't believe we got 4 great very smart dogs in a row. It really makes up for the totally stupid beagle dog, Lucy, that we adopted one time that dug out of our backyard fence and ran away to another house. We told the people there to just keep her-she later dug out and ran away from there too. Not a smart dog!

If Toby did not shed, he would be the world's most perfect dog EVAH! So instead he is just OUR most perfect dog EVAH.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

This is a reply to my thin ice post...

This is quite a long sermon...

I'm sorry Ami, but I believe you read something in that "Thin ice" post that just isn't there. I never said I would legislate anything in the name of Jesus. It is just as unfair to lump "Christians" all in a big lump and say what they feel and believe as it is to lump any other group together and say what they feel or believe. I believe God has a plan for the life of everyone, specific to that person. I do not claim to be an expert in God, or have the right to legislate anything in his name. I read my Bible for myself and allow God to shape and mold my heart and mind through that, prayer and listening to the preachings and teachings of others. I am a believer. I never want to be separated from God again. If I have to choose people or God, I'll go with God everytime. He never disappoints. Sometimes I am encouraged by others, sometimes discouraged and it causes me to look into The Word(HOLY BIBLE)and meditate on it myself. There is power in the Bible. I get my feelings hurt by people-Christians and non-Christians. I ALWAYS WILL. I WILL ALWAYS HURT PEOPLE TOO, no matter how much I don't want to. We are flawed!! We live in a world that is fallen, one day God's ultimate plans for us will be revealed-for now we live in the sinful world that results from the sin of Adam and Eve.

I love to have my faith challenged-God can stand the close inspection. We may vacillate with the latest trends-but He is the same yesterday, today and always. I try really hard not to get so bogged down into tradition that I lose God. I don't go to church for the people. I am a person and I know I am far from perfect. I mess up all the time and that is my flesh, not God. "Christians" have a bad name because of our wrongs-not because of God. I worship HIM not a group of people-not even a group of really "good" people. God never promises us we will arrive and be good enough. He tells us the blood of Christ will SANCTIFY us-IF we allow it. Some do and some don't. No one else gets to judge us because only God can see and know my heart. I may blow it today and do really well heart is the same both days.

Some sin is very black and white-adultery, child molestation, cold blooded murder, armed robbery-It is easy to stand against that type of sin. It is easy to turn from that sin. Some would say homosexuality is a black and white area-that is easy to say if it is not your struggle. The sin most of us struggle with is in the gray areas. I believe there are gay people who renounce God and have no desire to be involved in Christianity whatsoever. It breaks God's heart, but he gives us the choice to reject him. I love people who renounce God just the same-not always easily though-some of those people have embraced a lifestyle of hurting others that is nearly impossible for others to even tolerate much less love them. In fact, we often fear them and what they might do to us. Saul, who later became Paul(author of Acts, Romans and most of the letters) made a career of murdering Christians. He was so feared in the land, that after his conversion, men had to accompany him to churches and testify on his behalf that he was indeed a changed man. God can call anyone unto Himself!! Maybe someday, when God reveals His full nature to them, they will change. Maybe my silly little ounce of tolerance will be just the spur they need to get to God. Hallelujah-thanks for the privilege of being in God's will. That is why I am here-to try to share the good news with others of God's love for them-ALL of them. It is not His will for ANYone to perish-but still some will choose it. Some will be so caught up in the "fun" of the world, believing the lies of Satan, they will reject God. I have been there, done that and got the T-shirt. No thank you. It is lies lies lies. I have a peace that surpasses all understanding now and when I lay my head on the pillow at night, I might not love how I have acted all day, but I know God will help me do better and He loves me. I never want to give that up again.

I digress, there are homosexuals out there who love God. They feel separated from him and don't know how to get back to him. That is the struggle that breaks my heart. You see, they are no different than me. Everyday I have sins that could separate me from God if I walk away from Him and pursue them. Thankfully, I have the blood of Christ to cover my sins-so I am not separated from him and little by little every day I become more what his plan is for me. I try not to judge the sins of others. We think it is so easy to see the sins of others-AND SOMETIMES WE ARE WRONG. I gripe about the sins of others. Often. Usually as soon as the gripe exits my mouth, I feel the Spirit convict me. Sometimes it takes a few days and much stumbling and hurting of others on my part to realize it. Sometimes it takes someone dear to me to say, "You did not handle that right!" So I try hard and pray alot-but still I am thankful for Christ most of all, because I will NEVER be good enough. Without the blood of Christ- I am on my BEST day, UNACCEPTABLE. I will never be nice enough, "Christian" enough to deserve God. I don't have to be. His son died on a cross and shed the blood that covers my sin-past, present and future. There is a bumper sticker out there that annoys me, but says it all-Christians aren't perfect, just forgiven. You don't have to do everything right to be a follower of Christ. You just have to believe in Him, accept the wonderful gift of salvation, enter into a glorious lifelong realtionship with Him, and slowly with work and time, you will be a new creature in Him. The relationship is the KEY. You cannot be in relationship with Him and continue the same path you were on before. He will lovingly and constantly plant your feet on the right paths. You will be MADE new, sometimes it is very painful, as he will allow pain into your life to teach you what you need to be taught.

There are scriptures on homosexuality, gluttony, drunkenness and many other sins. There are specific references to many things-but without the relationship with God and the Spirit guiding you, they are often misread. All I know is God made everyone unique. Completely unique. I can't possibly tell you how to live because it will be skewed to my way of thinking. And you are not just like me. There is only one me (Can I get some praises on that!!). God designed us with a plan in mind. I so want to live out that plan. More than anything in the world. The key to
happiness in my humble opinion, is to live in God's plan for you. Those are the only truly happy people I know.

Not everyone who gives themselves the title of "Christian" are Christians. However, that simply is not my place to decide. Especially since I do things every day that are not very "Christian". I am to love and honor everyone regardless. Even if I can't stand them. No one ever said this was the easy path.

Ami-I love you sister. I enjoy your blog and I hurt for you that so many people have hurt you or people you love in the name of God. Don't judge God based on people-most of the time, we just make Him look bad. Get to know Him on your own. Pray for Him to reveal Himself to you and He will. You won't be disappointed. I hope this does not come across any other way but me giving you my testimony of what being a Christian means TO ME. Alot of my friends who are Christians may read this and think I am off-base. Others may think I am right on. Ten years from now, I may be so changed by God that I don't agree with this anymore because God's word is alive and active in me-improving me every day. I am thankful for His guidance.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


Hulagirl did not specifically tag me, but I'm going to play anyway. Especially since my last two posts have been sooo heavy. It's PMS week and I can tell it!!

1) Link to the person who tagged you. (check)
2) Post the rules on your blog. (check)
3) Share 7 facts about yourself. (to follow)
4) Tag 7 random people and include links to their blogs
  1. All my blog buddies with blonde hair
  2. All my blog buddies with non-blonde hair
  3. All my blog buddies with pets
  4. All my blog buddies without pets
  5. All my married blog buddies
  6. All my non-married blog buddies
  7. Anyone reading this!

Okay, that should get everyone because I would love to read 7 odd facts about all of you!!

  1. I have had a total of 15 step-brothers and sisters in my life. This is due to the fact that my current(and only) step-father has nine children and my dad has been married twice to women with three children. Technically, I only have 9 now as my dad is no longer married. The youngest one of those 9 is 48 or 13 years older than me. It freaks my kids out a little to see me stand and visit with someone that they later find out is a step-sibling. His family is not very tight knit. They have only met about 3 of those step-siblings.
  2. I love to spell and also to edit. I am a wordsmith to the core. I love words. You would not know this if you read my family's bio in the chuch bulletin today. It slides in and out of first and third person and makes very little sense. (Collaboration is not fun.)
  3. I don't accept compliments well. I accept criticism eagerly, too eagerly. I have to work on these two things constantly. I am training myself and my children to just say thank you when complimented. I am training myself to analyze criticism to see if it really fits before I own it/claim it for my very own/check out seven books on how to improve it.
  4. I was a desperately needy poor kid for a short time in my life. I am thankful for church bus programs, toy drives at Christmas and food pantries. They make a huge impact in the lives of people who have little.
  5. I believe that I could spend $1,000,000 in one day and accomplish wonderful things with it. Very little of it would be spent on me and there would be alot of very happy people running around. Feel free to take me up on this...I would prefer cash but any form of payment will do. ( :
  6. I wish I could sing like Kelly Clarkson or Alayna Miles. I do not sing well at all but my husband has informed me I am not tone-deaf and could be taught. Unfortunately, learning to play the stand-up base comes first. (the day before that freezing over day)
  7. I would love to sew all of my own clothes and the clothes of my family. It just seems like it would be so satisfying. Sewing is so simple and yet hard all at the same time. The two official classes I have had made me crazy. The whole rule and pattern following interfacing/elastic/buttonhole/bobbin threading operations make me just say nevermind.

All righty then, wasn't that fun. Can't wait to read yours!!

The feeling...

It hits me hard in the gut from time to time, like a sucker punch. I don't know what to do with it. It makes me feel depressed and ineffective. The feeling I speak of? The feeling that church is not living up to its calling. Hey, I include myself in that, so don't think I am all high and mighty. I also don't believe I am the only one feeling it. So the time has come to blog it. Maybe that will help me sort it all out...or not. I get frustrated with all the "church-shuffling" I see. Don't get me wrong, I believe in finding a church that suits your needs. A person in a church that doesn't fit them or their family is a thorn in everyone's side. I just get frustrated with the sense of accomplishment brought about by church growth that happens as the result of a "Church shuffle". What happens is one church begins to have serious problems that become impossible to resolve. Several members leave and find another church. This other church experiences a surge in attendance and everyone feels really good. This is where my church is right now and I am ecstatic. It is wonderful, some of these people are so eager to plug in and work and it is exactly the boost and the encouragement many of us have needed for a long time. But on the other hand, I am saddened. A church shuffle doesn't mean we have grown God's kingdom one iota. We just shuffled it. Are we attracting sinners to our doors? It doesn't seem that way. It seems as though I might have a better shot at getting struck by lightning than greeting a "lost" person at church. So why do we keep doing things the same way? Doing things the same way and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity, right?

Our church does tons of outreach and our members go above and beyond in our community. I know we are sharing the love of Christ in our circles of influence. I know we are loving and welcoming people. Where is the harvest? What holds an unchurched person back from stepping in the door? I am praying very earnestly to God that he give us very clear direction. Jesus is the only hope anyone can ever have. Without Him, this world is second best. There is a world out there that longs for the hope and healing that can only come from a relationship with Jesus Christ. I feel like I have the cure for cancer and no one will take it because it isn't packaged right. God, help us with the packaging!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Treading on THIN Ice...

I am going to tread very lightly on a topic that is very close to my heart. Homosexuality. I have a few very good friends that are gay and I love them. They are good honest compassionate men. Two of them are close enough friends that I have talked often of the choice/born this way theories. EXTENSIVELY. One says its a little of both the other says,"Oh my God, who would ever choose this!!!" So my official answer is I don't know. How does God want us to treat homosexuals? The same way we treat everyone else. Love them. Patrick Mead offered up his blog as a place to go with questions and so I asked a big one that burns in my heart-actually two-What is God's plan for homosexuals and Why are some people infertile who would be excellent parents and other people cannot seem to stop bringing children into horrid circumstances. His answer to the first was good(he hasn't gotten to the second yet). It was touching. I agree with most everything he said and yet the gaps remain. Of course, it would be easy to say-"Who cares, it is not my problem." I could even live with that on some level since I have so much sin of my own to battle-but the battle lines are drawn between Christians and homosexuals and I want to know where God stands just as much to call off the attack of gay people by Christians as I do to win a soul to Christ.

Jason, a new blogging friend I have is telling his story and it is a hard story to tell, a hard story to read and I am sure it was even harder to live. There are many areas where Christians are really missing the boat-this is one of the biggest. I do not ever want to be know as a person who hates gay people-or be affiliated with any group that does. I don't think God does either.
Find out who you should vote for!!

This is a very neat way to see who stands with you on YOUR issues. It was very interesting to see who this quiz matched me up with, although not really surprising. Nor was it surprising to see how low down the list Hilary was. It was surprising that Obama was right about 50% compatible with my interests. Things that make you go hmmmmmmmm.

Cold and Rainy With a Chance For Snow!
This is our weather forecast and that usually means ice. YUCK. Erik has a traveling gig tonight and I have a date with the best chore do-er for the last two weeks. Kayla was in the lead until this morning when Erika has done every chore she can think of. My house is so sparkly. If only they could do the things I really dread like sorting through 4 stacks of paper that have piled up again!!

1st pic-ICE SKATING, the lighting was horrible so this was the best pic we got.
2ND pic-this is a sixth floor restaurant overlooking the river. Tin Fish. They served us whole tiny squid deep-fried. The kids loved eating them. I decided, no way. They all said it was funny chewing up all those legs. I think I just threw up a little.
3rd pic-We have silkworm moths, I am so proud. This little bugger escaped as a worm and made a cocoon in my plant! Luckily I spotted his moth self and we released him. Erika and I marveled how he needed to get away from the rest of them and what a very hidden spot he found in the plant. We have really done our part in feeding the birds, providing them with moth delicacies in the winter.

That last picture was at the children's museum where they have a face painting station and I was inspired to draw holly on my face to match the caption. There was a very tense moment when we thought they were out of wipes to clean your face. Kayla was mortified that I might "go out in public looking like THAT". She is going to be such a fun and fashionable teen. Hee haw!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Have a Holly Jolly Christmas

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Judge A Town By Its...

Books! This library takes up nearly an entire city block. It is FULL of books. There are lots and lots of books. It also has tons of DVDs and CDs-how awesome is that?? Alphabetized CDs available for check out. And a big climbing thing for little kids plus little magnet games all over the wall to play with. In fact a whole PLAYROOM with an adjoining fenced in garden area just in case you need to run around outside. Several puzzle tables, a coffee shop, a huge story hour room, and did I mention the pet degu? Not that you can pet it or anything-but it is quite cute. Right now he is having breakfast. I have serious library envy and this library is the reason I would move to Evansville in half a heartbeat. Did I mention this is one of three libraries in this city?? I bet they all have lots of wonderful books not video games and 27 copies of Harry Potter. Did that sound bitter-I'm sorry. Stop it janjanmom!!

Last night we went for wonderful German food. It was so good I had to take two Nexiums. You probably are not supposed to double up like that-but REFLUX just sucks. Hey that rhymes. Reflux is such a cool sounding word too, it is not at all cool. It is hot and burning and miserable. So anyway, the German food was delicious. We go for German food every chance we get because hubby wants to open a German Restaurant so I have to work like a dog while he eats sausages and sips German beer. This is the stuff his dreams are made of-German sausages, German wine and German beer. I don't love German food-but I do like it. I do not want to own a German Restaurant. I spent alot of years being a waitress or some other branch of food service-7 years. It is very hard work. I would waitress again though-I love people, most of them-especially in a "I'll be really nice to you and you can leave me a giant tip" way.

Yesterday the girls and I spent 20 hours at the children's museum. We had the place to ourselves. It was nice. Of course, Lilly made buddies with all the workers and so they showed us all sorts of cool things. Like their awesome block building skills and how to load up the ball machine so it rains balls-the directions specifically say "One ball at a time." Hee hee, we loaded up about 15 and let it rain. It is good to have places like that to yourselves! Paper airplane races are just more fun.

Okay I'm really out of sequence here--SORRY...After German food, we took the girls ICE SKATING!!!!! They loved it and had it pretty well mastered it after about 15 minutes. Erik and I observed from a safe SEATED distance. IT was the coldest two hours of my life. I did not wear my coat which was a big mistake. The ice arena was enourmous-TWO rinks. One was for skating, the other was for high school hockey. Erik watched some of it, but said that whole side smelled like sweaty adolescent boys. I decided to pass. I did get to see some boys who had painted themselves blue and yellow though so that was fun.

Today we are going to tour the Reitz House I hope. It is a German mansion. This town has lots of culture, the visitor center is a pagoda. There is also a new African American Museum that I would totally go to if I knew where it was. We would like to find our way to the goodwill here but I am quite directionally challenged so it is best to stick with what I know. (The Library)

I guess that is all I got. Home this afternoon. Back to life, back to reality. I miss my laundry...just kidding. We've got plenty coming home with us. I wonder if Toby has enjoyed his kennel stay? I bet he sleeps for two days.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

All I Want Is A Couple Days Off!!

I awakened much too early and walked with my entire family down to a nice already prepared breakfast of sausage, eggs, biscuits and gravy, and yogurt. Of course my kids had to make waffles because-well because they like to be difficult. Do they ever finish a waffle? No. But the lure of the cup of mix and blisteringly hot waffle iron are just too much to resist. Kayla has a little burn to prove it was blisteringly hot. "Mom, what degree burn do you think this is?" 2nd. Woo hoo!!

My children are happily doing their spelling, NOT! They are not happy, but they are doing their spelling. Math is finished. History and Science will be courtesy of museums today. I love this day. Also, someone else is doing the cleaning while we play. We are at the library loving every minute of this morning. It is 9:37AM and we have conquered the world. We even did a little shopping at the corner drugstore and got a present and Christmas cards. (I'm still hopeful on cards!) The gift wrapping was free and so it is a done deal. I love done deals. Man o man did I need a day like this. I need about two weeks like this but every little bit helps and I shall take what I can get.

Coffee nips may be the best candy ever made. I love it so. I would love to take your guesses as to what fabulous city we are in. I gave hubby permission to move here. I sort of know my way around and it is a wonderful river town. We would be about 2 hours from home which would be just yummy. Please, you locals, don't mention our home city...this is the world wide web for goodness sake!!

I wish our library had a pet degu.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Before candy(BC)(Okay it was almost before candy-I forgot the true before, but I was close!), after candy, and AAAAGGHHHH! Is that Stalker Heather??? Did she encourage my children to consume huge amounts of candy? YES!! Did she dare to bring the irresistable red hots?? YES!! Does she think that somehow makes her red hot? YES!! We had a great time making gingerbread houses and I only had 1 meldown which these days is a record!! It was a "frosting spilling out the back and front of the baggie" incident so I felt justified.

I am in a somewhat happier place now, or else I am so busy there is no time to be depressed. I feel a bit spring-loaded lately-stressloaded. The next few days are really busy so I might not be posting like I usually do-don't think I have gone off the deep end or anything.

At some point I would really enjoy getting my Christmas cards out! Or I may just make sure to tell all of my friends Merry Christmas real often!!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Rainy Days and Bad Moods

We have had so much rain so many days all in a row. It is definitely impacting my mood. I hate being moody. I wish I knew how to change it. God gave me Lilly so I could understand myself better, I think. She is too intense, like her momma. We come on strong, feel strong and both drive Erik crazy. He does not believe in feelings-at least not the way we do. He doesn't even have any way to prepare for the whirlwind of emotions coming his way in the next few years.

Sorry for the short somewhat whiny post. I am not in a happy place today.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Still tired...

  • Guess what? My shopping wasn't all done, I had to finish my angel tonight to turn in at church tomorrow. Just got finished wrapping. Ooops. I am sure there are more forgotten things.
  • Downloaded a Christmas Album off of i-tunes and then I just burned it onto a CD and played it in the vehicle. I love technology. I am going to make Erik a mix-tape, oops CD for Christmas...heehee. Just kidding honey, you would probably hate it. Our music taste is similar but just enough different to keep our music separate.
  • The Christmas Chorus Performance today was AWEsome for this little country girl. I'd never heard a live symphony before. I'm still impressed, 12 hours later. Two of my daughters were on stage with them, Kayla singing-slightyly enjoying herself. Lilly, part of a play with no lines. She did not stop smiling. She was in heaven-on a stage, surrounded by music, lights and applause.
  • Said no to a last minute birthday party invite. It nearly killed me, but I am proud of myself-except for all of the guilt I have. I hope the little girl had a huge party. We will set up a playdate with her soon and Lilly will love it.
  • My mom spent the day with us today and it dawned on me how poor her health is and how frustrating it is for her. I wish I could fix it. I can't. She wants to go and do but being on her feet just wears her down. Watching my dad walk is the same. The next 10-15 years are gonna be so hard. Watching your parents lose their health/freedom is a real hard thing. Erik's parents are slowing down considerably too. Aging is a necessary part of life, I know.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Busy, brain tired. Need a break, not gonna happen. Glad my shopping is all done. Must go take Tylenol and go to bed. ( ;

It's Christmas time pretty babies...I wish snow was falling on the ground. Jack Frost is a good movie...makes me cry...I love the Gilmore Girls...Is it wrong to want to be as good a mom as Loralei?....Keepers party today, fun until the incident with the tween...high maintenance source of lots of headaches lately, tween-that of consciousness is fun...probably not to you though...Erik home soon from Country Club gig-hope he isn't too snooty, heehee...Chorus concert tomorrow, two of my children on stage...Two Outta Three Ain't Bad...I love Meatloaf...wish I had it on CD instead of tape...Don't Be Sad, Cause....Goodnight!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

A Christmas Quiz

Jason tagged me and I tag all of my readers because I want to know!!! Please tell me you played in the comments so I can go read!! Sara D, please play along? You've not spoken to us since August-it's time. Steph-you should do this as well, if baby Phoebe will allow it!!!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? I love wrapping paper with all of my paper-wasting heart.
2. Real tree or artificial? REAL!!!! Love love love them. Grew up with artificial trees every year until one year when my mom purchased a live tree, FLOCKED. It was the Charlie Brown Christmas tree. I'll have to post a picture. We love to tease her about it. She went right back to artificial.
3. When do you put up the tree? Usually the first week in December.
4. When do you take the tree down? January 7th, the day after the Epiphany. But some years I just can't stand it and I take it down late Christmas night after the kids go to bed and put it all away in the dining room or garage until Jan 30, heehee.
5. Do you like eggnog? No, but then again I have never tried Martha Stewart's REAL 7 kinds of liquor egg-nog either. I might enjoy a cup of that-but I doubt I made her party guest list.
6. Favorite gift received as a child? Nope, can't think of one. My husband gave me my engagement ring for Christmas though and that was the most AWESOME thing ever.
7. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes, and we wrap baby Jesus and put him in the tree. Christmas morning, he is the first/best present we open. Then we put him in the manger and the madness starts.
8. Hardest person to buy for? My Dad
9. Easiest person to buy for? My children-paring it down is the problem.
10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Too numerous to mention-I really like giving gifts more than receiving them. Unless it is VERY WELL THOUGHT OUT and practical!!
11. Mail or email Christmas cards?Mail and I LOVE them. I love pictures and newsletters too!
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Elf. It is the only Will Ferrell movie I can stomach though. I loved the short SNL skits-but stretching them into a whole movie is just wrong.
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas ? October
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Only to people whose paths will never cross-Seinfeld taught me to be very careful re-gifting. Lately though, the Salvation Army or friends get the things that don't work.
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Ham. Peanut butter fudge.
16. Clear lights or colored on the trees? Clear, clear, clear, three cheers for clear!
17. Favorite Christmas song? The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)
Nat King Cole ( a cool video of it) I kind of love them all though.
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Stay home, cause all my family is local.
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeers? You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen but do you recaaaaalllllllll the most famous reindeer of all? Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer...
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? This year I hope to splurge on a fancy finial-but it has been a paper plate angel for many years. (Daughter gave permission on the finial, the angel will remain on the tree somewhere!
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? 1 on Christmas eve(new pajamas) and the rest Christmas morning. This year we will have a gifts theme of Gold-something you really want, Frankinscence-something to draw you closer to God and Myrhh-something that smells pleasing. I wanted to narrow down to only three gifts-but you can't expect a morphine addict to quit cold turkey. Eventually we will work our way down to 3.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? People who are way too important to have to wait in line, EVAH. But that annoys me all year. So do cell phone conversations in line.
23. What I love most about Christmas? People seem to really want to show kindness to other people and that is exactly what Jesus wants for his birthday!!


Oddly, that word can also be spelled catsup. This is a spelling that really bothers me as I am a cat lover and cat soup is more than a little off-putting.

  • We have a lovely 7 1/2 foot tree "relaxing" in a stand in our living room. While we were hard pressed to get it on hubby's day off, we are not sure when decorating will take place. IT is the most beautiful tree we have ever had, IMHO. It has nice smooth soft needles as opposed to the sharp, rash-producing needles we have had before. I believe it is called a Frasier, so it makes perfect sense that I love it. It did not come from a farm-the closest farm-over one hour away-could not guarantee me they woul have a 6 foot tree. Hardly sounds worth the drive. We bought this one from a charity. Win-win. (please ignore the laundry in the hall-we keep it there for decoration)

  • Mia got her groove-I mean blog-back. Go over and see her. Especially since she brags on me ( a bit-because of my generous in-laws) and also links me.

  • I was browsing around at the library looking for a good movie or two when I happened upon Gilmore Girls-the series. Now Stephanie is a big fan of this show, so since she and I have a few things in common-I figured I might like it too. I LOVE IT. IT reminds me of 24 in that I wonder-"HOW DID I MISS THIS SHOW??" I am on Disc 3 of season 1 and I love it.

  • Today had been a perfect day. My kids are competing for a date with me. They get stickers for good behavior and doing chore things without being asked. This morning I was awakened by the phone-not fighting. HALLELUJAH!! All 3 had already had their cereal and were half-way through their schoolwork for the day-at 8:45!!! HALLELUJAH! They are having a short recess and then, even if it all falls apart and becomes a horrid day, I have had a delightful morning. Stickers have been earned, Mom has enjoyed quiet AND solitude, and life is good.

  • Last thing-responses to Drinkenstein have been overwhelming, NOT!! So go to you-tube and enjoy the song-the lip synch doesn't match up-this movie is old. I think you will recognize the "Sly" singer and YES, that really is him singing. I'm nothing if not informative.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Today is all about trees of the Christmas variety. Wish us luck.
If only a farm like this picture existed anywhere near us!! There are 50 million near Chicago. Perhaps we should move.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Bragging rights...

To whomever can tell me who sang the song, Drinkenstein, bonus points if you know the movie. "Budweiser, you created a monster, and they call him DRINKENSTEIN."

No fair googling, or blingo-ing.

I want this to be fun but fair knowledge.

Advent Calendar

If you recall, not too long ago I was blogging about being inspired by fellow crafty bloggers into making our own advent calendar. The felt was bought and two days were spent working on that calendar. Much felt fell upon the floor and many needles were picked out of "the" rug-yes there is only one speck of carpet in the house besides my bedroom. There was much un-Christmas-like behavior and no pleasant Christmas memories. Only alot of yelling, arguing, jealousy, messes and then on top of that, the kids bad behaviors. (LOL-I crack me up!!) So the picture above shows the lovely advent calendar that graces our home. It is made by Hallmark and cost only $4.99. Silly on their part-I would have paid so much more for it to all be over. We have a whole year to finish the other one-but then again, when I think of the warm fuzzy feelings it does not conjure up-it may have to be permanently tabled/trashed. Beside that, you will see the lovely "EARLY"(yeah!!) Christmas present from my father-in-law, all the Christmas classic cartoons-Frosty, Rudolph(and more I don't remember)-we've already watched them once and we will watch them again. The next pic shows my Christmas shopping all piled in the corner because we get a real tree and we don't have it yet. I need to get my Christmas stuff down soon though-the rest of the house needs to be decorated!! I love Christmas!
Last night was my PATCH mom's Christmas party. It is always fun. We do a homeschool curriculum "white elephant" chinese auction. It is sooo fun. This year very few people stole-that always makes it kind of not-as-much-fun, but enough did that it was still good.(You know I did!!) We also did not do a cookie swap this year, and while I missed it a little, it was nice to just show up.
So it was a good night, today is a pretty good day so far and I must finish my newsletter and get my Christmas cards done already!! Have a wonderful Tuesday.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Holiday Togetherness

Now that I have told you how much I like everyone, explained the people I LIKE and why that is different, now we will talk about another group of people. The people I can't stand. Age and maturity have taught me to choose carefully the people I spend large amounts of time with. I never would have believed it as a teen or young adult-but your peers have a HUGE impact on your attitude. Spending large hunks of time with people who hate everything will make you discontent. Spending large hunks of time with people who cuss will make your vocabulary shrink. Spending time with generous, warm, loving people will make you more generous, warm, and loving. Not only are we judged by the company we keep, we judge ourselves by the company we keep. I like me a whole lot more when I among people who make wise decisions than anywhere else.

Having lived in this glorious small town all my life, running into someone I "partied" with or hurt in some way is at least a monthly occurrance. It would be easy for me to beat myself up for it-to think I have not really changed. However, I reject that path. It is from the evil one. I am forgiven, I am different. And yet, I am still the same person. I am stuck with some of those consequences forever. Several in my family think I am the biggest hypocrite in the whole world-being all churchy churchy after all the crap I've done. They don't get how God works. I have not been saved because I have altered my behavior, rather my behavior is altered because I am saved. It is not anything I did or am doing. It is ALL Christ. Any good that is seen in me is ALL Him. If I ever forget that and think it is me, that I am somehow good because I am smarter and better than someone else-that is where a very judgemental haughty spirit is born. Yes, I go there-all the time. Fortunately, I am tapped into a God that will then allow me to run into "fun" people from my past and I realize that without God, I was full of all the sin I so despise. I'm not better, God is good and faithful. He straightened me out, not me-I just bent my will to His. Spiritual discipline-I am so thankful for it.

So anyway, back to the point-there are people I can't stand to be around. Now, as a Christian, this is not okay. We are ALL God's children. Called to LOVE one another. That means everyone-I don't get to pick and choose. Love is a verb, not a feeling. It means blessing and not cursing(defined as making someone less desirable to others-judging). I have dug out my tattered copy of "How To Love Someone You Can't Stand" by Milton Jones. It is a quick read-81 pages of almost constant scripture. It helps me remember to do good. To be a "do-gooder" all the days of my life. I'm not, but I want/try to be. I have pulled it out to remind me this holiday season. Required daily reading, in fact, for me. Here are some of the key points in this book because someone else out there may need this-just to make it through Christmas!!

  1. Your problem is not with people. It is with evil. Satan is the father of lies and he uses those lies to destroy relationships. Destroyed relationships allow him to do his best work and keep us trapped in a life of sin. "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." Romans 12:21. quote from the book "Good is when you get your focus off yourself and look at someone else(even if that someone is a person you can't stand). You see their needs and do something about them. What is going to happen to this world if we don't do good? What will happen to them if I don't help?"
  2. "Manage your mouth-Bless and don't curse." He goes into great detail about how we curse others with our slanderous words. If it makes others see them in a negative light, it is a curse. For instance, "She would not be good for that job as she is always late." "She makes commitments and doesn't ever follow through." Now part of me thinks this is totally unfair-it seems as though those are just shared facts. But then I imagine myself as that person being discussed. Those are discussions that need to be had with her and NO ONE else. This IS A BIGGIE for Christians!! We do it all the time. I call it gossip "for your own good". "I just want to warn you before you enter into ministry with her....." I'm so convicted right now. I struggle so much with this one!!!
  3. "Seek first to understand, then to be understood." Don't expect non-Christians to have Christian behavior-that is HUGE!! Understand where the other person is coming from...walking a mile in their shoes. At times, I think I have this one mastered and then I will be gently reminded of a time when I totally blew it-recently I went through a big long dissertation on how much I hate my hair to a friend losing hers to chemo-DUH!! Fortunately, she is a good friend that I have a good relationship with-"At least you have hair!", she said. I think she "gets" me. I don't think I was being very understanding of her-she was helping me. ( ;
  4. We never get to take revenge. Ever. Ever. It impossible for us to judge the heart of someone else, that is why God is the judge-not us. Their behavior may be atrocious-but they may be right where God wants/needs them to be to draw them to Himself. Do I want to ruin that for Him? I just need to love them right where they are-and pray for them if I am that concerned with their behavior!!
  5. Plan ahead how to react to wrong done to us. Retaliate with something beautiful. Always try to do the right thing-something good in the eyes of all men. "So profound that it not only moves your enemies to the Lord but also others who observe it." For example, the victims of the Amish schoolhouse shooting- WOW. Weren't we all profoundly moved by their forgiveness?
  6. Peace must be fought for. Do everything you can do to keep it. Seek peace whether the other person does or not. It won't always be achieved. Sometimes other people choose not to be peaceful. If we have done all we can-honestly-it is all we can do and we must accept that the other person did not choose to be at peace with us. "You can't make someone else do the right thing just because you have." Do the right thing anyway.

Overall, this book is about REALLY loving people. It is hard and it is so foreign to what we want to do. Loving the unlovable is our calling. No one ever said it would be easy. People are hard, relationships are harder. God's plan is good. If we focused on love more, our churches would be bursting at the seams.

Sunday, December 02, 2007


I'm tired of random and odd as a title header, so I am going with a food we seldom eat as a title instead.

  • I'll go ahead and start there, isn't that bizarre? Three kids, two grown-ups and none of us are ketchup eaters. Not even with fries. Occasionally on hot dogs but certainly not always. Just those big fat crinkle cut french fries. They REQUIRE ketchup. McD's ones stand alone.
  • The parade was soooo much fun. Only because Lilly loved it so much. She is the most exuberant person I have ever known. Erik and I walked beside the float and started handing out coloring books. She asked if she could please help. I said yes, but she had to keep up with the float and stay between dad and me. She followed the letter of the law and she enjoyed giving out coloring books more than anything ever. She still smiles when she talks about it. She was telling Grandma about it and she said, "I walked the whole parade-how far was that mom?" "17 Blocks", I answered. "Yeah, I walked 17 miles and I was tired!" Where oh where did she learn to exaggerate like that???
  • Dad stopped and got steaks to grill on the way home. We never have them. They were delicious. We ate supper at 7:45. However, everything tastes so much better when you are 6 degrees past hungry.
  • Care group was fun today but very busy! It was at our house and the big girls went in one room, little girls to another and the babies stayed out in the middle. The little girls-six year olds played dress-up and we hardly even saw them!! Good times. The babies were good too-are babies ever bad?? NOOO, unless you are there momma and you have not had any sleep. One baby was a toddler and I realized, as he was playing with the plunger-a glass tea set-a glass jar of shells-library books-etc, that my house is no longer baby-proofed. He is a boy, too and they require more baby-proofing than girls. It starts that early, the differences!! I promised Shanna that if they join our group-I will baby-proof next time. Emily requires no baby-proofing and my girls never did either-away from home they were never that curious. At home though, no stone unturned.
  • I believe I posted on here not too long ago that there are not alot of people I really like. As I wrote it, I knew that was sort of true but not exactly how I meant it. It has bothered me ever since.(Yes, I am pathetic-don't judge me.) So I will now attempt to clarify that thought. I like almost everybody almost immediately. I make friends in an instant. My ability to empathize is so overdeveloped I should be on Prozac. I cry during intense drama scenes in movies-probably why I prefer comedies. I can almost always see both sides of the story(only if I am not personally enmeshed though). Most friendships that I have made as a grown-up are still friendships that are loosely maintained. Sometimes I spend 15 minutes catching up with an old pal in an aisle at Walmart.(Yes, I am that woman. Don't judge me.) So when I said I don't like many people-it was a big fat lie. What I was trying to crystallize is that, there are very few people I LIKE. (much clearer!!) To me, like is just casual and sometimes somewhat deep friendships. LIKE means you can say the wrong things sometimes and the other person "GETS" you so well that they know what you meant. They are no misunderstandings because they see right through to your soul and know your heart AND what you meant. To me, those are rare and precious jewels. When someone like that comes along-you keep that friendship FOREVER, even if they live in TX. I have about 10 that are that for me-some of them are far away and impossible to be in close touch with-but God always keeps someone close to me, thank goodness. These are mentors. These are the friends I can turn to when I need an iron sharpening iron friend. These people will call me on the carpet if I am wrong. These people remind me who I am and what I stand for(and against) if I lose a bit of my faith. I may not be that for them. I hope I am. I have friends that I am that kind of friend to them, but they are not and could not be that to me. I find that totally bizarre but totally true. To really truly "get" someone and to know they will never "get" you is a very bizarre thing. There are also instances where I totally "get" someone and they "get" me, we just will never be close friends. No reasons in particular, it just isn't going to happen. I am re-reading this and it just makes no sense, especially if you don't "get" me-but it still is a bit clearer than saying I like very few people-which, if you "get" me at all made no sense as you read it.
  • I'm clicking publish now because that last bullet set a rambling post record and now I need a tylenol and sleep. I AM a master of communication. NOT!

Saturday, December 01, 2007


Today Kayla had a chorus performance. I can assure you she is much more excited about being dressed up and photographed than she is about singing. See that big glorious smile?(Sorry for the extreme grainy close-up, I cropped out all the other children since I don't know how their parents feel about them being pictured on my blog!!) She does not love singing yet somehow she convinced her father and me(isn't it funny that "I" sounds better there but that isn't correct since it is an object not a subject-your daily gram of grammar) that she did to be a part of chorus. She will be a better singer for it. Anyone can learn to sing. Not everyone can love it. You either do or you don't. Some of these parents make their kids sing. For the prestige. Heh, heh. It's a one year commitment for us, kind of like the year she picked flowers while "playing soccer".

Anyway, today's gig was at a Holiday Mart. One that I worked last year as the Pampered Chef lady. As I ran into old friends that I have made through four years of working booths, parties and Shop-til-U-Drops, I was nostalgic. I missed the sales fun. I am a natural born salesperson. If it is a product I like and it is good quality, I want you to have it.(ie. soaps) I want to encourage you to buy it. I want to sell it to you and make commission. I want you to enjoy it even if I don't make commission.(soaps) At times in my life that has been a financial boost-like selling Pampered Chef. I was good at it. I love the products-they are a bit pricey, but totally worth every cent. Most of them anyway-I was honest about the ones that weren't worth the money. I am an honest salesperson. I love to help people Christmas shop, or stock their kitchens with USEFUL tools. I sold cars once for two weeks-I was really good at it. My bosses were crooks though. They were so "shady" I had to "leave". (punny I know) They were so shocked when I gave notice. I had sold three cars. My commission was well over $1000. No one else had ever quit for ethical reasons. I laughed to myself when they went out of business. A long happy satisfied laugh.

I digress, as always. Today was fun. It was fun to shop and buy from some of my friends. I didn't need a thing, but I know how hard it is to have a bad day-they were having a bad sales day. Most of them had not learned the fine art of "hawking" their wares. Even if they had been, very few chorus moms had gone through the ordeal of getting there with a child dressed and ready for performing at an early hour to shop. They wanted the heck out of Dodge when the performance was over. Some of the vendors were not even talking to the people walking by. (Make a friend, make a sale.) I wanted to help them have a better sales day. (See an old friend, make a sale.) Hubby won't be pleased. I did buy good useful things-I wasn't flippant or even excessive. We are talking less than $75. Good thing he has lots of gigs lined up. To keep me in the manner I am accustomed. Heh, heh.
True confession: Though I hate admitting it, I am not always frugal. Usually, but not always. Sweet chestnut body butter, I love you. Hubby, would you like a sweet chestnut body butter backrub?? That's why I bought it! (Okay, one of the reasons.)