Friday, May 29, 2009

Guilt, It's the New Black!

I have heard some messages lately from quite a few different sources. The messages are saying about the same thing: Americans are rich, spoiled and should be ashamed. Now, I do believe that we are the richest people in the world. Compare our poor to the World's poor and it doesn't even come close. We are very progressive and fortunate. Why do we have to feel guilty about it? Are we not also the most generous nation? (Yes, we are!!) Do we not have missionaries all over the world? (Yes, we do!) Do we not also have all sorts of relief groups, medical groups and charities that are all about helping the poor IN ADDITION to what our government does? (YES! YES!!)

So why then should I feel ashamed and embarrassed to be an American? I try very hard to be good steward of everything God blesses me with. I am a generous person as are most of the people I know. The people I know who have alot more money than I do are usually (of course, not ALWAYS) abundantly more generous than I am. I am proud of our country as a whole and I think we are very benevolent.

Now, to argue the other side, I see wastefulness all around me. I see things set out for the trash man that are in perfect shape-people just don't want it and are too lazy to find it a new home. I am appalled at the way food is wasted. I can recall a holiday pizza party given in one of my kid's classroom. Those children had already had lunch and there were all kinds of other snacks brought in to "celebrate". I did not see one child take more than a bite of pizza. The rest went into the trash and my heart ached at the waste of food and money. I see programs where food that is not used is just thrown away. I worked at fast food restaurants where there was a timer and once the food reached a certain "age", it had to be tossed. It was called "quality control" but as a poor college student working two jobs and supporting myself, I called it a tragedy. One maverick manager let us eat the 'old' food on a break because we were a very hard-working crew. We all knew she could lose her job over it but we respected her greatly. We were all poor and she knew it. It was the right call on her part, in my humble opinion.

America is a nation of excess. It is all around us. Do I feel guilty about it????? NO!! I think it is an opportunity to bless others. I also think people are beginning to wake up and realize the value of a dollar. I think we, as a nation, are well on our way to making better decisions about our food, our stuff and our money.

Guilt is an effective way to get people to change, but I personally prefer the "knowledge is power" approach. When people know better, they will do better. As people all around us are losing jobs and trimming the fat in their budgets, it is the time to be generous if you can. Don't feel guilty for having a good job or being blessed with wealth. Choose instead to be generous and thankful to be able to bless others.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Jesus Calling: A Review

"Ask My Spirit within you to order your day and control your thoughts, for the mind controlled by the Spirit is LIFE AND PEACE. You can have as much of Me and My Peace as you want through thousands of correct choices each day."

This is an excerpt from the daily devotions book entitled, Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. This is an awesome devotional that is written from the voice of Jesus using scripture. Each page takes scripture and changes it into direct instructions as they might come from Jesus if he were speaking them. I love this book. Of course for the review, I read through the book without any thought to the dates at the top of the page. I can't wait to take each day's words for the day and meditate on them in prayer and quiet. It is a truly remarkable way to personalize scripture, which is God's plan for His Words and the words of Jesus.

I have read many such books as these and this is the first one that puts the Bible in such personal, instructional words. Of course, I don't believe Sarah Young can read the thoughts of Christ, but I do believe she has paraphrased the scripture in an accurate way. She also lists the scriptures she has used so you can use this as a tool to study your Bible and stretch your perceptions and beliefs. Stretching is such good exercise. ( ; I hope you enjoy this devotional book as much as I have. (And will continue to!)

I think God is happy when we spend time meditating on His word and His will for our lives every day. If this book allows you to do that in a more effective way, excellent. It has been doing that for me!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Ouch. I can't even believe it. We were sunscreen users today. To a fault. We were rubbing down with it way more than 20 minutes before we got into the sun AND we were careful to make sure we had full coverage. Yet still, here I sit like a lobster in places and a ghost in others. The contrast always makes me laugh. My girls all have a bit of the burn as well. Except Kayla who spent most of the day curled into a ball hiding under a towel. She also used more sunscreen than anyone else. I told her Edward isn't real AND...she said she was team Jacob anyway.

We fished mostly today and I was on cloud nine. I love fishing. Love love love it. I would love it even more if we could actually catch fish that you can eat but I make myself content to catch and release tiny bass, sunfish and bluegill. Erika caught something enormous today-we watched it thrash in the water. She was trying to reel it in and we were searching frantically for the net when the line snapped. Total fish caught-I don't remember but Erika, Lilly and I all caught fish and we were very happy. Kayla doesn't fish, tan or swim. We are debating whether or not she should attend boating outings. She basically just eats the snacks. (BOO HISS) I guess she does help us balance out the boat too.

It was a fun family day. Dad being off the day after a holiday is really cool. It has been a fun long weekend. Tomorrow is back to work for everyone. Now I am off to munch a salad I picked out of my garden. I am excited and a little scared.

PS...I found my camera cord!! Random pics for you!!
My little birdies. This is at the Audubon museum in Henderson, KY. My Great nephew, Noah. He is waving hello (or maybe trying to say Nanu-nanu, just look at that concentration!) and he has grown so much since this picture it makes my heart hurt.Lilly LOVES Noah and everything about him. Can you tell by the expression on her face??
Lilly and Dunker-our favorite local talk radio personality at our town's Tea Party 2009. The bumper sticker on that guy's back is also posted on my bulletin board. I LOVE IT! It says: "The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money." Sigh. 'Tis the truth.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Me, Simple?

Okay I have decided to join Peggy and the other ladies who do this daybook. I love reading Mia's every week.

Outside my is raining. Occasionally the clouds allow the sun to poke through, but mostly there is rain.

I am thinking...of how lucky I am in to be living in America. How proud I am of the veterans who have fought and died for our freedoms. I am disgusted by people who take those freedoms for granted and think America is a terrible place.

I am thankful family. Especially my in-laws who like to feed us on holidays. We love spending time with them even on days they don't feed us. I feel bad for people who don't have wonderful in-laws. I am blessed.

From the learning rooms...One of my children learned that Pink and Pink Floyd are two different musicians. I can't stop chuckling about that.

From the kitchen...Tonight's supper will be LEFTOVERS, leftovers, leftovers. Momma is taking a holiday from cooking.

I am wearing...a purple tye-dye shirt I made with my girl scouts a hundred years ago, jean shorts and my brown $1 flip-flops from Old Navy.

I am creating...clean laundry today.

I am going...nowhere for the rest of the night unless there is some awful emergency.

I am reading...a book of devotions called Jesus Calling. I am loving it.

I am hoping...for a very productive week.

I am hearing...Lilly watching TV in my room and Erik watching the race in the living room.

Around the house...I should totally be painting Erika's room since I could be. I just don't wanna.

One of my favorite things...Daisy's powdery soft ears. She is such a good dog.

A few plans for the rest of the week:Tomorrow I get to escort my stepfather to the doctor for a check-up. A haircut on Wednesday. Taxicabbing the kids to their various stuff and school.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...My new favorite band. They even play jazz. So much talent for a three piece band. Plus, the drummer is HAWT!

Sunday, May 24, 2009


NOT. It wasn't sunny today, not a bit. However, Erik's 4 biggest fans still loaded up to festivate with him. AND, the show went on despite torrential downpour that did at times, change into merely super soaking drizzle. Did we have fun? YES. We got to stand on stage and offer applause. Unlimited access to the greenroom-such a lovely perk. We spent $20 to support vendors that allowed us behind the counter get out of the rain, of course. We bought ribbon fries, a large smoothie and a funnel cake. AND never have our puny purchases been more appreciated. We ran into friends we hadn't seen in a long time and had so much fun creating art in the kid tents. Everyone who attended the festival today was having the rain. We were soaked to the bone and we did not care. Then we came home, took showers and had a movie marathon. Erik brought home KFC for supper and we wrapped up a perfect rainy day.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Blah, Blah, Blah

I titled this post that way because I feel like that is exactly what I have been doing for two days, talking my head off. Socializing left and right, with a side of gardening and topped off with a birthday.

Yesterday was Hubby's 44th birthday. WHEW! He's getting up there. Thankfully I will always be 7 years his junior...except for the few months between Feb and May that I am only 6 years younger. Coincidentally, this was also hoof trimming day for my mom and stepdad. Thankfully, after a day of walker parades and trying to block the sounds of the "tools of the trade", Erik's mom and dad treated us to a steak meal for the birthday boy and family. It is my most favorite family tradition. I love a good grilled steak. In fact, my love of a good grilled steak, rib, burger, hot dog, chicken breast, chicken leg, shrimp, brisket, etc. is what keeps me out of the clutches of vogue vegetarianism. We had a great birthday dinner and a wonderful time of fellowship together once we were back home and the kiddos went to bed. Birthdays really are not that big of a deal for Erik or I. We are usually poor on both of our birthdays-mine is too close to Christmas and his is too close to mother's day, graduations, and the beginning of birthday season for all my nieces and nephews. Therefore, we don't pull out all the stops-we just savor the gifts we get from outside the family which vary from year to year. Sometimes we splurge on one another, but usually we are low key.

Today was a day of socializing in our homeschool group. We went to a park meeting and I am pleased to announce that I will be a part of the leadership team for our support group. It is something I have wanted to do for a long time. I have lots of ideas and I have many friends I want to encourage to be an active part of the group. Some people want to do things and just need encouragement and opportunities to really do a good job. That is the secret to a good organization-support and delegate. Then everyone feels like they 'own' it because they do. I've already been rallying the troops and letting them know how much our group needs their volunteerism. (Mia, consider yourself ralied as well!)

After the meeting, we went to my friend Sue's house and we swam in her pool and dug perennials to bring home. Oh how I love to swap perennials. I had so many at our old house that I had swapped with friends. At this house, I have done very little gardening-but now that our back yard is tree-free, I am inspired again and having fun. I can't wait to share a few plants her way as well. I also dug a few at my mom-in-laws since I was already in planting mode.

Now, I am ready to get off of here and get some shut-eye. The older girls are at a sleepover and so Lilly and I get to enjoy the morning as a twosome. Look out yard sales, here we come. My kids are so much fun one on one. We should do that more often!!

I am blogging to a live band in the garage. Erik and his bands will be playing a local Artsy festival on Sunday. I am not sure how many of his bands. Too hard to keep track with my feeble mind. I have already warned the girls that we are skipping church to festivate with Dad. There are just so few family friendly opportunities for us to be FANS. So anyway, they are gearing up and sounding really good. This is a new three piece band and they are all really great guys that don't really need to practice a bit, but I am glad they are. Imagine blues and jazz, along with Stray Cat Strut and Let's Get It On. I predict they will be a hit. Come see them if you are local. ALSO, there will be art. Hands on artsy stuff for the kiddos. I can't wait. We love lowertown art festivating with Dad.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sunrise, Sunset

Have you ever noticed that bad days often follow really good days? Sometimes I am certain that is might be some sort of law. Like too many good days all in a row might make us forget about bad days. This is almost always the case in my homeschooling world. A day of accomplishing goals must be followed by a day of, "I can't believe it is 11 o'clock, what happened?". May as well watch Martha the Stewart and call it Home Ec. Just kidding, we just watch-we don't call it school.

So, with yesterday being such an on-track day, today is not so much. However, I am getting ready to crack my whip and rally the troops. We must fight through the bad days like our lives depend on it. And they sort of do. Not fighting through the lazy unproductive days begats more lazy unproductive days. And everybody knows, lazy unproductive days are best kept to summer vacation...8 days from now. Must resist...JUST A FEW MORE DAYS...Anyone else out there fighting for their life? BAND TOGETHER, strength in numbers and all that jazz.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

On Track!

We had an excellent school day and I have the last nine days of school completely laid out and ready to go. We will do math and science all summer-the math they know about, the science will be snuck in and they won't notice or won't mind if they do notice. I feel good and I am totally ready for summer.

We have summer camp just around the corner and some other things to look forward to. No big vacation though. Too much home improvement after the ice storm.

I have much to do before bed. Hope you had a good Tuesday and your Wednesday is even better.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Some Book Reviews

First of all, I have to confess that between teaching a Ladie's Class on Wednesday night and building a social life for my children(oh yeah-AND SCHOOL!!), there has not been alot of time for reading. Secondly, I have not chosen well in the reading materials department of late so the books I am reading are taking me way long. Thirdly, Hubby has been home forever and I don't read as much when he is around because it gives him a complex.
First Revew:
This Bible Study on Faith and Pop Culture would be an excellent Bible study to do within a small group of friends with similar attitudes towards TV. However, TV and movies are a hot button topic for so many people. There are those out there who believe your salvation is on the line every time you watch an 'R' rated movie and others who believe all movies are appropriate for everyone. Therefore, a mixture of those two in a group could turn ugly really quickly. I fall somewhere in the middle of the murky pop culture mix. I am pretty legalistic about what my children watch but somewhat liberal about what I watch. It's the whole moral formation thing. I have developed mine, but my kids have not. I don't want them to be influenced morally by Johnny Depp because they 'think he is cute'. Also, the fact that I had no boundaries and arrived at my moral station through some awful highways makes me believe very strongly in boundaries.

I like the fact that this study is based on the writings of several different authors of differing opinions from the magazine. It made me question why I feel the way I feel. I believe that questioning our beliefs stengthens our faith, so I always enjoy asking myself why I have arrived at the conclusions and evaluating if a change should be made.

This Bible study is not a Beth Moore or Experiencing God life-altering study. It is an interesting look at the changes POP CULTURE brings to our Christian heritage and our country. I recommend it. It would even be a neat study to do as a family and maybe get some input from your kids about how our culture is influencing their lives. It might be an eye-opening experience for everyone involved!


Renovating Becky Miller by Sharon Hinck

This should have been such a quick read but it has taken me forever. It is all about a typical mom and her family. They move into a fixer upper and discover it is a whole lot of work and the biggest changes happen to her not the house. I have taken so long to read this book that even though it is a great story, I am just ready to be done with it already!!

Bathing Suit Season

I now dread bathing suits for all new reasons. Tis not outfitting my own body that makes me cringe (a whole other blog post!), but the outfitting of my offspring. Like total fools, my children went swimming with friends today. The young and foolish have more fun, doncha think? Last year's suits look a whole lot different this year and I can't say I am liking it a bit. The looks I know they will be getting makes my stomach shrivel up a bit. (Not a bad thing for stummy to shrivel...heehee.)

Why can't they swim in jeans and thick sweaters?

Growing up girls is the toughest job on the planet.


Wow!! Erik was on vacation the last two weeks and then on top of that we have been busier than a one-legged cat in a pooping contest. Much has been marked off of my fifty things to do list and I am sooo glad to breathe a little easier.

Here's what you missed:
  • Daisy's hot spots have been home remedied away. WHOO HOO! Go home remedies. Power to the people and all that.
  • Our homeschool track club has grown and changed shape many times. Restructuring for the summer is on my list of things to do. Getting a coach is a high priority...I'm not exactly skilled in the art of running/track.
  • The reading club I started for Kayla has changed into a reading/writing club at the insistence of the girls and they are working on a cool name.
  • My 15 year wedding anniversary was celebrated with Hubby at one of our town's newest restaurants. For the price of an arm and a leg, we dined on a very large assortment of grilled meats. Guess what?!! LAMB sucks. It must be an acquired taste and I have no desire to acquire it. I could not even chew it up. BLECK!! BAAA-AAAD. The restaurant is great, the price is inflated and we may go again in 15 years.
  • I lunched with Hulagirl and MamaMia + grandbaby on Friday. I had the best club sandwich ever. The conversation was wonderful. The friendships with these two ladies are so precious to me!! Hulagirl treated Mia and I AND we were very thankful for her blessing us with adult conversation and good eats.
  • Friday night we finally went to the Shoe Carnival and bought much needed running shoes for Erika and Lilly. Kayla got hers a couple of weeks ago. I also replaced my antique worn our dressy sandals for some cool Sketcher's slides. We got out of there with 5 pairs of shoes and 9 pairs of socks for $90(Kayla and I got major on-sale shoes!!). I HATE buying new shoes for growing children but with them running now, it had to be done. AND, it had to be good quality running shoes.
  • Saturday morning, we spent as much time as possible yard saling and scored some decent clothing needs. Erika has been picking up jewelry at yard sales for almost nothing and then recycling it into jewelry she likes using the things we bought after a Michaels jewelry workshop last week. She is doing really well with it and Kayla and Lilly are liking it as well. We are such a crafty bunch. Don't be jealous of our KRAFT SKILZ.
  • We went to visit my Dad on his birthday and took him cupcakes and ice cream. He is 69. Wow. Almost 70. It doesn't seem possible.
  • I organized schedules for, shopped for and pulled off a concession stand for Lilly's children's chorus. It made very little money due to freaky COLD weather and unusual location, BUT we had so much fun. The fun even made the 9 hours I spent on my feet bearable. AND I can add hot dog grilling, popcorn popping and concession stand "management" to my resume.
  • Saturday night, after the concession stand clean-up, I came home and made it to bed around 1:30ish. Sunday morning, Erik got up and went to church with all three girls leaving me to come along later. At 11:36, he called to see if I was on my way to our CARE group picnic and WOKE ME UP from the best sleep-in EVAH. I hurriedly made my baked beans in my family skillet on the stove and got dressed ASAP. The beans and I were almost ready when he came to pick me up. I hear the sermon was great today but I'll have to get the Cliff's notes from somebody.
  • A quick trip to the ATM this afternoon where I "shopped" for the baby shower at my church, a catnap in a chair, older girls to youth CARE group, a visit with friends this evening and follow up at a yard sale where a 'too good to be true' deal proved to be exactly that rounded out our Sunday fun. (Can you believe that is one sentence? Grammar SKILZ!)
  • I am ready to start a new calmer week. Complete with a trip to the hoof doctor to get my mom's and stepdad's hooves trimmed. The fun is almost constant in this here neck of the woods.

Calgon???? CALGON???

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Home Remedy

My darling black lab, Daisy, developed something I had never seen before in all my lifetime of pet ownership. Hot Spots. They were horrible and a whole bunch of them just cropped up overnight. Since we have had so many other goings on around here, a new vet bill was not in the budget. I perused the internet and found a home remedy so awesome that I have to share it with my internet peeps.

Disssolve 2 aspirins-I crushed my aspirins first- into a cup of hot tea. Add 1 tablespoon of rubbing alcohol. Trim the hair around each hot spot and apply mixture directly to the spots with a cotton ball or soft rag.

Works like a dream. They are almost all healed up. However, the trimmed hair around the spots makes her look a little pitiful.

She loves me even more if that can be possible. I made her owies all better. I'm thinking of trying it on the eczema spots on my hands from washing dishes by hand.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Deep Thoughts by Janjanmom

  • If forgiveness offers us freedom, why do we hesitate to give it? Logically, with-holding it only damages us. Yet it still is so very hard to give to so many.
  • I thought being a mom was really cool and fun until extra hormones entered our life. Now it is tough on a good day and tear jerking on a bad day.
  • FIREPROOF, the movie made me cry. ALOT. Marriage is so hard. I highly recommend the movie, but be prepared for some raw emotions no matter the condition of your marriage.
  • I am in the midst of massively de-cluttering our bookshelves. The PAIN is immense. I am a bibliophile to the core. Thankfully, I can visit the library as much as I want. Just walking in the door evokes a strong sense of calm.
  • My list of things to do is shorter today...but not fun-size yet.
  • My hubby called to interrupt my library fun today. Twice. Once to tell me he had my YARD-SALE-just-like-new-but-only-cost-$75 dishwasher installed. Secondly to tell me lunch was already prepared whenever we were ready to come home. I do love my hubby. Some men call to nag their wives.
  • Our target last day of school date is June3rd. WOW! That is soooooo soon and yet sooooo far away.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


I don't know what that means but I am using it to say that I am comPLETEly overwhelmed with life right now. I have so many things on my plate to do right now that ALL the foods are touching, dare I say even overlapping. It's like an all you can eat seafood buffet with only one trip allowed. FULL PLATE. So my blog is suffering and I apologize.

Don't give up on me....

Thursday, May 07, 2009


The camera cord seems to be lost forever. I am not happy about this new development. We are headed out for a day of running fun soon. Erik is watching the Cardinals today, so when the cat is away...

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Coloring of Hair

"Absolutely not, you girls may not get color on your hair. I mean it. Your hair is beautiful and does not need color."

Famous last words of a fool. All three now have highlights. Very different highlights. Lilly has two small strands on either side of her part. Kayla has a few strands in the front of her hair. Erika has them all over and they almost morphed into color. I would actually like to color over hers, but her dad encouraged her not to. He seems to fear I might make it worse. (She totally ratted you out MAN!!)

"I like it , Mom. I'm just not used to it yet." Erika is always very sensitive to my feelings.

Special thanks to Clairol House Party for making me eat my words!! I am off to search out my camera cord so I can share pics of all this and also the pics from my DYE party.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Ain't No Sunshine When He's Gone

I miss you, honey.

The sun is not out today. It does not look like it is going to even make an appearance. I am still tired from the weekend. Worn out, in fact. I hate that feeling.

I feel like a balloon that was blown up and then deflated. I have been feeling that way for about two months. It is not a happy-go-lucky feeling. Friends are what is getting me by. What is wrong with me? Easier asked than answered. Due to the fact that I do hold back some private details of my life (I know, I know-it is very shocking since it seems like I have diarrhea of the mouth!!), I cannot blog about all that ails me. I can tell you that homeschooling tweenagers who have angst has aggrevated the problem. I know this too shall pass. It always does...and then comes back...and then passes again. You know how life is, peaks and valleys. Sunshine and rain.

Soooooo, I have to go now and attempt to educate my children and then attempt to socialize them this afternoon. I think I am so much more excited for summer vacation to come than they are.

I could be wrong, but I don't think so. It's a jungle out there...

Sunday, May 03, 2009


I had a very busy day today and all I really wanted to do was snuggle up in a chair with a cat on my legs and finish the book, Jantsen's Gift by Pam Cope. I finally finished it. Oh my word, what a fabulous story. Not an easy read though-it is VERY RAW. Between this book and my friend Shaun...I can't get the kids in other countries out of my head. We just have no idea how blessed and privileged we are in this country. These stories make the poverty of my childhood look like extreme wealth.
It has been raining practically non-stop here and I am really hoping the fresh brand new week starts off with a little sunshine. "Sunshine shines all over, makes me happy." Name that tune.

Friday, May 01, 2009

In My Brain

  • Absolute relief that Hula's sister-in-law's body was recovered. I am so thankful our prayers have been answered and finding her was relatively quick.
  • I am saddened that one of my friends lost her baby at 4 months. She was nervous about this new baby, it was to be her 4th and her current "baby" is getting close to double digits. She had much trepidation but she had gotten used to the idea and I know the loss has hit her like a ton of bricks.
  • I am reading the book Jantzen's gift and I am just aching for children in other countries. People in other countries and how really poor a person can be. And how rich and spoiled we are. So glad my preacher loaned me such a "feel good" read.
  • Tonight I am hosting a hair dying party. I am going to force myself to be in a party mood. My gray roots have been on display for weeks leading up to this event. Even though I don't feel all happy-go-lucky, I intend to fake it like a pro.
  • I must go to the store now and buy my hair color and some groceries. Come on over tonight if you have a hankering to color you hair or watch other people do so.

I am praying for some joy in the midst of despair for myself and all the folks I know who are hurting in a big way and those of us who feel their pain just knowing about it. God be with them as they keep putting one foot in front of the other.